January 4, 2021

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/4/21 edition)

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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.

  • Thanks everyone for the kind words over the break. We are back—the COVID newsletter could see some changes in scheduling over the next few weeks as we move into the legislative session. But we’ll give you plenty of notice.
  • The spread of COVID-19 was the top story of the year for NM Political Report in 2020—to the surprise of no one.
  • DOH reported 3,571 cases of COVID-19 over the last three days and 74 deaths related to the disease. This included 1,033 reported cases and 17 deaths on Sunday, along with 716 who were hospitalized. 
  • The state forecasted that residents will use 66,000 at-home COVID-19 tests, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • Catron County was the only county to reach “yellow” status in the update late last month, though several others are close, and are even close to “green” status, KRQE-TV reported.
  • The state received almost 50,000 doses of the vaccine and administered 41,075 of them as of last week, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
    • Some tribal members say they are being used as guinea pigs from the COVID-19 vaccines—referencing past histories of atrocities against tribal members by the government, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
    • Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Speaker Seth Damon and some other senior council delegates received the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the Navajo Times reported.
    • Some of those who received the vaccine in Lea County were educators, KOB-TV reported. This was because so many healthcare workers (an estimated 60 percent) who were first in line to get the vaccine, turned it down.
  • Health officials believe the state is likely about halfway through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Because of vaccinations and , state Human Services Department Secretary David Scrase said the second half will likely be much easier than the first.
  • A paramedic who works for a company that flies patients to hospitals said eh has flow patents out of southeast New Mexico to hospitals in larger cities nearly everyday since the pandemic hit, according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus.
  • Two Albuquerque megachurches received large fines for holding a mass gathering on Christmas Eve, KRQE-TV reported.
  • Las Cruces Public Schools are preparing for a safe reopening in 2021, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
  • The state of New Mexico could see a spike of suicides in 2020 because of the mental health toll from the pandemic, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • The Albuquerque Journal wrote about the role of those who go to disinfect schools as part of the COVID-19 response team.
  • New Mexico In Depth wrote about the disparities in public health that have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
  • The company that runs the casinos on the Navajo Nation signaled it will lay off over 1,000 workers, the Navajo Times reported.
  • The Rio Grande High School pool opened—with many restrictions, KRQE-TV reported.
  • Distilleries that pitched in to make hand sanitizer during a shortage had an FDA fee waived, KRQE-TV reported.