Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (7/6/20 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. 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.Among those is suicides, and New Mexico’s suicide rate is the highest in the country.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.

Nearly 300 new cases of COVID-19 in NM, as state processes record number of tests

On Saturday, the state Department of Health announced that 291 people tested positive for COVID-19, once again setting the standard for the second-most confirmed cases in a single day in New Mexico. The number came as the state reached a new single-day high in COVID-19 tests. Additionally, the state announced two additional deaths related to the disease. 

Of the tests that were part of Saturday’s announcement, the positivity rate was 3.26 percent, similar to those in recent days, but still up from the record lows earlier this month. 

As of Saturday, the state has now recorded 13,063 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 513 deaths related to the disease. Of the state’s confirmed cases, 1,446—or 11.1 percent—have come in the last seven days. Saturday’s numbers included 79 cases in Bernalillo County, 56 in Doña Ana County, 34 in McKinley County, 25 in Lea County, 21 in San Juan County, ten in Cibola County and 10 in Eddy County. 

Cases have dramatically spiked in Bernalillo County, as well as areas bordering Texas, which includes Doña Ana, Eddy and Lea counties.

Bernalillo County reaches new record of COVID-19 cases; state hits second-highest daily number

The New Mexico Department of Health announced nearly 250 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, including nearly 100 in Bernalillo County and more than 40 in Doña Ana County. The state also announced three additional deaths related to the disease. The news came a day after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the state would not ease restrictions and said that those who do not wear masks would be subject to $100 fines. The state now has found 12,520 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and identified 503 deaths related to the disease. The 248 new cases was the second highest single-day number, following only June 5, when the state announced 331 confirmed cases, which included large increases in the Otero County Prison Facility.

If COVID-19 situation doesn’t improve, NM may bring back restrictions

Not only is the state not going to expand its reopening, but if the COVID-19 situation in the state does not improve, the state could be looking at reimposing restrictions like other states throughout the country, including two that neighbor New Mexico. That was the message during Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s weekly press conference on COVID-19 in the state. 

“If we do not stabilize, we will move backward,” she said. Related: NM hits 500 total COVID-19 deaths

She announced two big changes to a public health order, which will run through July 15: All travelers from other states will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days and those not wearing masks in public will be subject to fines. Lujan Grisham said she wished she didn’t have to enforce the mask mandate through fines, but that there was not enough adherence to the state’s mask requirement. Businesses will also have a responsibility, she said. 

“Businesses, you must require customers to wear face coverings,” Lujan Grisham said.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (7/2/20 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 a morning recap on Friday, July 3. The recap will return on Monday. The governor said, to avoid reimposing restrictions, New Mexicans need to wear masks.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (7/1/20 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. On Tuesday, the state Department of Health announced 168 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths. The new cases included a new high in Lea County. See more details here. The governor signed the revised budget to deal with the economic downturn and resulting revenue downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.A poll looked at how Hispanic families in New Mexico are handling the COVID-19 pandemic economically.

DOH: 168 new COVID-19 cases, including new high in Lea County, four additional deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Tuesday 168 additional cases and four deaths related to the disease. Lea County saw a large increase in cases to 19, more-than-double the previous high of eight cases, which occurred on June 20 and June 22. The county now has 132 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. Bernalillo County, once again, had the most new cases in the state with 36, while Curry County again had a double-digit number of new cases, for the second day in a row; six counties in all had increases of ten or more confirmed cases on Tuesday. The newly reported cases bring the total number to 12,147 in the state, with 497 deaths.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (6/30/20 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 state Department of Health announced 173 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death related to the disease. Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties had the most new cases. See more details here.An epidemiologist with the state Department of Health said the recent increase in cases is because people are letting their guard down, KOB-TV reported.Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said the spike in virus cases in the county are from local residents, not from out-of-state residents, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.The Albuquerque City Council voted down a proposal that would have given hazard pay to essential workers during the pandemic, KOB-TV reported.

Guv signs tax relief bill into law

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a new bill into law to provide tax relief for New Mexicans and businesses on Monday. The bill would waive interest and penalties on late payments of taxes to allow New Mexicans and businesses to pay their taxes by July 15 without penalties or interest. “The financial pain caused by COVID-19 is real. This bill will help New Mexicans who through no fault of their own were unable to pay their taxes on time,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement on Monday. “It will help local governments, and it will help small businesses, all of whom have been suffering the dreadful effects of this pandemic.

173 new cases, with Bernalillo, Doña Ana counties’ continued increases

State health officials announced 173 new COVID-19 cases as the total number of confirmed cases in the state since the beginning of the pandemic nears 12,000. The state also announced one additional death related to COVID-19, the second consecutive day with just one announced death. The new confirmed cases included 45 in Bernalillo County and 35 in Doña Ana County, the state’s two most-populous counties, and two counties that are experiencing increases in confirmed cases over the past few weeks. Overall, the state has now confirmed 11,982  cases of COVID-19 and 493 deaths related to COVID-19. The newly announced death was a woman in her 50s from San Juan County who had been hospitalized and had underlying conditions.