HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is expressing concern with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in southeast New Mexico.
“I’m very concerned, as you saw from the heat map, southeastern New Mexico. We continue to see cases rise, we’ve got to do better in southeastern New Mexico,” said Gov Lujan Grisham in a press conference Thursday.
Both the governor and the Secretary for the Human Services Department Dr. David Scrase said in Thursday’s press conference that the new hot spot for COVID-19 is southeast New Mexico and specifically Lea County.
“You can see that things have flipped, that northwest is coming down. Those colors are getting lighter, the southeast is where are problems are, where we’re seeing an uptick in cases,” said Dr. Scrase in the same press conference.
In a new transmission map, all of southeast New Mexico was in the red. They are seeing higher numbers and more spread.
“And that’s where we’re really focusing attention around testing and other interventions to see if we can try to control the pandemic better, in that part of the state,” Dr. Scrase said.
The governor said they have seen a spike in rapid responses at businesses in Lea County so the state is shifting their focus to the southeast and that’s what people in Hobbs say is responsible for the rise in numbers.
“There’s more tests going on here so we may be seeing more positive results but with three deaths, out of 72,000 people, that’s such a minute number. I don’t see shutting down the whole economy over that,” said resident Ray Ables.
Meanwhile, a Hobbs restaurant that had its food service permit suspended will be allowed to reopen as part of a deal with the state Health Department. Casey’s will undergo an inspection and it agreed to follow the public health order moving forward.
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