24 New Mexico counties see nearly 25% drop in new COVID-19 cases

Mike Stucka

FARMINGTON — New Mexico reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 2,218 new cases. That's down 26.4% from the previous week's toll of 3,015 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

New Mexico ranked 33rd among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week the United States added 489,902 reported cases of coronavirus, a decrease of 23% from the week before. Across the country, six states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Across New Mexico, cases fell in 24 counties, with the best declines in Bernalillo, Chaves and Sandoval counties.

In New Mexico, 95 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 130 people were reported dead.

A total of 182,789 people in New Mexico have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 3,624 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 28,134,115 people have tested positive and 498,897 people have died.

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The share of New Mexico test results that came back positive was 3.3% in the latest week, compared with 2.7% in the week before, a USA TODAY Network analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows.

In the latest week, 66,416 tests were administered; a week earlier, that figure was 113,018. Experts say it is important to look at the share of tests that come back positive, not just case counts, to get a better idea of whether the rate of new infections is changing or if differences in testing are playing a role.

The World Health Organization says places should be conducting enough tests to have fewer than 5% coming back positive. Places where the percentage is higher could struggle to complete contact tracing soon enough to prevent spread of the virus.

Weekly case counts rose in six counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Union, Guadalupe and Hidalgo counties.