May 8, 2020

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/8/20 edition)

U.S. Army

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See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • There are now nearly 4,500 cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico, and 172 COVID-related deaths according to the New Mexico Department of Health’s latest announcement. See the details here.
  • The governor extended the lockdown of Gallup through Sunday, as COVID-19 continues to spread quickly in McKinley County. Read the story here.
  • The Navajo Nation Health Command Operations Center reported an additional 103 confirmed COVID-19 cases and three additional COVID-related deaths. This brings it a total of 2,757 positive cases on the Navajo Nation and 88 deaths. Of the total cases, 1,111 are from New Mexico, an increase of 39 over Wednesday’s numbers.
  • A gradual reopening of the state is on tap if the state hits its goals, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • A group of staff providers at the hospital unanimously voted to submit a declaration of no confidence in Rehoboth CEO David Conejo, Searchlight New Mexico reported.
  • The Washington Post looked at the sharp difference between Gallup and Grants; in Gallup, the mayor requested a lockdown to slow the spread. In Grants, the mayor encouraged businesses to defy the order and reopen.
  • The mayor of the Village of Ruidoso will consider an ordinance to reopen businesses in the village, scheduled for May 15, the day that the current public health emergency order is scheduled to expire.
  • AFSCME said that the state Department of Corrections won’t share its plans with prison workers, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Doctors Without Borders is sending medical professionals to tribal communities in New Mexico dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • Wanting to spread some good news, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham highlighted some “rock stars” who have helped out during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Over 21,000 self-employed people in the state applied for unemployment benefits in the first week they were eligible to do so because of federal COVID-19 relief legislation. Typically, self-employed people are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • New Mexico companies are getting faster response from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, than the first round, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The first round of the cycle was full of problems and errors.
  • The state announced that the governor’s Economic Recovery Council reviewed new COVID-safe practices in anticipation of possible reopening of some businesses later this month.
    “We’ve been really encouraged by the buy-in we’re getting from businesses around the state,” Economic Recovery Council chair Christina Campos, administrator of the Guadalupe County Hospital in Santa Rosa. “We’re getting some great ideas on how we can move forward safely.”
  • The Farmington Chamber of Commerce released the results of a survey of business owners, and it shows a huge decline in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Farmington Daily-Times reported.
  • The El Defensor Chieftan passed along early voting protocols for Socorro County.
  • The Rio Grande Sun wrote about Pojoaque Pueblo using the Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder to quarantine COVID-19 patients who are members of seven tribes. 
  • The New Mexico National Guard delivered potable water to Chama, the Rio Grande Sun reported.
  • The state of New Mexico received federal approval to for SNAP recipients to use their benefits for online purchases, the state Human Services Department announced in a press release Thursday .
    “The new flexibility allows SNAP families to buy food through online purchasing meaning fewer trips to the store,” said Human Services Department Deputy Secretary Angela Medrano. “Ultimately, this means less face-to-face contact and an important opportunity to slow the spread of COVID-19 among New Mexicans.”
  • In the headlines for a positive reason for the first time in awhile, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones donated $25,000 to Food Depot.
  • The Artesia Smokin’ event will be postponed due to COVID-19, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
  • The Pecos League, a semi-pro baseball league in the region, will cancel its 2020 season, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.