Coronavirus in New Mexico: The latest, resources and prevention

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The Latest, March 12:A 5th case of coronavirus has been reported, adding to the four previously reported cases. The state has issued a ban on mass gatherings or events that bring together 100 or more people. New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel issued the order Thursday temporarily prohibiting mass gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What we know:Five New Mexico residents have tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus, the first confirmed cases in the state. What does “presumptive positive” mean?A “presumptive positive” test result means local/state health workers have tested and received a positive result, but the Center for Disease Control has not confirmed a positive diagnosis.The state says all cases have been sent to the CDC and expect to hear back within 48 hours. Where are these cases?So far, the patients are from Socorro, Santa Fe and Bernalillo County.Who are the patients?THE NEW CASE: A woman in her 40s from Bernalillo County. The NMDOH is investigating a possible travel linkA married couple in their 60s from Socorro County who had recently traveled to EygptA woman in her 70s from Bernalillo County who had recently traveled to New York CityA woman in her 60s from Santa Fe County who had recently traveled to New York City Where were they exposed?At this time, officials say four of these patients were exposed while traveling. The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating a possible travel link in the case involving the woman in her 40s. How are the patients being treated?All patients are in isolation at their own home.What does this mean for the state of New Mexico?As of Wednesday morning, the Governor declared a state of emergency and has announced that all out of state travel has been halted for state employees. Furthermore, all non-essential state employees have been asked to work from home. The state will also be canceling all large public events that they have control over and are urging the private sector to do the same. As an example, Governor Lujan Grisham announced that the Gathering of Nations would be postponed until further notice. For a list of all events canceled or postponed by the coronavirus, click here.At this time no public New Mexico schools have announced any closures, but the governor says the state has a plan in place to do so if needed. But the governor also asked that residents not panic and urged anyone who believes they have symptoms contact the coronavirus emergency hotline at 855-600-3453 before they visit a local health care center.What steps can I take to prevent the spread of coronavirus?The New Mexico Department of Health is reminding New Mexicans to take these steps to prevent the spread of communicable diseases: 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 — when sick, stay at home and don’t go to work or schoolThey are also reminding residents that symptoms of coronavirus can appear as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include fever, cough or shortness of breath. Resources:CDC: What you need to know about coronavirusNew Mexico Department of Health coronavirus updates CDC: Coronavirus cases in the United States

The Latest, March 12:

  • A 5th case of coronavirus has been reported, adding to the four previously reported cases.
  • The state has issued a ban on mass gatherings or events that bring together 100 or more people. New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel issued the order Thursday temporarily prohibiting mass gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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What we know:

Five New Mexico residents have tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus, the first confirmed cases in the state.

What does “presumptive positive” mean?

A “presumptive positive” test result means local/state health workers have tested and received a positive result, but the Center for Disease Control has not confirmed a positive diagnosis.

The state says all cases have been sent to the CDC and expect to hear back within 48 hours.

Where are these cases?

So far, the patients are from Socorro, Santa Fe and Bernalillo County.

Who are the patients?

  • THE NEW CASE: A woman in her 40s from Bernalillo County. The NMDOH is investigating a possible travel link
  • A married couple in their 60s from Socorro County who had recently traveled to Eygpt
  • A woman in her 70s from Bernalillo County who had recently traveled to New York City
  • A woman in her 60s from Santa Fe County who had recently traveled to New York City

Where were they exposed?

At this time, officials say four of these patients were exposed while traveling.

The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating a possible travel link in the case involving the woman in her 40s.

How are the patients being treated?

All patients are in isolation at their own home.

What does this mean for the state of New Mexico?

As of Wednesday morning, the Governor declared a state of emergency and has announced that all out of state travel has been halted for state employees. Furthermore, all non-essential state employees have been asked to work from home.

The state will also be canceling all large public events that they have control over and are urging the private sector to do the same. As an example, Governor Lujan Grisham announced that the Gathering of Nations would be postponed until further notice. For a list of all events canceled or postponed by the coronavirus, click here.

At this time no public New Mexico schools have announced any closures, but the governor says the state has a plan in place to do so if needed.

But the governor also asked that residents not panic and urged anyone who believes they have symptoms contact the coronavirus emergency hotline at 855-600-3453 before they visit a local health care center.

What steps can I take to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

The New Mexico Department of Health is reminding New Mexicans to take these steps to prevent the spread of communicable diseases:

  • 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 — when sick, stay at home and don’t go to work or school

They are also reminding residents that symptoms of coronavirus can appear as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Resources:

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