The Associated Press & Christina Rodriguez
Created: April 27, 2020 10:43 AM
GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — According to state health officials, the number of COVID-19 cases in McKinley County surpassed Bernalillo County on Saturday.
Including Sunday's partial report from the New Mexico Department of Health, McKinley County now has a total of 720 COVID-19 cases. There are 688 cases in Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, New Mexico’s most populous city.
McKinley County includes a corner of the main part of the Navajo Nation, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. Tribal officials reported Sunday the reservation had 1,716 cases with 59 deaths. The reservation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
McKinley County is bisected by Interstate 40. Gallup, the county seat, is a regional shopping destination, including for many reservation residents.
The New Mexico Department of Health updated its statewide figures, reporting six additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 66 additional cases of the disease as of Sunday, for a total of 99 deaths and 2,726 cases.
The additional deaths included three in McKinley County, one in Sandoval County and two in San Juan County.
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.
In another development related to McKinley County, an alcohol detox center in Gallup that was closed earlier this month because of a lack of staff to operate the facility has reopened to house intoxicated people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease.
NCI Detox reopened last weekend after being closed the previous week because of some employees going into quarantine due to exposure to the virus and others refusing to work because of fear of being exposed to the virus, the Gallup Independent reported Saturday.
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)