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NM meets key virus benchmarks for hospitals

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NM meets key virus benchmarks for hospitals

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

In the early days of the pandemic with reports of overwhelmed hospitals in Italy, Spain and New York, running out of protective equipment for frontline workers and uncertainty about testing were real fears in New Mexico.

But 10 weeks after the state reported its first case of coronavirus, New Mexico has so far managed to avoid such perils. Data suggests that New Mexico is in good shape in three major categories for keeping the virus at bay: intensive care unit hospital beds, personal protective equipment and testing capacity.

Still, Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase cautioned against using the data to stop social distancing or other protective measures. He likened such a move to a skydiver taking off the parachute 1,000 feet from the ground.

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“Remember that social distancing measures is really what is controlling the virus,” he said during the governor’s briefing on Wednesday. “We’re not ready to completely reopen everything. We have to go slow. We have to look at data. We have to give ourselves a couple weeks.”

State health officials said Thursday that 11 more New Mexicans have died from COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 294. They also announced 163 additional cases of the virus, pushing the total to 6,472.

ICU capacity There were some foreboding data concerning hospital space in New Mexico, which has fewer hospital beds than many other states.The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2018 that New Mexico had 1.8 beds per 1,000 people, well under the national average of 2.4. Several nationwide analyses, including one by the Harvard Global Health Institute, said New Mexico was particularly at risk […]

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