Navajo Nation readies extra medical stations, urges New Mexico to prepare for Navajo medical needs

A federal medical station with 58 beds for COVID-19 patients is being established on the Navajo reservation at the community center in Chinle, Ariz. The beds and supplies were delivered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but it’s not enough said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “In speaking with the health care experts, the supplies that were delivered won’t last a full week, but we’re continuing to work hard every day to bring more and more resources. The Navajo Nation is also stepping up and using our own funds from the $4 million appropriation that was approved recently,” said Nez in a press release. In Tuba City, Ariz, authorities are setting up tent facilities to use as medical stations at the local fairgrounds.

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/31/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico from the previous day is available in a daily email. Sign up here. The same post will also appear on our website each morning. The state Department of Health announced two more people died from COVID-19 in New Mexico, bringing the state’s total to four. And 44 new cases brought the total in the state to 281. Read our story here.New Mexico’s testing rate is more aggressive than nearly every other state that hasn’t yet been hit by serious COVID-19 outbreaks, the Albuquerque Journal reported. According to the story, “Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Chad Smelser attributed the state’s high rate of testing to the governor’s early push to obtain test kits” along with partnership with TriCore, private laboratories.The Navajo Nation announced three more deaths of those with COVID-19 and 20 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation as of Monday.

New website connects volunteers who can help healthcare providers during pandemic

After seeing a need to support healthcare providers during the public health emergency, University of New Mexico medical student David Gangwish created a grassroots organization to help providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gangwish created Corona Care NM, which connects volunteers with healthcare providers. The volunteers help with childcare, pet sitting or household chores such as cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping while providers are working in hospitals during the pandemic. Gangwish, who will soon head for a residency in urology, said he got the idea because medical professionals were talking within the field about the problem of managing child care if the public schools closed. The Public Education Department moved to distance learning for the rest of spring semester last week.

Metro Detention Center says an inmate tested positive for COVID-19

Bernalillo County announced Monday that an inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center tested positive for COVID-19. The county said MDC learned of the positive test on Sunday and the patient is now isolated and receiving treatment from the detention center’s medical team. Four MDC staff are now self-isolating after coming into contact with the inmate. The detention center says inmates are being monitored, but none are currently exhibiting symptoms.

According to the release, the inmate was booked on Thursday, March 26 and did not exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19, which are a fever, coughing and shortness of breath. The jail learned two days after the inmate arrived that the inmate’s mother was hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19; the inmate had been caring for his mother.

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/30/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico from the previous day is available in a daily email. Sign up here. The same post will also appear on our website each morning. The state announced an additional 29 positive cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. That brings the state’s total to 237 positive cases. The state also reported 22 people have been hospitalized this month and 26 cases of recovery.  The Navajo Nation’s count of positive COVID-19 cases hit 128 on Sunday, including 24 in New Mexico. The Navajo Nation’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew goes into place Monday.The Carlsbad Current-Argus wrote about the third confirmed case of COVID-19 in Eddy County, which was first announced by the City of Carlsbad.Those detained in New Mexico’s jails and prisons say that ICE is violating hygiene and distancing rules, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.New Mexico school districts are rushing to prepare for distance learning in the final weeks of the academic year.

What we know — and don’t know — about possible coronavirus treatments promoted by Trump

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. President Donald Trump’s excitement about decades-old anti-malarial drugs to treat the coronavirus has touched off widespread interest in the medications, hoarding by some doctors, new clinical trials on the fly and desperation among patients who take them for other conditions. Many experts say there isn’t enough evidence that the drugs work for the coronavirus, but at least a few say there’s little to lose in giving hydroxychloroquine to patients who are severely ill with coronavirus. “It’s unlikely to worsen COVID-19, and given that it might help …

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/29/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico from the previous day is available in a daily email. Sign up here. The same post will also appear on our website each morning. The state Department of Health announced a second person has died with COVID-19. The DOH also announced on Saturday afternoon that there are 17 new cases of COVID-19, a disease caused by a coronavirus, in the state. The new cases bring the state’s total to 208 cases. Read our story here.The Navajo Nation announced Saturday night that there are now 115 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation, including 18 in New Mexico.Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez will implement a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, beginning Monday.

Department of Health launches online portal for COVID-19 test results

The New Mexico Department of Health announced Saturday the launch of two new online tools for New Mexicans to use during the COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals who have already been tested can check for their results online by using the new portal and creating an account. Users will need to provide their name, date of birth and the date of sample collection to receive results. If test results are not yet available, the portal will indicate that they are pending. If test results are available, a person will be required to provide an email address and contact information and to create a password in order to access their information.

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/28/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico from the previous day is available in a daily email. Sign up here. The same post will also appear on our website each morning. Public school closures will continue through the end of the academic year, the state’s Public Education Department announced. PED Secretary Ryan Stewart said all schools and charters will be required to submit a continuous learning plan for the remainder of the school year. The state is working through issues to ensure equitable access to learning during the pandemic. Read our story here. The cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico skyrocketed on Friday, with the state announcing 55 new positive tests.

Lujan Grisham gives COVID-19 update

In an address on Facebook Friday afternoon, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that COVID-19 pandemic may peak by Mid-April, but the state will have a better sense of things with more data. The address came shortly after the state Department of Health announced that 55 more people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of those in New Mexico who tested positive to 191. She said that 47 percent of the total cases in New Mexico are those age 45 or younger. “That’s a really important data point because it tells us that younger people who are more mobile” and not doing as much social distancing are potential high risk factors, she said. Only one person in New Mexico has died while infected with COVID-19, a type of disease caused by a coronavirus, a man in his 70s in Eddy County.