Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (9/24/20 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 reported 200 new cases of COVID-19, the first time the state had 200 or more cases reported in a single day in nearly a month. Read more here.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials will provide a COVID-19 update on Thursday.Four staff members and two students tested positive for COVID-19, the state Public Education Department announced. Details here.A third-grader at Puesta Del Sol Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported.Officials closed Yucca Height Elementary School in Chaparral because an employee had exposure to a potential COVID-19 case, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.The school district in Carlsbad is encouraging parents to get COVID-19 tests in an attempt to get Eddy County to the point where they can open to in-person instruction, KRQE-TV reported.

First day with 200 new COVID-19 cases in nearly a month

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Department of Health reported 200 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths related to the disease. This was the first day the state reported more than 200 cases in a single day in nearly a month, since August 26. The most cases came in Doña Ana County, with 33, followed by 28 new cases in Bernalillo County, 22 new cases in Chaves County, 22 new cases in Eddy County and 15 new cases in Curry County. DOH also reported 11 more cases among state Department of Corrections inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility, bringing the total in that facility to 48. DOH also reported the first case in the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County. 

COVID-19 has spread quickly throughout detention centers and prisons in New Mexico and elsewhere.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (9/23/20 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. State health officials reported 110 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths related to the disease. Read more here.The state of New Mexico is using federal loans to pay unemployment benefits because the unemployment benefits trust fund, the Associated Press reported.The Santa Fe New Mexican spoke to some teachers who are ready to go back to school—but with precautions.State health officials spoke about COVID-19 and encouraged residents to get flu shots during a livestream on Tuesday, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported. Also see the coverage from the Albuquerque Journal and Santa Fe New Mexican.They implored parents to not send students to school if they’re sick, KRQE-TV reported.The state Public Education Department announced three additional positive cases of COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported.Rio Rancho Public Schools reported a positive COVID-19 case at Sandia Vista Elementary, the TV station reported.The Navajo Nation instituted a 57-hour weekend lockdown because of an uptick in COVID-19 cases, the Navajo Times reported.KOB-TV looked at how far CARES Act funding will go towards water projects for the many residents who lack running water.The Santa Teresa High School volleyball teams had to quarantine after a coach for the team tested positive for COVID-19, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

State reports 110 new cases and three deaths related to COVID-19

State health officials reported Tuesday 110 new cases of COVID-19 and three related deaths. The state has now recorded a total of 27,790 cases of the disease and 854 deaths since the pandemic began in March. Three counties reported double-digit increases in new cases. Bernalillo County reported 21 new cases, Doña Ana County reported 18 new cases and Eddy County reported 14 new cases. The state Department of Health provided a few details about each of the three deaths:

A female in her 70s from Bernalillo County who had underlying conditions.A male in his 90s from Eddy County.A male in his 90s from Santa Fe County who was a resident of the Las Palomas Center facility in Albuquerque.

DOJ backs suit challenging COVID-19 rules for private schools

The U.S. Department of Justice weighed in on a lawsuit alleging that the state’s COVID-19 rules on private schools, including religious schools, during COVID-19 are unconstitutional ahead of a hearing on a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction scheduled for Wednesday. U.S. Attorney John Anderson filed a brief agreeing with plaintiffs that the state’s rules violate the U.S. Constitution. “The United States also has a strong interest, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in ensuring the development and maintenance of the best possible public health strategies to combat the virus and protect the people of the United States from harm,” the brief filed in federal court said. “But that interest must be balanced with constitutional liberties.”

The brief contrasts the rules that say private schools are limited to 25 percent of capacity for in-person instruction to those that allow daycare facilities to operate at 100 percent capacity and elementary schools to operate at 50 percent capacity—as part of a hybrid model which includes online instruction—with COVID-safe precautions, and says this is unfair to families enrolled in private schools. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office said that private schools actually have more flexibility than public schools.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (9/22/20 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 reported 106 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths. The spread rate also went above the state’s gating criteria. Read more details here.The federal Department of Justice filed a brief in a lawsuit that claims the state is being unfair to private schools through its public health rules.

