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COVID-19 in Doña Ana County: 100 deaths and counting

Lucas Peerman
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES - On April 23, the New Mexico Department of Health reported a Doña Ana County man in his 50s who had been hospitalized died from COVID-19 complications.

The agency didn't release any other details about the man — not his name, not how long he had been sick, not whether he left behind loved ones to grieve.

Monday marks 200 days since Death No. 1 in Doña Ana County. In that time, 101 other county residents have succumbed to complications brought on by COVID-19.

Most remain nameless statistics to our readers.

NM DOH releases COVID-19 data daily, including a tally of how many people died from COVID-19-related causes. For each person who died, the agency will release the person's gender, relative age (in their 80s, for example), whether they had underlying conditions, whether they were hospitalized at the time of death and whether they had been a resident of a congregate living facility.

Death No. 17, reported July 27, was a female centenarian who was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society in Las Cruces. She's been the oldest county resident to die from COVID-19.

The last day of August, the agency reported a woman in her 40s died. No underlying conditions, nor was she hospitalized. Death No. 42 was seemingly healthy before her COVID-19-related death.

The youngest to die? A man in his 30s, but he was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The relatively young man is Death No. 65, reported Oct. 22.

For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Names of the deceased

The names of a few of the 102 recorded deaths in Doña Ana County are known because family members have talked to media.

Damacio Bernal, a retired Zia Middle School teacher and current substitute, was a beloved member of two families — his own blood relatives and Las Cruces Public Schools. He died Oct. 26.

It's not known whether he was Death No. 68 (a man in his 60s who was hospitalized, reported Oct. 26) or Death No. 70 (a man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions, reported Oct. 27).

More:LCPS launches new wellness dashboard to help track COVID-19 in district

What is known is not all his family members got to say good-bye in person.

“To everyone out there, take this virus really seriously. The hardest thing for us is we couldn’t say goodbye to my dad the way we wanted, now we have to live with that,” his daughter, Elizabeth Vigil, told KFOX. “Not being able to have said goodbye in person, or to see him leave, or hold his hand, it hurts.”

Death No. 89 (or possibly No. 90) was Thomas Mobley Jr., 82. Mobley was a retired banker and rancher who worked the land almost until the day he died in early November. In 1987, Mobley was named Las Cruces' Citizen of the Year.

While being treated in the hospital for COVID-19, Mobley developed a blood clot that claimed his life.

Family members recalled Bernal and Mobley as loving, caring men who gave so much of themselves to make their community stronger. In the end they didn't have the strength to overcome the deadly SARS CoV-2 coronavirus.

Records set

On Sunday, New Mexico health officials reported 1,214 new coronavirus cases.

There were 1,287 additional cases Saturday, a one-day record that was the same number reported Friday. But they said Saturday that 10 of the cases reported Friday had turned out to be duplicates or not lab-confirmed.

More:Las Cruces funeral home cited for violating mass gathering ban

With those adjustments and the latest reported cases, the statewide case total now has reached 54,881 with 1,118 known deaths.

New Mexico officials have warned that new records would be set over the coming weeks as the rate of spread remains high.

On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham warned the next two weeks were projected to be "miserable." 

At that news conference, health officials stated the rate of spread suggests in the modeling that, for every known case of COVID-19, there are more than three additional cases undiagnosed.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased by 260 percent over the past month, straining facilities, and fatalities have surged by 230 percent in two weeks. 

Take Doña Ana County for example: In the 190 days since April 23, when Death No. 1 was reported, 72 people died. That's about one death every 2.6 days. In the past 10 days, there's been 29 reported deaths. That's 2.9 deaths every day.

Share your story

Each of the deceased is a life taken too soon. Each left a legacy in their own way. Each has a story worth sharing.

'Still killing us': The federal government underfunded health care for Indigenous people for centuries. Now they're dying of COVID-19

Who is Death No. 1? No. 50? No. 101? They deserve more than a number.

If you are a family member of a Doña Ana County resident who's lost their life to COVID-19, email news@lcsun-news.com and tell us about your loved one. We want to tell their story.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Lucas Peerman can be reached at 575-541-5446, lpeerman@lcsun-news.com or @LittleGuyInATie on Twitter.

How Doña Ana compares to other counties

COVID-related deaths in Doña Ana County 

Reported April 23 

  • A man in his 50s who was hospitalized (1) 

Reported May 2 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions. He was a patient at Central Desert Behavioral Health in Albuquerque. (2) 

Reported May 29 

  • A man in his 90s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (3) 

Reported June 11 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized. (4) 
  • A man in his 80s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Jim Wood Home in Hatch. (5) 

Reported June 12 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized. (6) 

Reported June 23 

  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized. (7) 
  • A woman in her 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (8) 

Reported June 28 

  • A man in his 50s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (9) 

Reported July 3 

  • A woman in her 90s who was a resident of the Jim Wood Home in Hatch. (10) 

Reported July 8 

  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized. (11) 

Reported July 15 

  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (12) 

Reported July 18 

  • A woman in her 90s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. She was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (13) 

Reported July 20 

  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (14) 

Reported July 23 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (15) 

