New Mexico has reported a second death related to the coronavirus, a man in his 80s who died Friday in Bernalillo County as the outbreak spanned the state, with cases reported in urban and rural areas.
The man had been hospitalized and had multiple chronic underlying health conditions, the state Department of Health said Saturday as it reported that 17 of the state’s 33 counties have at least one case of the virus.
The department reported 17 additional coronavirus cases statewide, for a total of 208, with 11 new cases in Bernalillo County, three in Chavez County and one each in Doña Ana, Eddy and San Juan counties.
Bernalillo County includes metro Albuquerque and accounts for 92 cases of the statewide total. Other counties in double digits include Santa Fe with 30, San Juan 18, Doña Ana 17 and Sandoval 15.
Other counties with at least one case include 12 in largely rural areas: Chaves, Cibola, Curry, Eddy, Lea, McKinley, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, San Miguel, Socorro, Taos and Valencia.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The New Mexico State Police and other law enforcement agencies across the state on Friday denied making traffic stops to enforce a statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Several of the agencies said they were making the announcements because of false rumors on social media that officers were stopping drivers to enforce the order.
The governor’s order, which was issued Monday and took effect Tuesday, includes a stay-home instruction and a ban on mass gatherings and calls for residents to refrain from any unnecessary travel or congregation. The state’s response to the outbreak also includes closing schools.
The stay-at-home order allows residents to travel for necessities including – but not limited to – groceries and supplies, for health care services, exercise, and to and from work that’s deemed essential.
State police are the primary enforcement agency. But the agency said officers are not stopping vehicles to ensure compliance with the state order.
“The New Mexico State Police is not making traffic stops to ensure the public or their travel is considered essential. New Mexicans can leave their house while following the guidelines of the Emergency Public Health Order,” the agency said.