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New Mexico sets new records on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

SANTA FE – New Mexico on Saturday reported record numbers of additional COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, breaking daily records set in recent days as the state’s coronavirus outbreak continues to flare.

Officials reported 875 new cases and five additional deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 41,040 cases and 965 deaths.

Saturday’s case count topped the 827 cases newly reported on Wednesday. New Mexico reported 669 cases Thursday and 797 on Friday.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reported increased to 264. up from a record 229 on Friday that topped the previous high of 223 from mid-May.

As of Saturday, patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and other reasons filled 80% of the state’s general hospital beds and 76% of intensive care beds, officials said.

“Hospitalizations are at a record high because COVID-19 is at record levels throughout New Mexico and record numbers of New Mexicans are becoming ill due to the virus,” Governor’s Office spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett told the Albuquerque Journal on Friday.

Rolling seven-day averages for testing positivity, daily new cases and daily deaths all ticked up in the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press.

The rolling average of new cases more than doubled from 299 per day on Oct. 9 to 631 on Friday as the positivity average rose from 4.6% to 7.2% and the daily deaths average rose from 2.4 to 4.4.

Of the additional cases reported Saturday, 251 were in Bernalillo County (Albuquerque), 125 in Doña Ana County (Las Cruces), 51 in Lea County (Hobbs), 48 in Santa Fe County (Santa Fe) and 47 in Chavez County (Roswell).

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Of the additional deaths, two were people from Bernalillo County and there was one each from Chavez, Doña Ana and Socorro counties.