La Vida Llena says all residents now tested negative for COVID-19

La Vida Llena announced Tuesday that all of its residents had tested negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests and 289 of the 303 employees tested negative. The remaining 14 employees who had previously tested positive for the disease are awaiting a second negative test to be considered negative. La Vida Llena, a senior living community in Albuquerque that includes a nursing home, was one of the early places with an outbreak of COVID-19.In total, 18 residents at La Vida Llena died with COVID-19, each part of the community’s nursing home. La Vida Llena also announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found no deficiencies during a COVID-19 infection prevention and control inspection that took place last week.“Every recovery from COVID-19 has been good news, just like news of the test results and the excellent inspection,” DeAnn Eaton, the CEO of Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group, which operates La Vida Llena, said in a statement. “But that still doesn’t wipe away everything that has happened over the past seven weeks.

ACLU spending on education in two state senate districts targeted by progressives

Two progressive Democrats, Siah Correa Hemphill and Pam Cordova, who are challenging  incumbents who lean more to the right within the Democratic party, are getting a boost in their campaign efforts. Correa Hemphill is running against incumbent Democratic state Sen. Gabriel Ramos. With her May filing report, she has outraised Ramos by $53.26. Ramos, who was appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to replace Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, is running his first election for the seat. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is spending $150,000 in the remaining weeks of the primary to educate voters on the fact that Ramos and state Sen. Clemente Sanchez, also a Democrat, both voted against HB 51 in 2019.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/19/20 edition)

This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. The state has now found more than 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 21 among those held by the state Corrections Department at the Otero County Prison Facility. See the details here.On Monday, the Navajo Nation announced 69 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. The Nation now has 4,071 total confirmed cases and 142 deaths related to COVID-19.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/18/20 edition)

This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. The state has nearly 6,000 positive COVID-19 cases and 265 COVID-19-related deaths. See the details on the latest announcement here.Retailers are opening across the state, KOB-TV reported. Under the current public health order, retailers can operate at 25 percent of fire code capacity, as long as they abide by COVID-safe practices as outlined by the state.Businesses in Old Town in Albuquerque are among them, KRQE-TV reported.The state now requires all people to wear masks in public, while the federal government and many other state governments have strongly encouraged it; it’s becoming the new normal.The Eddy County Sheriff not only said he and his deputies wouldn’t enforce the mandate, but said they likely would not wear masks themselves.Gallup police, meanwhile, said that they will enforce the city’s new ordinance requiring face coverings, the Navajo Times reported.The Navajo Nation announced 90 new COVID-19 cases and zero additional deaths on Sunday and said that the Nation now had a higher testing per capita than any state in the United States; on Saturday, the Nation announce 172 cases and 13 deaths.

Secretary of State encourages absentee voting

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver encouraged all voters who wish to participate in the primaries to do so by absentee ballot. Toulouse Oliver spoke at a press conference on Friday, and noted that this election season is different than those in the past. 

Related: State tweaks some aspects of Saturday’s reopening, including more allowed in places of worship

“For me, this would normally be a time as we are going into the early voting period here in New Mexico where I’d be extremely excited and say everyone should turn out in robust fashion to their early voting location,” Toulouse Oliver said. But she said that, given the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone who is eligible “Should be planning on voting from home.”

The state already sent out absentee voter applications to every registered, eligible voter; in New Mexico only those who are members of major political parties can vote in primary elections. Those are the Democratic, Libertarian and Republican parties. Already, Toulouse Oliver said, nearly 130,000 voters have applied to receive absentee ballots.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/16/20 edition)

This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. The governor outlined some small changes to the public health emergency order that will go into effect on Saturday. The changes included allowing all retailers to open at 25 percent of fire code capacity, and for places of worship to open at 25 percent of fire code capacity. Read more details here.In the same press conference, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver encouraged all voters to cast votes via absentee ballots if possible.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/15/20 edition)

This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. The state has now found more than 5,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 242 deaths related to the disease. On Thursday, the state confirmed 143 additional cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths. See all the details here.Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller outlined the plans for Albuquerque to reopen city services given the state’s easing of restrictions and move into “phase one” of reopening for most of the state.

City of Albuquerque prepares for expanded reopening

The City of Albuquerque is on track to allow businesses and city services to reopen in tandem with the state’s announced easing of restrictions. 

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced in a press conference on Wednesday that much of the state would move to “phase one” of reopening, which would allow retailers, places of worship and other facilities to open to in-person services at limited capacity. 

“The city is prepared for this, we know how to go about this,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in his own press conference on Thursday. One preparation that the city was already working on was that the Fire Marshal’s office made placards with temporary occupancy limits. Most retailers will be allowed to open with 25 percent capacity, according to the state’s public health emergency order that will go into place on Saturday. Larger retailers, like big box stores, will remain at 20 percent capacity during the current phase of COVID-19 recovery. He said Albuquerque was ready to follow the guidelines, but warned that if numbers in the city turn worse, his administration could impose more stringent rules than the state’s, noting that Denver had more strict rules in place than the state of Colorado as a whole.

COVID-19 has spread to most New Mexico tribes

While Navajo people represent the worst hit by COVID-19 in absolute numbers — Navajos represent 45% of all New Mexico’s positive cases – two Pueblo communities are being hit harder, by percentage of their population, according to data provided by state health officials. 

About 11% of Zia Pueblo and 4% of San Felipe members have contracted the virus compared to about 2% of Navajo Nation members who live in New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Health provided New Mexico In Depth a detailed breakdown of the number of positive cases by tribal affiliation through Monday. Those numbers show that the great majority of tribes in the state have cases of COVID-19. The New Mexico Department of Health provided this chart to New Mexico In Depth on Monday, May 11, showing the tribal affiliation of Native American people in New Mexico who have contracted COVID-19 through Monday. Navajo people represented 2,194 of the state’s 5,069 cases on Monday. Reported separately were non-contiguous Navajo chapters.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/14/20 edition)

This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. In a press conference, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the new public health emergency order will allow some businesses to reopen and will require people to wear masks while in public. See the details here.In the same press conference, the state announced 12 additional COVID-19 deaths and 155 new cases. See the breakdown here.The Navajo Nation announced 147 new COVID-19 cases and 16 additional deaths.