May 19, 2020

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

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See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • The state has now found more than 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 21 among those held by the state Corrections Department at the Otero County Prison Facility. See the details here.
  • On Monday, the Navajo Nation announced 69 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. The Nation now has 4,071 total confirmed cases and 142 deaths related to COVID-19. Navajo health officials said there are 928 residents who have recovered from COVID-19.
  • Medicaid providers, including those in New Mexico, are deciding how to stay open, with Medicaid being at the end of the line for reimbursements, Kaiser Health News reported.
  • There’s a spike of cases in Santa Fe nursing homes, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • The city of Santa Fe is facing a projected $100 million shortfall, potentially more, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel spoke to the Albuquerque Journal about the “emotionally draining” battle against COVID-19.
  • Twenty-five COVID-19 patients have been discharged from UNM Hospital, KRQE-TV reported.
  • The Albuquerque Journal looked at the COVID-safe practices required for businesses as they reopen in New Mexico.
  • New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office is considering a request by a state representative to look into a nursing home that now houses COVID-19-positive patients for how it evicted residents.
  • The Albuquerque Public Schools board approved a budget and set a date for reopening—August 12.
  • The state health secretary warned the Lea County manager of potential legal action after he said businesses should weigh the costs of reopening and defying the state public health order, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The Cibola County sheriff said he believed that the governor not allowing the county to reopen at the pace of the rest of the states is “retaliation” after the Mayor of Grants sought to defy the public health order and reopen the small city, KRQE-TV reported. Cibola County is part of the northwestern public health region, the governor’s office told the TV station, and has among the highest cases per capita in the state.
  • Navajo Nation casinos will remain closed, the Farmington Daily-Times reported. The Navajo Nation has an extremely high rate of COVID-19 cases per capita and is working to slow the spread of the disease.
  • Those with non-COVID-19 maladies are avoiding getting treatment, including going to the emergency room, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • University of New Mexico professors are among those working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • State Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen, wrote a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asking for a full reopening of the state on May 21. He said that any extensions to the state public health order, which have been in place in parts in differing degrees since March 11, “Any extensions to these Orders now cause damage to New Mexico the likes of which cannot be estimated in severity or duration,” Baca wrote. “The time to act is now.”
    The governor’s office responded by telling KOB-TV that there was no mention of medical or scientific advice in the letter.
  • University of New Mexico hospitals are stepping up their COVID-19 screening process, KOB-TV reported.
  • More people are completing wills during the COVID-19 pandemic the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The City of Las Cruces’ requirement for face masks at city facilities was extended through the end of May the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
  • A pizzeria in Las Cruces opened just as the COVID-19 crisis took place, and the Las Cruces Sun-News spoke to the owner.
  • The department store Dillard’s is closing its Clovis location The Eastern New Mexico News reported.