April 22, 2020

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/22/20 edition)

U.S. Army

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here.

See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • The state announced seven new COVID-19 deaths, as the number of confirmed cases crossed 2,000. Read the breakdown here.
  • Searchlight New Mexico looked at the for-profit chain that will run the nursing home for COVID-19 patients in New Mexico. It has a checkered past. Read the story here.
  • No UNM employees were disciplined for protesting against the lack of PPE, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The state sent National Guard members to Gallup to help with COVID-19 testing and with helping grocery stores enforce the new 20 percent maximum capacity rule, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
  • The Navajo Nation announced 63 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 1,206 and a total of 48 deaths; the numbers did not include cases in border towns, as in previous updates, making comparisons difficult. The total cases include 409 in New Mexico counties.
    • Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said, “Now is not the time to let up! To all residents of the Navajo Nation, please continue to stay home as much as possible and to honor the shelter-in-place order that’s in effect.” He said the Navajo Nation wants to avoid a second wave of cases.
    • The Navajo Nation government remains closed amid COVID-19, as health experts predict the number of COVID-19 cases may peak in May, the Farmington Daily-Times reported.
  • The Albuquerque Islamic Center will livestream its ritual Friday afternoon prayers tomorrow as Ramadan begins, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • KUNM looked at people who are still waiting for COVID-19 relief, from the $1,200 relief checks to unemployment to small business relief.
  • There are now two relief funds to bring supplies to Indigenous communities throughout the state.
  • The hardest-hit area of the state on plunging oil prices will be southeastern New Mexico, the same area with the biggest benefits from when the industry was thriving; the Carlsbad Current-Argus looked at the potential impacts on Carlsbad.
  • KOAT-TV spoke to a doctor from Presbyterian Hospital about why reopening businesses and ending physical distancing would risk another increase in COVID-19 cases. See what he said here.
  • U.S. Sen. Tom Udall joined scientists to discuss efforts to make sure another pandemic like COVID-19 doesn’t hit the state. The Santa Fe Reporter has the story.
  • The New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance issued a guidance on Monday that required all major health insurance carriers subject to New Mexico jurisdiction to cover out-of-network expenses for COVID-19 care.
    “In this health emergency, cost and network availability should not be a deciding factor on whether a New Mexico patient receives appropriate health care services,” said Russell Toal, Superintendent of Insurance.
  • U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich lauded the news that the U.S. Department of Energy gave approval for Sandia National Labs to begin doing COVID-19 testing, which will expand New Mexico’s testing capacity.
    “This approval for Sandia National Labs is a critical step forward in ramping up testing capabilities in our state,” Heinrich said. “It will greatly expand New Mexico’s ability to process test results on a daily basis. I will continue holding the Trump administration accountable to keep increasing the widespread availability of testing and monitoring nationwide.”
  • The State Land Office will allow temporary oil well closures, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Albuquerque Police Department offices who came into contact with someone COVID-19 tested positive for the disease, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The Eastern New Mexico News spoke to a local Chamber of Commerce leader about a conference call Chambers of Commerce from around the state had with the governor and lieutenant governor. Read the story here.
  • A company in Roswell is transitioning from making saddles and rodeo accessories to cloth masks, the Roswell Daily Record reported.
  • Holy Cross Medical Center is now offering additional pay to its employees who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Taos News reported
  • Tesuque Casino north of Santa Fe is furloughing 180 workers because of the economic fallout from the pandemic, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. The casino has been closed since March, and began putting employees on unpaid leave April 1.
  • U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is sponsoring legislation that would allow small businesses that were unable to receive aid through the Paycheck Protection Program before it ran out of funds to save their place in line to receive federal aid with a possible other COVID-19 relief package currently being negotiated in Congress, the Albuquerque Journal reported
  • New Mexico Democrats are requesting many more absentee ballots than Republicans for the upcoming primaries, Milan Simonich wrote in the Santa Fe New Mexican. Election administrators will mail applications to all voters who are eligible to vote in the June primaries.