April 25, 2020

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/25/20 edition)

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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.

  • In a press conference on Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the idea that some communities in the state feel they don’t have to comply with the state’s restrictions are “tantamount to opening up a pool and having a ‘pee’ section. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.” She also provided updates on unemployment and small business aid. Read our story here.
    • The Economic Recovery Council met for the first time on Friday. KOB-TV spoke to one member, Carri Phillis, who has been critical of the scope of the state’s restrictions.
  • The state announced six additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 153 additional test positive cases of the respiratory illness Friday. Read our story here
  • The Navajo Nation found 180 new cases since Thursday’s announcement, but Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said part of the reason is the increased testing, the Navajo Times reported. The Navajo Nation now has a total of 1,540 cases and 58 deaths.
    • The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico is now 555, an increase of 80 over Thursday’s.
    • Nez appeared on CNN on Friday night to talk about the Navajo Nation’s response and need for help. Watch here.
  • The New York Times reported on New Mexico’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Read the story here.
    • A poll released on Friday commissioned by a progressive group found that a majority of New Mexicans are supportive of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s COVID-19 response. Read the details here.
  • The state announced an alternative-care facility in a converted high school gymnasium will open on Saturday. Read our story here.
  • TriCore Reference Laboratories said it increased its COVID-19 test capacity again, with the ability to process 1,000 more tests each day. The private laboratory that has been a key part of the state’s testing efforts, can now process 2,700 tests daily, the company announced Friday.
    “Based on reagent allocation and our diverse set of testing instruments, we are currently able to result 2700 COVID-19 samples each day while maintaining a 24-48 hour turnaround time,” Dr. Karissa Culbreath, Medical Director and Infectious Disease Division Chief at TriCore, said in a statement.
  • New Mexico In Depth looked at how the disease’s impact on mental health services, which have been pushed online.
  • KOB-TV spoke to a man who recovered from COVID-19. He ended up coughing so hard he collapsed his lung and had to be hospitalized.
  • The Archdiocese of Santa Fe filed a complaint against the U.S. Small Business Administration over being excluded from the federal CARES Act, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Protesters gathered in Albuquerque to call on the governor to allow businesses to reopen. The Albuquerque Journal was there.
    • The Republican Party of Los Alamos and supporters drove around the Los Alamos County Municipal Building in protest of the state’s restrictions. The Los Alamos Daily Post has photos.
  • The City of Alamogordo and Otero County each requested that the state reopen businesses, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
    • State Rep. Zach Cook wrote an op-ed in the Ruidoso News. He said that the governor not adapting “her orders to balance protecting both health and safety along with our civil rights is a direct attack on the very citizens she is charged with protecting.”
  • The governor suggested that the special sessions to address the budget situation caused by the COVID-19 response would come in mid-June.
  • The local chapter of the Anti Defamation League slammed the mayor of Grants for comparing the state police to the gestapo and the governor to Adolf Hitler, the Associated Press reported.
  • Five of the nursing and assisted living homes that have positive COVID-19 cases in the state are in San Juan County.
  • The Deming Headlight wrote about Deming Public Schools helping out children in Palomas, across the U.S.-Mexico border. Many students of Deming Public Schools live in Palomas.
  • Read an op-ed from Dr. David Scrase, the HSD Secretary, on the importance of the state’s COVID-19 efforts in the Santa Fe Reporter.
  • The City of Las Cruces extended the mayor’s emergency proclamation, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
  • The cattle industry in the state, like just about every industry, has been hit hard by COVID-19. KOB-TV spoke to a rancher about how bottlenecks in the supply chain are 
  • Freeport-McMoran is placing most employees of its Chino mine on furlough and warned layoffs are to come, the Silver City Daily Press reported. Employees at the mine have tested positive for COVID-19, and copper prices have also dropped.
  • Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced Friday that Optum Clinic will operate its Rio Rancho only to care for COVID-19 patients. Lovelace Hospital’s COVID-19 testing site on Martin Luther King Drive will be closed this weekend.
    Keller also announced that Albuquerque’s summer program offerings and early childhood programs will open at their regular time in late May or early June but the offerings and programs may operate under new social distancing rules.
    • Albuquerque Sunport visitors are down 97 percent, from 15,000 visitors a day to about 500 travelers arriving. Another loss for the city has been more than $30 million due to 38 meetings, sporting events and conventions canceled due to COVID-19. Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau Chief Executive Officer Tania Armenta said 19 meetings, sporting events and conventions postponed, which will mean about $3.4 million will still be spent in the city this year. “It will be a different kind of summer for tourism,” Armenta said Friday. The historically $2 billion tourism industry in Albuquerque has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
    • Albuquerque City Clerk Ethan Watson said she is pleading with Albuquerque voters to mail in ballots for the primary and to do so early to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Albuquerque is asking to reduce voting sites from 71 to 61 polling places for the June 2 primary and from 20 early voting sites to 16 early voting places. Voter registration deadline is May 5. The deadline to request a mail-in vote is May 28 and the deadline to turn it in is June 2. 
  • A brewery in Farmington is livestreaming concerts, the Farmington Daily-Times reported.
  • A fund to help food banks meet demand across New Mexico awarded $550,000 through a grant process. Read our story here.
  • The Taos News reported that the Taos Farmers Market is negotiating a new location, after the town canceled all events on town property.