Reported July 24 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (16) 

Reported July 27 

  • A woman in her 100s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (17) 

Reported July 28 

  • A woman in her 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (18) 
  • A woman in her 70s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (19) 

Reported July 31 

  • A woman in her 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (20) 
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (21) 

Reported Aug. 1 

  • A man in his 50s who was hospitalized. (22) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. He was a resident of Welbrook Senior Living in Las Cruces. (23) 

Reported Aug. 3 

  • A man in his 60s who had underlying conditions. (24) 

Reported Aug. 5 

  • A woman in her 60s who was hospitalized. (25) 
  • A woman in her 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (26) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized. (27) 

Reported Aug. 7 

  • A woman in her 50s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (28) 
  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (29) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. He was a resident of Welbrook Senior Living in Las Cruces. (30) 

Reported Aug. 10 

  • A woman in her 60s who had underlying conditions. (31) 

Reported Aug. 14 

  • A man in his 90s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. He was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (32) 

Reported Aug. 15 

  • A man in his 60s who had underlying conditions. (33) 
  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (34) 
  • A man in his 90s who had underlying conditions. (35) 

Reported Aug. 18 

  • A man in his 90s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (36) 

Reported Aug. 20 

  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (37) 

Reported Aug. 22 

  • A woman in her 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (38) 

Reported Aug. 25 

  • A man in his 50s who had underlying conditions. (39) 
  • A man in his 70s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (40) 

Reported Aug. 27 

  • A woman in her 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. She was a resident of the Welbrook Senior Living facility in Las Cruces. (41) 

Reported Aug. 31 

  • A woman in her 40s. (42) 
  • A woman in her 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (43) 

Reported Sept. 2 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (44) 

Reported Sept. 3 

  • A woman in her 70s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (45) 

Reported Sept. 5 

  • A man in his 70s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of Heritage Assisted Living in Las Cruces. (46) 
  • A man in his 90s who had underlying conditions. (47) 

Reported Sept. 6 

  • A man in his 90s who was hospitalized. (48) 

Reported Sept. 8 

  • A man in his 70s who had underlying conditions. (49) 
  • A woman in her 80s who was hospitalized. (50) 
  • A man in his 90s who was hospitalized and was a resident of Welbrook Senior Living in Las Cruces. (51) 

Reported Sept. 16 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized (52) 

Reported Sept. 18 

  • A woman in her 90s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society Las Cruces facility in Las Cruces. (53) 

Reported Sept. 23 

  • A woman in her 60s who had underlying conditions. (54) 

Reported Sept. 25 

  • A man in his 50s who was hospitalized. (55) 

Reported Oct. 1 

  • A man in his 70s who had underlying conditions. (56) 

Reported Oct. 2 

  • A man in his 90s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (57) 

Reported Oct. 3 

  • A woman in her 70s who had underlying conditions. (58) 

Reported Oct. 4 

  • A man in his 50s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (59) 

Reported Oct. 8 

  • A woman in her 50s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (60) 

Reported Oct. 11 

  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (61) 

Reported Oct. 12 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (62) 

Reported Oct. 14 

  • A man in his 90s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Good Samaritan Society facility in Las Cruces. (63) 

Reported Oct. 21 

  • A man in his 80s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of Welbrook Senior Living in Las Cruces. (64) 

Reported Oct. 22 

  • A man in his 30s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (65) 

Reported Oct. 23 

  • A woman in her 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (66) 

Reported Oct. 24 

  • A woman in her 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (67) 

Reported Oct. 26 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized. (68) 
  • A woman in her 70s who had underlying conditions. (69) 

Reported Oct. 27 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (70) 

Reported Oct. 28 

  • A man in his 50s who was hospitalized. (71) 
  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized. (72) 

Reported Oct. 30 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (73) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized. (74) 

Reported Oct. 31 

  • A woman in her 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (75) 
  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (76) 
  • Another man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (77) 
  • A woman in her 80s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Casa del Sol Center facility in Las Cruces. (78) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (79) 
  • A man in his 90s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Casa del Sol Center facility in Las Cruces. (80) 

Reported Nov. 1 

  • A woman in her 60s who had underlying conditions. (81) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized. (82) 

Reported Nov. 2 

  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized. (83) 
  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (84) 
  • A woman in her 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. She was a resident of the Casa del Sol Center facility in Las Cruces. (85) 

Reported Nov. 3

  • A woman in her 70s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Adobe Assisted Living facility in Las Cruces. (86) 

Reported Nov. 4 

  • A woman in her 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (87) 
  • A man in his 70s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Casa de Oro Center facility in Las Cruces. (88) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (89) 
  • Another man in his 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (90) 

Reported Nov. 5: 

  • A woman in her 40s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (91) 
  • A woman in her 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (92) 
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of Adobe Assisted Living in Las Cruces. (93) 
  • A man in his 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (94) 
  • A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (95) 
  • Another male in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (96) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (97) 

Reported Nov. 6:

  • A woman in her 60s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (98) 
  • A man in his 40s who was hospitalized. (99) 
  • A man in his 80s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. (100) 

Reported Nov. 7:

  • A man in his 70s who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces. (101)