April 29, 2020

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/29/20 edition)

U.S. Army

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See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • The state confirmed six new COVID-19-related deaths and 153 new cases. There are now a total of 110 people who have died with COVID-19 and the confirmed number of cases stands at 2,974. See more details here.
  • The Navajo Nation announced an additional 104 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one additional death related to COVID-19 on Tuesday. This means a total of 1,873 cases on the Navajo Nation and 60 deaths. 
    • Of the confirmed cases, 713 are in New Mexico. That’s an increase of 52 over Monday’s announcement.
    • Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer announced another weekend-long curfew on the Navajo Nation, beginning on Friday at 8 p.m. and ending on Monday at 5 a.m.
  • Two more people booked in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Bernalillo County tested positive for COVID-19. A defense attorney found the information through a public records request and shared it with the Albuquerque Journal.
  • The state Department of Health obtained court orders for two confirmed COVID-19 cases who were uncooperative to self-isolate, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • KOB-TV reported on a family where a brother and sister both died from COVID-19.
  • The Economic Recovery Council, which is charged with advising the governor on how to safely reopen businesses, is not subject to the state’s Open Meetings Act, the governor’s office said Tuesday.
  • Bernalillo County received nearly $32 million from the federal government to cover COVID-19-related costs, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
    • The Journal also reported that Albuquerque Public Schools signed onto a letter asking for more federal money to recover from COVID-19.
  • The Mescalero Apache Tribal Council said that Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of Labor Tara Sweeney should resign, the Ruidoso News reported. Sweeney reportedly advocated for the inclusion of Alaska Native Corporations as part of the $8 billion sent to tribal entities as part of the CARES Act. Sweeney is a shareholder of an ANC.
  • U.S. Sen. Tom Udall led a letter asking for the DHS’ inspector general to assess ICE facilities nationwide to see if they have adapted to COVID-19.
  • Monday, state Democratic leaders criticized the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response, while praising the response from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Lt. Gov. Howie Morales said, “While Donald Trump has overseen a failed, chaotic response that has made this crisis even worse, Governor Lujan Grisham has led a serious, coordinated effort and made an impact on the ground, especially for Hispanic families.”
  • Tuesday, the entire House Republican caucus sent a letter to the governor asking her to reopen businesses. “As Governor, your first priority is to uphold the law. Rather than operating within the limits of your legal authority and partnering with the public, you have chosen to frighten the populace into compliance,” they wrote. “Instead of recognizing New Mexicans’ civil rights and their legitimate concerns about their financial well-being, you have resorted to edict and intimidation.”
  • Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe is conducting COVID-19 antibody testing, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • KUNM reported on food access, cooking and gardening during the pandemic. Listen here. 
  • The Attorney General sent a letter to the City of Grants, whose Mayor Martin “Modey” Hicks allowed business to reopened in defiance of the governor’s public health emergency order, saying they had to follow state law.
    • The Mayor of Grants fired his city manager, reportedly after the city manager argued against reopening the city.
  • The Doña Ana County Commission passed a resolution asking the state to allow businesses to reopen.
  • The Albuquerque Journal covered the plight of a “mixed status couple” in the South Valley; because the mother is an undocumented resident, no one in the family—including the two children who are citizens— is eligible for federal relief from the CARES Act.
  • A caravan of cars in Silver City protested the closure orders, the Silver City Daily Press reported.
  • The San Juan County Business Response Team will hold a virtual town hall this Thursday, the Farmington Daily-Times reported.
  • Liquor stores say that they should be able to reopen since alcohol is still on sale at grocery stores and convenience stores.
  • The state will receive over $6.6 million in federal funding through a coronavirus relief bill for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts, the state’s delegation announced.
    “We cannot rebuild our economy or return to normal life safely without drastically expanded testing and contact tracing across the country,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Udall. “Thanks to our state leadership, New Mexico has been out in front on testing, and this $6 million in funding in addition to resources included in the recently passed interim COVID-19 relief agreement will help our state’s public health department operate at the needed capacity. 
  • The delegation also announced that the state received another $56.9 million for health care providers from the CARES Act, the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. So far, New Mexico has received over $226 million from that act, including over $170- million for health care providers.
  • The state Motor Vehicle Division is offering temporary drivers licenses to those whose licenses have expired since March 11. MVD will email the file to those who have provided one already. Those who haven’t can go to mvdonline.com to obtain a temporary license.
  • The New Mexico Supreme Court postponed the July bar exam because of COVID-19. It has been rescheduled for September.
  • While poison control in some areas have reported receiving calls about people inquiring about ingesting disinfectants or bleach after the President suggested that disinfectants could be used to treat COVID-19 (which he later claimed was sarcasm), a spokesman for New Mexico Poison Control told NM Political Report that they haven’t received an increase in contacts about it.
  • Traffic is down 40 percent to 60 percent on some roads in Albuquerque, KRQE-TV reported.
  • The Ruidoso Downs plans on reopening, without spectators, on May 22.