Six COVID-19 cases reported in Quay County


October 14, 2020

The New Mexico Department of Health on Thursday reported six confirmed cases of coronavirus in Quay County on a day when the state set a record high with 672 cases.

According to the DOH website, the five females and one male who contracted the virus all were in the Tucumcari ZIP code. The age breakdown of the cases was a child younger than age 10, one age 20 to 29, one age 30 to 39, two age 60 to 69 and one age 70 to 79.

Quay County remained in the green zone this week for school reopenings. However, the six cases in one day put the county in danger of falling into the yellow or red zone during the next assessment Oct. 28. The county cannot be in the green with more than nine cases in a two-week period.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during a Zoom videoconference Thursday didn’t announce any new coronavirus restrictions other than the ones issued Tuesday, but she acknowledged she may if the situation doesn’t improve.

“This is the most serious emergency New Mexico has ever faced,” she said.

The 672 cases reported Thursday eclipsed the previous high of 573 on Wednesday. The previous record before that was 483 less than a week before, on Oct. 9.

One death in New Mexico was reported Thursday.

The seven-day rolling average for cases has increased from 100 just a few weeks ago to more than 400 this week. Human Services Secretary David Scrase said cases are up in all regions of the state and all age groups.

Lujan Grisham said the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 increased to 150, a 74% increase this month. Scrase said several Albuquerque hospitals “are getting quite full,” and so are hospitals in southeast New Mexico.

Texas also has halted non-critical transfers of New Mexico patients because their hospitals are filling. Amarillo also on Thursday hit a record-high of 3,509 active cases of the disease.

The seven-day test-positivity rate, which was barely over 2% weeks ago, has crept up to over 5%, which is above the gating criteria.

The number of COVID-19 rapid responses rose to more than 600 last week, a 60% increase from the previous week. Rapid responses at restaurants rose by 120% and retail and wholesale stores by 98%.

Lujan Grisham said the Department of Health would enforce with fines, if necessary, a mandatory quarantine for out-of-state visitors of 14 days or the duration of their stay.

The governor said New Mexicans probably let their guard down against the virus, fueling the new outbreak. She urged residents to stay home, wear masks, avoid groups, avoid indoor activities and frequently wash hands.

“Those can be enough,” she said. “I believe this state can manage COVID in safe fashion.”

She said if the state’s caseload doesn’t improve, she said she would consider reimpositions of restrictions on restaurants, retails stores, businesses and nonprofit organizations.

“We have to be prepared to make tough decisions,” she said. “If we don’t see that turning around, I don’t see a choice.”

In Quay County, the total number of cases since the pandemic began rose to 86. Thursday’s six cases were the highest in one day since seven were recorded Aug. 20.

The totals in the county by ZIP code are 48 in Tucumcari, 33 in Logan and five in San Jon. A total of 51 people have been deemed to have recovered from the virus. Two deaths have been reported in the county since the pandemic started.


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