April 23, 2020

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/23/20 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 governor and top health officials said New Mexico is flattening the curve—which means they’re preparing plans to start easing restrictions. Read our story here.
  • The state’s count of 139 additional test positive cases of COVID-19 Wednesday brings the number to 2,210 with six additional deaths. Read our story here
  • The total cases on the Navajo Nation also continue to grow; the total cases now stand at 1,282. The number of those in New Mexico is now 442.
    • The Navajo Nation joined a suit against the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury over funding for tribal governments; some of the money is going to Alaska Native Corporations, which other tribes object to, the Navajo Times reported.
  • The former Lovelace hospital at the Gibson Medical Center in Albuquerque will be up and ready to go within days, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The facility will have up to 200 beds available after being retrofitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • A hospital employee at Artesia General Hospital’s Urgent Care in Carlsbad tested positive for COVID-19, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
  • The San Juan County Emergency Manager told the county commission that the recent uptick in cases in the county came from nursing homes, the Farmington Daily-Times reported.The county is also working with Farmington for a temporary homeless shelter.
  • The New York Times reported on the birth of the idea of social distancing to deal with pandemics. That origin? The science fair project of a teenager in Albuquerque. It took a few twists and turns from there, of course.
  • The self-employed can start filing for unemployment on Sunday, the state announced. The state had to create a full new system.
  • Masks are required in Socorro, the city’s mayor said, according to the El Defensor Chieftan.
  • New Mexico chile farmers are having a difficult time finding workers, KOAT-TV reported.
    “By now we usually have a crew, and right now there’s nobody even asking for job, and the few people that I have that have come for the last several years, they’re afraid of the Corona,” Five Star Chile owner Glen Duggins told the TV station.
  • KUNM reported that an organizer of the small protests against the state’s physical distancing portions of the public health emergency order said he received aid from the Republican Party. While the state party did not confirm or deny this in a statement to KUNM, they later denied any involvement. Later Wednesday, the party denied involvement.
  • As in-person meetings of all kinds are canceled, the Santa Fe New Mexican looked at how sobriety meetings are transitioning to online.
  • The New Mexico Rehabilitation Center in Roswell hasn’t received any patents from other areas in the region, the city’s mayor said, according to the Roswell Daily Record.
  • Ten U.S. Senators, including Tom Udall, want investigations into the COVID-19 response and how medical equipment was distributed. Read our story here.
  • KRQE-TV looked at the economic impact of the pandemic on Albuquerque Public Schools.
  • Udall and Martin Heinrich joined 48 other senators in asking U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to release children in HHS custody.
    “There are currently nearly 2,400 children in Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) custody, including licensed shelters. According to public health experts, people in confined spaces ‘are at special risk of infection, given their living situations,’ and ‘may also be less able to participate in proactive measures to keep themselves safe, and infection control is challenging in these settings.’ We are especially concerned that most ORR facilities require children to share bedrooms, bathrooms, and dining spaces, which make remaining at least six feet apart difficult to observe,” the letter stated.
  • There could be a meat shortage, the Alamogordo Daily News reported. Meat processing plants have been the site of outbreaks and have been shut down in recent days and weeks.
  • A District Attorney in southern New Mexico said he doesn’t believe enough is being done to keep track of those on parole or probation.
  • Albuquerque city councilor Len Sena is hosting COVID-19 virtual town hall meetings in Vietnamese and Spanish in partnership with various partner communications. The first Vietnamese language town hall will take place from 4 to 5:15 pm Thursday. The Spanish language town hall will occur from 6 to 7:15 pm Thursday. Mayor Tim Keller, Albuquerque First Lady Elizabeth Keller, state Department Workforce Solutions Bill McCamley, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and community organizers will attend the meetings. The public can watch through Facebook
  • United World College is sharing its garden produce, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Zozobra will burn this year. Even if no one is able to attend.