DOH reports lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in over a week, but hospitalizations continue to rise

The state of New Mexico reported fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in over a week. The state Department of Health announced 1,873 new cases of the disease on Wednesday, the fewest in a single day since Nov. 16. The department also reported 23 new deaths related to COVID-19. While the new cases dropped, the number of hospitalizations once again increased, with 897 individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, an increase of 26 since Tuesday.

Lujan Grisham signs COVID-19 relief package into law

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the $330 million COVID-19 relief package into law on Wednesday, less than a day after the Legislature passed the package in a one-day special session. The bill includes funds to provide more aid for small businesses, the unemployed and more money for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and preparations for the rollout of vaccines. While acknowledging that this will mean a lot for those who have been impacted by COVID-19, Lujan Grisham said “our work isn’t done.”

Related: Legislature passes COVID relief bill during quick special session

“The pandemic has never been more dangerous in our state, and the economic pain caused by the spread of the virus is felt in every corner of New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. “We must remain vigilant in our fight against the virus. We must continue to evaluate how we can get more assistance to more New Mexicans who need it in this time of crisis.”

The two largest line items are $100 million in grants for small businesses, which will be handled by the New Mexico Finance Authority and a one-time $1,200 unemployment benefit for New Mexicans who have claimed unemployment. 

It also includes $15 million for housing assistance, $10 million for contact tracing, testing and vaccine distribution efforts, $5 million for food banks in the state and $5 million in direct assistance to those who did not receive a stimulus payment from the federal government earlier this year.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/25/20 edition)

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. The big news from Tuesday was the fast special sessions that included hundreds of millions of dollars in relief funds for impacted businesses, unemployed New Mexicans and more. See more details here.See also the stories from the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican and Associated PressThe Santa Fe New Mexican also looked at the virtual aspects of the session and how it will likely happen in a similar way in the upcoming regular session.It came on the same day that the state reported 2,107 cases and 28 additional deaths. Read more details here.While this is measurably higher than it was for much of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still lower than in recent days, the Santa Fe New Mexican noted.The state of New Mexico announced a voluntarily COVID-19 testing surveillance program that would allow businesses to remain open even if they have four or more COVID-19 cases in 14 days, the Albuquerque Journal reported.This includes the Albertsons in Carlsbad, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported and an Albertsons in Roswell according to the Roswell Daily Record.A Smith’s and a restaurant in Albuquerque were ordered to close on Tuesday, KRQE-TV reported.The Las Vegas Optic spoke to a man who returned home after a COVID-19 hospitalization.The number of deaths at the Taos Living Center doubled in less than a week, the Taos News reported.The interim administrator at Plains Regional Medical Center spoke to The Eastern New Mexico News about COVID-19 at the facility.

DOH: Another 2,107 COVID-19 cases, another high number of deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 2,107 new cases of COVID-19 and 28 additional deaths related to the disease. It was the seventh straight day the state reported 2,000 or more cases. Just over a quarter of all the cases, 541, came from Bernalillo County. Five other counties had over 100 new cases: Doña Ana County (202), McKinley County (184), Sandoval County (172), San Juan County (127) and Chaves County (108). 

In all, 31 of the state’s 33 counties reported at least one new case of COVID-19. DOH also reported one new case among those held by federal agencies at the Cibola County Correctional Center and 18 new cases among those held by the state Department of Corrections at facilities throughout the state.

NM certifies election results, including Biden’s win in the state

On Tuesday, the New Mexico canvassing board certified the general election results from earlier this month, making the winners of races—including the presidential race—official, except for some races that require recounts. The state canvassing board—a three-person panel with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Vigil—met in the Roundhouse on Tuesday. All counties had already certified election results. And last week, the state began its legally mandated process of auditing random precincts with hand recounts to ensure vote counts were accurate. In all, 928,230 voters cast ballots, for 68.67 percent voter turnout of the state’s 1.3 million registered voters.

Hospitals under contingency plans, worry about post-holiday surge pushing them to crisis mode

In a weekly press conference, hospital leaders in Albuquerque said they are currently operating under contingency operations and if things don’t improve in New Mexico, would have to shift to crisis care. To avoid this, they all encouraged New Mexicans to follow COVID-safe practices, including avoiding gatherings, like family celebrations during Thanksgiving. 

