August 14, 2020

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (8/14/20 edition)

U.S. Army

This morning recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free email every weekday. Sign up here.

See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and HSD Secretary Dr. David Scrase gave an upbeat update on COVID-19 in the state — but warned that if New Mexicans don’t continue to follow COVID-safe practices, things would once again get worse in the state. Read more here.
  • At the press conference, officials expressed hope that a vaccine would arrive this winter, KOAT-TV reported.
  • On Thursday, the state announced 177 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. See county-by-county details here.
  • An increase in cases in Valencia County has spread to a doctor’s office, a veterinarian’s office run by the doctor’s son and a dentist’s office run by another son. An attendee at a funeral at a local Catholic Church also tested positive for COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported.
  • Navajo Nation officials, including President Jonathan Nez, are not happy about a plan by the Bureau of Indian Education to open schools “to the maximum extent possible” on Sept. 16, the Navajo Times reported.
  • Navajo Nation health officials reported 38 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death related to the disease. This brought the total number of confirmed cases for the Navajo Nation to 9,394, including 6,942 of whom have recovered and 478 of whom died.
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide $3.2 million in grants to New Mexico pueblos, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • New Mexico officials are looking at the possibility of using antigen tests—which are faster than the PCR lab tests, but less accurate—as a way to help the state track COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported.
  • U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján signed onto a letter to the Postmaster General seeking a reversal to recent policies that the signatories say will impact the United State Postal Service’s ability to deliver mail in a timely fashion.
    “It is always essential that the Postal Service be able to deliver mail in a timely and effective manner,” the letter said. “During the once-in-a-century health and economic crisis of COVID-19, the Postal Service’s smooth functioning is a matter of life-or-death, and is critical for protecting lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy.”
  • New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a scam alert, warning that there are people posing as Occupational Safety and Health inspectors demanding $100 in non-existent fines to businesses for COVID-19 violations.
    “No restaurant or other business should ever pay a government inspector without proof that the inspector is legitimate,” Balderas said in a statement. “Anyone caught impersonating a government agent to take advantage of someone will be held accountable.”
  • The Redondo Campground in the Jemez Ranger District is closed after the dual hits of a wildfire and the news that a visitor had COVID-19 symptoms, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Non-profits are working to deliver surplus produce to those on the Navajo Nation who are quarantine, the Navajo Times reported.
  • Like the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University won’t play football this fall, after the Western Athletic Conference (in which NMSU participates in other sports) announced it would postpone fall sports. The Las Cruces Sun-News has more.
  • The City of Alamogordo wants state legislators to work to aid the city in dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
  • KOB-TV spoke to the owner of a restaurant in Albuquerque that wanted a “compromise” with the governor over orders that don’t allow indoor dining at restaurants. The governor shut down indoor dining after an increase in cases in July.