May 5, 2020

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/5/20 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.

  • The state Supreme Court denied a petition to release more inmates to slow the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons. The court said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office did not willfully ignore the health and safety of state prison populations by releasing inmates in a limited manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story here.
    • Three prison staffers tested positive for COVID-19, all in the Grants area, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. Two worked at the privately operated Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center, and the third at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, a women’s prison.
  • The state has crossed the 4,000 case mark in confirmed COVID-19 cases, and now has 186 deaths. See the details here.
  • The state has seen its first confirmed case of COVID-19 at a meatpacking plant, in Santa Teresa, KVIA-TV reported. Meatpacking plants in other states have seen massive outbreaks with multiple deaths.
  • The number of absentee ballot requests is “off the charts” according to the Secretary of State, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The state has cited deficiencies for most of the nursing homes in the state; most for minor reasons, but some more serious. Searchlight New Mexico has the story.
    • La Vida Llena, a long term care facility, announced Monday in a press release that 13 residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have now recovered. The company, Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group, that operates the facility, also said that 17 residents have died with COVID-19 and that 428 of the 438 current residents have tested negative for COVID-19.
  • The City of Gallup set up emergency water stations for those to fill water tanks, the Navajo Times reported. This comes as the city remains under lockdown until at least Thursday.
  • A study found that higher humidity, in conjunction with summer heat, can help slow the spread of viruses. New Mexico, of course has hot, but arid summers. The question is if that will aid in slowing the spread of COVID-19, the Santa Fe New Mexican wrote.
  • The University of New Mexico currently isn’t able to get supplies of Remdisivir, an antiviral medication, for clinical trials, KOB-TV reported.
  • Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber told residents not to let their guard down. Santa Fe County has seen a big drop in cases.
  • The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that the Las Cruces city council supported Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s phased-in plan for reopening the state’s businesses, though expressed concern about the lack of southern New Mexicans on the governor’s economic recovery council. 
  • The state Department of Workforce Solutions issued new guidance that said those who have certain medical conditions, or if they are a caregiver for someone with the conditions, won’t be subject to losing unemployment benefits if they don’t go back to work when their business reopens. See the guidance here.
  • The local startup Lavu is helping with online ordering and delivery, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The Silver City Daily Press wrote about elected officials, led by State Rep. Rudy Martinez, meeting virtually to talk about aid for Chino mine workers who have been furloughed or laid off. 
  • Silver Leafs Farms in Corrales donated fresh produce to area pueblos, KOAT-TV reported.
  • According to the Associated Press, medical personnel in McKinley County praised the state’s lockdown of the city. The wire service said that about 30 employees at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján joined a Zoom call with other members of Congress to talk about providing relief for local governments in future COVID-19 relief packages. You can watch here.
  • The City of Las Cruces increased its COVID-19 aid and repurposed some funds to help out with the recovery, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
  • Indianz.com wrote about the difficulty a conservative Republican candidate, who lives on the Navajo Nation, is having in  campaigning for Congress during the COVID-19 pandemic