Updated: June 19, 2020 05:13 PM
Created: June 19, 2020 03:12 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico is doing better in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to state health officials.
However, Dr. David Scrase, cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, said the threat of the virus is still very real.
"I think there's this general belief out in amongst the people in New Mexico who think things are getting better and now we can all get back to work and the thing to emphasis is the reason things are getting better is not because anything has changed about the virus, it's because we're doing more social distancing, we're wearing masks," Dr. Scrase said.
Dr. Scrase said research shows 24% of all positive cases come from people with no symptoms. He added that almost 80% of positive cases come from high-risk populations, people in nursing homes, essential workers and Native Americans.
"Your likelihood of having COVID if you're in one of these high risk populations is dramatically higher than if you're not in one of those," Dr. Scrase said.
A decision about whether New Mexico moves into phase 2 of reopening is still two weeks out because health officials say they want to monitor the availability of ICU beds. Dr. Scrase said they are all currently being used.
"I think if New Mexicans would like to see more things reopen, and would like to get schools reopened, and want to see a more economic stimulus, then I would encourage you all to encourage your non-mask-wearing friends and tell them this is about science-- to let them know that it's a way to really advance and reopen the economy even more," Dr. Scrase said.
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