May 28, 2020

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/29/20 edition)

U.S. Army

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 governor said the next public health order, which will go into effect on June 1, will allow gyms, hair salons, tattoo parlors and dine-in restaurants to open at reduced capacity. See the details here.
    • Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel also said they would be offering more testing in vulnerable populations and among workers, the Albuquerque Journal reported. This includes aggressively testing in a workplace when one employee tests positive.
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced 108 additional cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths during her press conference. Read that story here.
  • Navajo Nation health officials announced 100 new cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases on the Navajo Nation to 5,044 and the total number of deaths related to the disease to 167. The health officials say that about 1,745 people on the Navajo Nation have recovered.
  • U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján spoke on the House floor about the $3 million contract that went to a former White House staffer who provided non-approved masks for the Navajo Nation. Watch here.
  • Mescalero Apache Tribe President Gabe Aguilar said his daughter tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The state Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus that barred the City of Grants from putting into place orders that conflict with the state’s public health order. The mayor of Grants sought to reopen before the state allowed, but Attorney General Hector Balderas sought the writ of mandamus.
    “I am grateful to the Supreme Court for their affirmation that the Constitution and the laws of our State protect all New Mexicans during a pandemic emergency,” Balderas said in response to the high court’s order.
  • The state cited nine companies for noncompliance with the state emergency health order, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported. All citations came after a cease-and-desist order from New Mexico State Police.
  • Domestic abuse agencies say the demand has risen for their services since mid-March, when the state’s stay-at-home order began, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • The governor responded to the story that she got jewelry from Lilly Barrack, having an employee drop off jewelry outside her home and a friend picked it up for the governor. She said the story was inaccurate but did not provide details on what was inaccurate, KRQE-TV, who first reported the story, reported.
  • Some self-employed New Mexicans who received unemployment benefits, the Santa Fe Reporter reported. The state Department of Workforce Solutions said it’s because the state initially allowed filers to use 2018 taxes, but after guidance by the federal government, required 2019 filings, so some of those who filed received more than they were allowed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
  • White Sands National Park is still not open, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
  • The Navajo Times wrote about Roxanna Yazzie, who works at a small health clinic on the Navajo Nation, in the portion in Utah, which is run entirely by women.
  • New Mexico hospitals will continue to limit the number of visitors, even as the state lifts some restrictions, KOB-TV reported.
  • U.S. Sen. Tom Udall joined the weekly call from the New Mexico Municipal League and spoke about his support for federal support for local governments. “I want to see a bipartisan bill coming from the Senate that supports local governments – with $375 billion dollars, distributed based on city and county populations; establishes a Heroes’ Fund for essential workers to receive hazard pay; and supports testing, tracing and treatment of COVID-19.”
  • Sandia National Laboratories currently has more than 50 projects related to COVID-19, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, along with his colleague Marco Rubio, said in a statement that they were “pleased” that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will resume naturalization ceremonies.
    “Our immigrant communities have helped write the economic, social, and cultural story of America. We urge USCIS to continue working with all individuals faced with rescheduling such an important moment as they complete their journey to become citizens.”
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham thanked those who volunteered to help get groceries to seniors, KOB-TV reported.
  • Bernalillo County is distributing 5,000 free face masks from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The state of New Mexico opened up voting for its “mask madness” competition for the most unique and creative mask. You can see the nominees and vote here.
  • A Roswell city councilor called another a “snitch” and claimed a fellow city councilor called a state hotline to report a business that violated the state public health order. See the KRQE-TV story.
  • New Mexico State Police said they are not giving tickets to people who don’t wear masks, despite the claims of a man in a video, KOB-TV reported.
  • The online version of the Tour of the Gila held this weekend drew over 25,000 viewers online, the Silver City Daily Press reported.