Serving the High Plains

Sixth COVID-19 death reported in county

The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday reported the sixth death from coronavirus in Quay County.

The latest casualty was a woman in her 70s who was hospitalized, according to an email from the agency. Identities of those killed or infected by COVID-19 are not identified by the agency.

Three coronavirus deaths also were reported in the county in November.

Two newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday in the county, both in the Tucumcari ZIP code. One was a man age 30 to 39; the other was a man age 70 to 79.

Quay County continues to see an elevated but declining rate of COVID-19 cases in December, with 66 so far. A total of 140 cases were reported in the county in November.

The total number of cases in the county rose to 314. A total of 119 people in the county have been deemed by the state as recovered from the virus.

The latest breakdown by ZIP code since the pandemic began is 242 in Tucumcari, 47 in Logan, seven in House, six in San Jon, four in McAlister, three in Nara Visa, two in Bard and one in Grady (part of the ZIP code extends into the county).

According to the state’s COVID-19 rapid-response database, one confirmed case was reported at the Farm Credit office in Tucumcari.

A typical rapid response consists of isolating positive cases, quarantining close contacts for 14 days, ceasing operations to the extent necessary to isolate affected areas, disinfecting these areas, implementing safety procedures and resuming operations. Typically, operations are ceased for fewer than 24 hours before it is safe to reopen.

In the state, the DOH reported 1,816 cases on Wednesday. The total number in New Mexico since the pandemic began rose to more than 124,000.

A near-record total of 43 deaths were reported Wednesday in New Mexico, raising the total to 2,049 since the pandemic began.

A total of 838 people in the state were hospitalized with the disease Wednesday, continuing a gradual decrease in recent days.

The Amarillo area reported on Wednesday more than 6,100 active cases of the disease, with a 29.7% hospitalization rate. Both numbers have been slowly trending downward in recent days.

In the U.S., more than 16.9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported through Wednesday since the pandemic began, with more than 306,000 deaths.

As expected, Quay County landed earlier Wednesday in the red zone in the DOH’s coronavirus-risk county map, as did all of New Mexico’s 33 counties, according to two-week evaluation numbers.

Neighboring San Miguel County, previously in the yellow zone, also landed in the red.

Twenty-seven counties, including Quay, showed improvement in at least one of their COVID-19 caseload numbers.

The next evaluation of counties will be on Dec. 30.

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