July 6, 2020

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (7/6/20 edition)

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See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • Cases of COVID-19 continued to grow over the weekend, with 257 on Friday, 291 on Saturday and 203 on Sunday.
  • The Albuquerque Journal reported that the state Office of the Medical Investigator is looking into the 2,300 unexpected deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, a 20 percent increase in those types of deaths.
  • KUNM-FM spoke with Santa Fe Reporter and New Mexico In Depth journalist Jeff Proctor about the outbreak among prisoners in Otero County.
  • The mayor of Grants led an Independence Day parade on Saturday, despite the governor urging him not to, KOB-TV reported. Cibola County has the third-highest rate of COVID-19 per capita in the state.
  • Critics say that the ban on visitors to group homes for developmentally disabled people is unfair, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • Out-of-state visitors flocked to Elephant Butte this weekend, KRQE-TV reported.
  • Alexis Johnson, the Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional District, received a citation for not wearing a mask while on Santa Fe Plaza
  • The mayor of Clovis is urging people to wear masks, The Eastern New Mexico News reported.
  • The state wants to buy more sewing machines so inmates, earning between 40 cents and $1.50 per hour, can make more masks, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Department of Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel announced on Friday that she would retire, though the statement said she would remain in the position through the “current wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Every single day of this public health crisis has been a physically and mentally exhausting ordeal – not just for the Department of Health, not just for the thousands of health care professionals putting their lives and livelihoods on the line to protect New Mexicans, but for all of us as the people of this state,” Kunkel said. “I am incredibly proud of the work done by the Department of Health and indeed the entire state of New Mexico in addressing this virus, in mitigating its spread and in doing everything we can to keep New Mexicans safe and healthy. That work will continue until we’ve seen ourselves through to the other side of this crisis. The governor, the medical advisory team, the entire state administration and everyday New Mexicans have shown themselves to be more than up to the task of corralling and ultimately defeating this virus. We will get the job done.”
  • When New Mexico schools reopen this fall, they will likely be doing so with a shortage of nurses, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
  • KOB-TV reported that the San Juan Regional Medical Center discharged its 300th COVID-19 patient this weekend.
  • Frontline employees at the Navajo Nation said when they contract COVID-19, they are asked to use their own leave to cover the absences, while non-essential personnel are collecting administrative leave, the Navajo Times reported.
  • A judge pushed back against 1st Judicial District Marco Serna’s statement that the court’s COVID-safe practices wouldn’t allow all victims to attend a murder trial, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Across the state border in El Paso, cases increased dramatically last week, El Paso Matters reported on Saturday
  • The Navajo Nation Council passed a bill that would cancel all fairs, rodeos and roping competitions, the Farmington Daily Times reported. It now heads to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez’s desk.
  • A former employee of Mark Pardo salons said the chain isn’t doing enough to protect customers, KOB-TV reported.
  • The City of Las Cruces could have heftier fines than the state for businesses that allow unmasked patrons: $100 per person, up to $500, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
  • The Atomic Church in Rio Rancho canceled a church service when a parishioner tested positive for COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported
  • A state relief fund received a $250,000 donation, which will be matched by federal grants, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • There is a big boom in sales of fishing licenses, the state Game and Fish Department said.
  • The Hatch Chile Festival won’t take place this year because of COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported.