The increased number of reported COVID-19 deaths in Eddy County was attributed to data issues, nty this week, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) indicated.
Monday, DOH added nearly 100 additional deaths across New Mexico to its baseline COVID-19 data after an audit of public health records, read a news release.
“With the audit complete, the number of deaths reported for some New Mexico counties will rise or fall when the state dashboard is updated on Monday,” the release cited.
“The changes come after receiving and reconciling public health information delayed over the course of months,” the release added.
DOH’s May 25 COVID-19 Mortality Rate report indicated seven new deaths in Eddy County.
“The delays in processing the death records were due to a variety of reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic to include the processing of deaths of New Mexico residents occurring out-of-state as well as incomplete or inaccurate information at the time of death,” cited DOH’s press release.
DOH reported a woman in her 70s died from COVID-19 in the past 30 days. She was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions. She was a resident of Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad.
In a Wednesday press release, DOH indicated at one least one positive COVID-19 case in residents or staff in the past 28 days at Lakeview Christian Home.
Before DOH released the new information, Eddy County recorded the first COVID-19 death this month on May 21 as a man in his 70s died. He was hospitalized per DOH. A woman in her 70s died Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, DOH noted 139 deaths in Eddy County with 77,864 total tests and 6,870 total cases. DOH cited 6,639 residents recovered from COVID-19.
DOH did not respond to requests for comments on actual dates and approximate ages of the other delayed deaths.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway said the City was not surprised with DOH’s message on the delayed deaths.
“As noted, the state announced that it was going to be reexamining public health record totals and that such changes would likely be taking place across the state. We know that many families across Carlsbad suffered greatly from COVID-19, and we are very relieved that our community and country is pushing past this pandemic,” he said.
New COVID-19 cases in Eddy County remained low for May 21 through May 26 reporting period, per DOH.
DOH noted four new cases on May 21 and six new cases from May 22 through May 24 and two new cases on May 25. Zero cases were reported on May 26.
COVID-19 numbers remained high in Eddy County’s younger population according to DOH’s demographic breakdown.
DOH cited 1,164 cases for the 20 to 29 group and increased to 1,204 in the 30 to 39 category.
Numbers went down in Eddy County’s middle-age and senior age population, per DOH. Figures bottomed out to 79 for those 90 and older.
As of Wednesday, there were 130 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.
Also as of Wednesday, there were 188,333 COVID-19 cases designated as recovered by DOH.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.