“We need to pull together in this time, and we need to really focus on taking care of each other,” Lovelace Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vesta Sandoval said. “And the best way that we can do that right now is not to gather, to stay home and try and really focus in on the fact that this is what we can do to control this virus.”

She noted that family gatherings have been a major source of COVID-19 spread in recent weeks. Presbyterian Chief Patient Safety Officer and Medical Director of Infection Control Dr. Jeff Salvon-Harman said that residents and families should look forward beyond just the upcoming holidays. “It’s a very difficult time with the holidays approaching wanting to be with families,” Salvon-Harman said.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/24/20 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. Note: There will not be COVID-19 recap emails on Thursday or Friday because of the holiday. The state Department of Health reported 2,259 COVID-19 cases and 17 additional deaths on Monday. Read more here.Leaders of major Albuquerque hospitals said that if things don’t improve soon with COVID-19, they will be in “crisis” standard of care. Read more here.They encouraged New Mexicans to avoid holiday gatherings to avoid spreading the disease, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.See also stories from the Albuquerque Journal and the Las Cruces Sun-News.The state legislature will hold a special session today to deal with COVID-19 relief.

DOH: 2,259 new COVID-19 cases in NM, 17 new deaths

The state Department of Health reported 2,259 new cases of COVID-19 and reported seventeen additional deaths related to the disease on Monday. This was the sixth consecutive day of more than 2,000 cases, as the state is now halfway through a two-week “reset” where in-person work has been closed at nonessential businesses. Of the cases, the most came from Bernalillo County, 748. This was followed by Santa Fe County (219), Doña Ana County (202), McKinley County (168), San Juan County (149), Sandoval County (122), Valencia County (119) and Curry County (100). 

DOH reported at least one case of COVID-19 in 30 counties. Additionally, DOH reported 21 new cases among those held by federal agencies at facilities in New Mexico and 9 cases among those held by the state Department of Corrections.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/23/20 edition)

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. Note: There will not be COVID-19 recap emails on Thursday or Friday because of the holiday. The state Department of Health reported nearly 8,000 new cases in the last three days and 81 deaths related to the disease in the same time period. On Friday, state health officials reported 2,993 COVID-19 cases and 23 additional deaths related to the disease. On Saturday, the state reported 2,353 new cases and 25 related deaths.

NM has record high number of deaths, nearly 2,500 new COVID-19 cases

New Mexico public health officials reported 2,468 new cases of COVID-19 and 33 additional deaths related to the disease. The 33 deaths were the most reported in a single day during the pandemic. New Mexico has reported at least 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 for five consecutive days, including one day of more than 3,600 cases last week. DOH reported some details on each of the newly reported deaths. A female in her 60s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions.A second female in her 60s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions who was a resident of The Rio at Las Estancias facility in Albuquerque.A female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the South Valley Care Center in Albuquerque.A second female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the South Valley Care Center in Albuquerque.A third female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque.A fourth female in her 80s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.A male in his 80s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the South Valley Care Center in Albuquerque.A female in her 90s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the South Valley Care Center in Albuquerque.A female in her 60s from Chaves County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A second female in her 60s from Chaves County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A third female in her 60s from Chaves County who had underlying conditions.A male in his 60s from Chaves County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 70s from Chaves County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 50s from Cibola County.A male in his 80s from Cibola County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 50s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized.A female in her 60s from Doña Ana County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces.A male in his 80s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 60s from Eddy County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 70s from Lea County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the White Sands Healthcare facility in Hobbs.A female in her 80s from Lea County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the White Sands Healthcare facility in Hobbs.A male in his 80s from Lea County who had underlying conditions.A female in her teens from McKinley County who had underlying conditions.A male in his 40s from Sandoval County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 60s from Sandoval County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 100s from Sandoval County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Palmilla Senior Living facility in Albuquerque.A female in her 50s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 60s from San Juan County.A male in his 70s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A second male in his 70s from San Juan County who was a resident of the Aztec Healthcare facility in Aztec.A male in his 80s from San Juan County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the San Juan Center in Farmington.A male in his 90s from San Juan County who was a resident of the Aztec Healthcare facility in Aztec.A male in his 90s from Taos County who had underlying conditions.