How soon will New Mexico counties move into less restrictive COVID tiers? | KOB 4

How soon will New Mexico counties move into less restrictive COVID tiers?

Grace Reader
Updated: November 29, 2020 10:27 PM
Created: November 29, 2020 09:49 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After the two-week statewide shutdown, New Mexico will move into a three-tiered county-by-county system of reopening. 

Counties that want fewer restrictions must hit one of two criteria: a positive test rate less than five percent for two weeks or a two-week average of less than 8 cases per 100,000 people.  

But how far is New Mexico from meeting that criteria?

Hubert Allen, a local biostatistician, helped break down what each county would need to hit on average each day to meet the 8 cases per 100,000 people requirement. 

In order to move from the red to the yellow tier,  Bernalillo County would need to average would be around 54 cases a day. Valencia County would need to average around six cases, Cibola County would need to average around 2 cases, and Santa Fe County would need around 12 cases. 

Statewide, New Mexico is pretty far off from meeting those requirements. 

Allen looked at the current numbers and found that Bernalillo is currently averaging around 86 cases a day. Valencia County is averaging around 103, Cibola County is closer to 157, and Santa Fe is around 88. 

Allen, who graduated from the Johns Hopkins University program that’s putting out national information on COVID, gave some insight on how long he thinks it’ll take for the majority of counties to move into the yellow tier. 

“It's probably going to take you two to three times the number of weeks that it took you to rise from the low to that apex point, which we've seen, maybe in the past week,” he said.

“You should expect you'll be in the red, as far as the 8 per 100,000 average, for 20 to 30 weeks,” he added.

The only county that is currently in the yellow tier is Los Alamos, but even they don’t meet the 8 cases per 100,000 people average requirement. 

To view Allen's list that shows what each New Mexico county must hit before moving to the yellow tier, click here. 


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