DOH: 106 new COVID-19 cases, two additional deaths

On Monday, state health officials reported 106 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County, with 27, Doña Ana County, with 18, and Santa Fe County, with 15, were the only three counties with double-digit numbers of newly reported cases. The state Department of Health has now found 27,683 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 851 deaths related to the disease. The two deaths related to the disease were both women who had underlying conditions, though DOH, as usual, did not disclose which underlying condition because of privacy concerns. One woman was in her 70s from Bernalillo County, while the other was a woman in her 60s from Sandoval County who was hospitalized.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (9/21/20 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 Saturday, the state DOH reported 164 new cases of COVID-19 and another 67 on Sunday. DOH also reported eight additional deaths related to the disease.Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver spoke to NM Political Report about voting during the pandemic for this year’s general election.Doña Ana County will put drop boxes at all voting sites, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.Conditions have improved in a number of counties, including Doña Ana County, giving them the go-ahead to look at opening up their schools to in-person learning through the hybrid model, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.Advocates have said that the pandemic and the reliance on distance learning has led to problems for special education students, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.Ten of the fifteen positive cases reported on Thursday and Friday last week by the state Public Education Department were among those at Roosevelt Schools, including three students, The Eastern New Mexico News reported.Another inmate at the Grant County Detention Center tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the Silver City Daily Press reported, bringing the total to seven. More tests are still pending.The State Auditor’s office released its report on Rehoboth McKinley Christian hospital in Gallup, which was at the center of the response to the massive spread of COVID-19 in the area—and found problems with oversight at the facility, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.Speech language pathologists spoke to KOB-TV about how they are dealing with people who have recovered from COVID-19, mostly those who were intubated.An event at the Northern Edge Casino on the Navajo Nation had the distribution of food, hygiene products and also encouraged census participation among Navajo Nation residents, the Farmington Daily Times reported.Silver School District will start sending students from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade to in-person learning in the hybrid model on Monday, the Silver City Daily Press reported.Things are stabilizing with the worldwide oil industry, the Albuquerque Journal reported, but it’s at a far lower level than before the pandemic.The pandemic has led to problems with interim committee hearings for legislators, a key part of crafting legislation for the annual legislative session in January, the Santa Fe New Mexican wrote.Red River won’t be able to hire international students to work at the ski area and other businesses around the town because of COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported.Most Las Cruces city councilors aren’t in favor of lowering the minimum wage for tipped workers as proposed by the city’s mayor, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.The Albuquerque Journal wrote about an upcoming meeting of the New Mexico Activities Association, which governs high school athletics in the state, in which it will discuss COVID-19.The Public Employees Labor Relations Board ruled that the city of Santa Fe violated labor law when implementing its furlough plans, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.The Greater Chaco Coalition joined many other groups in asking for an extension period on comments for the resource management plan in the area, the Farmington Daily Times reported.

Two new deaths related to COVID-19, 67 new cases

On Sunday, state health officials announced two more deaths related to COVID-19 and 67 new cases of the disease. The total number of reported cases is 27,579 and there have been 849 deaths related to COVID-19 in total. 

In Sunday’s announcement officials said there are currently 64 people hospitalized  for the disease and 15,412 have been deemed recovered. 

According to state health officials, this is the breakdown of the newly reported cases. 

11 new cases in Bernalillo County14 new cases in Chaves County12 new cases in Doña Ana County8 new cases in Eddy County7 new cases in Lea County3 new cases in Lincoln County1 new case in McKinley County2 new cases in Quay County1 new case in Rio Arriba County1 new case in Roosevelt County2 new cases in Sandoval County1 new case in San Juan County1 new case in San Miguel County2 new cases in Santa Fe County1 new case in Socorro County

One of the latest deaths was in Bernalillo County and the other was from Chaves County. A male in his 60s from Bernalillo County was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 60s from Chaves County was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. Bernalillo County continues to have the most total cases of COVID-19. Here is a breakdown by county of the total number of cases. 

Bernalillo County: 6,206Catron County: 9Chaves County: 1,028Cibola County: 406Colfax County: 27Curry County: 740De Baca County: 1Doña Ana County: 3,129Eddy County: 694Grant County: 108Guadalupe County: 34Harding County: 2Hidalgo County: 99Lea County: 1,327Lincoln County: 189Los Alamos County: 31Luna County: 401McKinley County: 4,292Mora County: 7Otero County: 247Quay County: 73Rio Arriba County: 384Roosevelt County: 267Sandoval County: 1,313San Juan County: 3,262San Miguel County: 94Santa Fe County: 942Sierra County: 42Socorro County: 89Taos County: 129Torrance County: 65Union County: 31Valencia County: 550

The number of cases in both state and federal corrections facilities continue to stay the same.

DOH: 164 new COVID-19 cases, six additional deaths

New Mexico health officials announced 164 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the third straight day with 150 or more newly reported cases. The state also reports six additional COVID-19 deaths. The new cases announced by the New Mexico Department of Health included 18 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility, nearly doubling the total number of confirmed cases in the facility. COVID-19 has spread quickly in correctional facilities and prisons in New Mexico and in other states during the pandemic. Among counties, Bernalillo County and Doña Ana County each had 31 new reported cases, while Eddy County continued its growth in cases with 15, while Chaves County had 10 newly reported cases.