New Mexico saw another record-breaking daily count of COVID-19 cases, with 5,547 reported Thursday. The number surpassed the most recent record, less than a week ago, with more than 1,300 cases.
The count will raise the state’s skyrocketing seven-day average case count, which stood at nearly 3,800 Wednesday, according to New York Times data. With so many New Mexico residents testing positive for the virus, the state’s positivity rate had reached nearly 28 percent, health officials reported.
An increasing number of patients, 609, were hospitalized on Thursday for treatment of COVID-19.
The news comes as President Joe Biden announced he would send a military medical team to the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque to relieve pressure on its overstretched staff.
A man in his 60s from Santa Fe County and a man in his 80s from Los Alamos County were among the 36 COVID-19 deaths in the Department of Health’s daily report. Both were hospitalized, according to the report, but there are no underlying conditions in the men.
More than half of the newly reported deaths were in southern and eastern counties, where the rapidly spreading omicron variant has led to higher numbers of cases and where vaccination coverage in some areas is among the lowest in the state at about 55 percent.
Santa Fe County had 320 new cases Thursday, and the 87507 city of Santa Fe zip code was the ninth highest in the state, with 126 positive tests.
Bernalillo County had 1,513 cases, while Doña Ana County had 994; San Juan, 416; Sandoval, 359; McKinley, 246; Chaves, 244; Leah, 212; Eddie, 147; Valencia, 127; Otero, 121; San Miguel, 119; and Lincoln, 104.
The state has seen the total number of cases rise to nearly 394,000 since the start of the pandemic, while 6,109 residents have died from COVID-19.