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New Mexico announces fifth presumptive positive COVID-19 case

Mar 12, 2020 | Press Releases

Department of Health actively investigating all presumptive positives

SANTA FE – New Mexico health officials on Thursday announced a fifth New Mexico resident tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, adding to the four presumptive positive tests Wednesday.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent case is a Bernalillo County woman in her 40s. The Department of Health is investigating a possible travel link. She is at home in isolation.

The other four presumptive positive tests in New Mexico were:

  • A Socorro County husband and wife both in their 60s with known recent international travel to Egypt.
  • A woman in her 70s in Bernalillo County with known recent travel to the New York City area.
  • A Santa Fe County woman in her 60s with known recent travel to the New York City area.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into each of the presumptive positive patients, which includes contact-tracing, said Dr. Chad Smelser of the Department of Health, and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

The presumptive positive specimens have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

The governor and state health officials on Wednesday issued enhanced public health advisory steps that New Mexicans should take to protect themselves, their families and New Mexico communities from the potential occurrence or spread of the disease in our state.

The governor and Department of Health urged New Mexicans to:

  • Avoid large public gatherings, particularly if you are a high-risk individual
    • High-risk individuals are older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease
  • Avoid all non-essential travel to affected out-of-state areas; and exercise extreme caution with all out-of-state travel
  • Remain home (“self-isolate”) if you are sick and call the Department of Health at 1-855-600-3453 if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19
    • Those symptoms include fever, cough or trouble breathing
  • And continue taking precautionary steps to protect your individual health, such as:
    • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily with regular household cleaners
    • Avoid sharing personal household items

Additional advisories, guidance and orders will follow as conditions warrant.

The governor on Wednesday issued a public health emergency, as other states have, in order to maximize the resources available to the state in order to fight the potential spread of the virus and minimize public health risks for New Mexicans.

The health emergency declaration is intended to enhance the state’s financial flexibility and preparedness for the potential spread of COVID-19 as has occurred in other states. That order is attached to this release as a PDF.

The state Department of Health has updated its dedicated COVID-19 webpage, viewable here:


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The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is located on the fourth floor of the New Mexico State Capitol in Room 400.

490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Phone: (505) 476-2200
Toll free: (833) 520-0020

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