Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

State COVID cases rise, deaths toll hits 7,600

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COVID-19 cases in New Mexico are trending up as sites across the country lower their flags to half-staff until sunset May 16 to commemorate 1 million American lives lost to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

New Mexico on Thursday reported six new deaths, pushing the statewide toll to 7,600 since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago.

The John Hopkins School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center was reporting almost 999,000 COVID deaths Thursday afternoon.

“There are many grieving hearts hurting across our nation today as we mourn the one million lives lost to this pandemic,” US Sen. Ben Ray Luján, DN.M., said on Twitter. “I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on the past two years, and honor the lives that have been lost.”

Health Department epidemiology reports dated May 9 show New Mexico reported 1,764 new COVID cases the previous week. That was a 29% increase from the week before, when 1,372 cases were reported. The week before that, 1,117 cases were identified.

New Mexico isn’t unique in that trend. The New York Times reported Wednesday that COVID cases around the country have increased 58% in the past 14 days, which is the exact same percentage increase New Mexico saw over the past two weeks, according to weekly epidemiology reports.

A total of 33 patients with COVID were admitted to hospitals in the most recent week, as reflected in the state reports. There were 43 COVID patients admitted to hospitals in the report dated May 2 and 31 new admissions in the report dated April 25.

About 20% of adults in New Mexico are not yet fully vaccinated. In a recent four-week period, unvaccinated individuals accounted for 39.1% of new cases, 55.7% of hospitalizations and 45.5% of deaths, according to state epidemiology reports.

There are currently 68 people with COVID in New Mexico hospitals, six of whom are on ventilators.

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