Food service workers at risk in school meal programs

Since schools in New Mexico closed due to COVID-19 in March, food service workers across the state have continued serving meals to students in need, and their families. While the food helps feed hungry students, particularly those who no longer have access to free or reduced meal programs at schools, food service workers in these programs may be at greater risk of catching the virus. Two meal distribution sites within Gadsden Independent School District based in Chaparral, NM closed in May due to possible COVID-19 exposure. There were 236 cases of the virus reported as of June 1 in Chaparral, between Otero and Doña Ana Counties, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. Two kitchens at North Valley and Vado Elementary Schools, where potentially infected employees had been working as of May 19, were closed and 20 employees within the GISD student nutrition program were placed in quarantine due to self-reporting possible exposure.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (6/05/20 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. Note: The COVID-19 recap will now be Monday to Friday

The majority of the cases in New Mexico on Tuesday came from the Otero County Prison Facility, according to DOH. See the details here.Dr. David Scrase, the state Human Services Department Secretary, will give an update on COVID-19 in New Mexico on Friday at 12:30 p.m. The transmission rate of COVID-19 has dropped almost in half since late March, according to numbers from Presbyterian Healthcare Services and state officials. The Albuquerque Journal has more.Navajo Nation health officials reported 69 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths related to the disease.

DOH: 110 more cases at Otero County Prison Facility; 218 in state overall, 8 additional deaths

The state Department of Health announced Thursday an additional 218 cases of COVID-19, the second day this week with at least 200 new cases, and eight additional deaths. Of the new cases, 110 are at the Otero County Prison Facility; 66 among those held by federal agencies and 44 among those held by the state Department of Corrections. The state of New Mexico now has 8,353 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 383 deaths related to the disease. With the newly reported cases, 4.3 percent of all cases in the state are among inmates at the Otero County Prison Facility among those held by either the federal government or the state. Among the eight newly announced COVID-19-related deaths, five were among residents of McKinley County, two from San Juan County and one from Bernalillo County.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (6/04/20 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. NM Political Report did not have an edition of the COVID-19 recap on Wednesday because of election coverage on Tuesday night well into the early hours of Wednesday morning.The state saw a massive uptick in cases at the Otero County Prison Facility on Tuesday: 116 new cases, the majority of the state’s 227 confirmed cases reported that day. Wednesday, the state announced another 122 confirmed cases and eight additional deaths.The Santa Fe New Mexican wrote more about the spike in cases at the Otero County Prison Facility.Navajo Nation health officials announced 128 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation and seven additional deaths related to the disease. This brings the total for the Navajo Nation to 5,661 confirmed cases and 259 deaths related to the disease.

122 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 8 additional deaths

The state Department of Health announced 122 additional cases of COVID-19, including 25 new cases among those held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility. The state also announced eight additional deaths related to the disease. As of Wednesday, New Mexico had found 8,140 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 375 deaths related to the disease. 

Of the newly announced deaths related to COVID-19, all came from residents of San Juan or McKinley counties. The state provided some information on each case, but did not disclose a specific underlying condition. A male in his 60s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 70s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A second male in his 70s from McKinley County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 80s from McKinley County who was hospitalized.A male in his 80s from McKinley Countywho was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 60s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 60s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 80s from San Juan County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

DOH: 116 new cases at Otero County prison facility; 227 total new COVID-19 cases

The New Mexico Department of Health announced 227 additional positive cases in the state, with the majority coming from the Otero County Prison Facility. 

The state also announced five additional deaths related to the disease, with four of the five coming from northwestern New Mexico. With the 227 new cases, including 116 among those held by the state Department of Corrections at the Otero County Prison Facility, the state now has 8,024 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The number of deaths of New Mexicans related to the disease is now 367. Detention centers have seen many massive outbreaks throughout the country, something that New Mexico had largely avoided until now. The 116 new cases bring the total number of those held by the state of New Mexico at the Otero County Prison Facility to 162; another 66 held by federal agencies at the facility have also tested positive, though no new cases were reported Tuesday.

NM jail populations plummet amid joint efforts to avoid COVID-19 outbreak; positive test rates are low

This story first appeared at New Mexico In Depth and is republished with permission. New Mexico’s 27 adult county jails have slashed their combined population by a third since the new coronavirus began tearing through the state 11 weeks ago, according to data gathered by the New Mexico Association of Counties. On March 13, two days after New Mexico saw its first confirmed COVID-19 cases, counties held nearly 6,000 men and women behind bars; by  Wednesday, May 27, around 4,000 sat in jails around the state, the vast majority of them awaiting trial. District attorneys, public defenders and county officials told New Mexico In Depth the rapid population reductions could signal a long-term shift toward locking fewer people up, in a state that historically has had higher rates of incarceration in jails than most others. Some of the largest dips have been in counties hardest hit by the virus, including McKinley (more than a 60 percent decrease) and San Juan (with a 45 percent decline).

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (6/02/20 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 number of COVID-19 test positive cases reached 7,800 residents Monday and one of the six additional deaths was an inmate at Otero County Prison Facility, the first in a prison or jail in the state. Read our story here. Navajo Nation health officials announced 131 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation and two additional deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 5,479 on the Navajo Nation, with 248 deaths.

COVID-19 cases in NM reach 7,800, as state passes 200,000 tests

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 7,800 on Monday, the state department of Health announced. This comes as the state has processed over 200,000 COVID-19 tests since the beginning of the pandemic. State health officials announced 113 additional cases and six additional deaths. The state now has found 7,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 362 deaths related to the disease. One of the deaths was an inmate held by the state Department of Corrections at the Otero County Prison Facility, the first death among those held in jail or prison in the state.

State announces 69 new cases and five COVID-19 related deaths

On Sunday, state health officials announced five new deaths related to COVID-19 and 69 new cases of the illness in a partial update.The state said the update is missing results from private labs, due to a “technical delay.” The missing results will be included in Monday’s update. 

The state’s total of COVID-19 cases is now at 7,689 cases reported since the pandemic began. There are now 356 deaths recorded in the state related to the illness. Four of the five new deaths were in San Juan County, the fifth death was in McKinley County. 

The five new deaths were: 

A female in her 80s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 60s from San Juan County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 80s from San Juan County.