ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham says the state is bracing for a surge in coronavirus patients. The governor announced on Tuesday that the state is stocking up on supplies, has plans for a field hospital in Albuquerque, and is expanding who can get tested for the virus.
State officials say it’s only a matter of time before the coronavirus outbreak reaches a critical level in New Mexico. “We predict a peak in northwestern New Mexico late this week, or early next week or maybe not the peak but the surge,” said Department of Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrace.
The Human Services Secretary says the number of cases could soar. “Given that 14% of people this year so far have contracted influenza, we think a one percent infection reate for COVID is way too low and it will be substantially higher than that. Our models, rather than 55,000, we’re looking at anywhere from 250,00 to 1.25 million people,” said Dr. David Scrace.
The governor announced they’re expanding who can get tested for the virus to include asymptomatic people who’ve had close contact with people who’ve tested positive or coronavirus.
“We have, in fact, relaxed the testing standard because we’ve been successful in getting enough instrumentation certified enough partners who can run those lab tests, enough partners to do those drives,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
The governor says the old Lovelace site on Gibson will be the first field hospital in Albuquerque that will house 200 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. However, she’s still urging the public to do their part and social distance.
The governor says right now, there are only 365 ICU beds available in the state. They’re expecting they’ll need up to 3,000 beds.