State hits new record for hospitalizations, crosses 40,000 confirmed cases

State health officials reported nearly 800 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the third-highest number of daily cases in the state so far during the pandemic and also hit a new high on hospitalizations for COVID-19. The state also reported seven additional deaths related to the disease. The state now has more than 40,000 confirmed cases of the disease. The 229 hospitalizations for COVID-19 in New Mexico, as announced by the state Department of Health, are the most on any one date so far during the pandemic, and 16 more than reported on Thursday. The previous high was 223 on May 15.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (10/23/20 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. The state reported 669 new cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico and three additional deaths. But health officials also warned about strained hospital capacity. Read more here.The Albuquerque Journal wrote more about the changes to testing that could lead to increased capacity in New Mexico.The state Public Education Department announced 25 new cases among staff or students.Long-term care facilities in New Mexico are getting ready for a virus surge, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.A group that is distributing food to those in need in northern New Mexico continues to see high demand, KRQE-TV reported.As cases continue to grow, Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis will not allow visitors, The Eastern New Mexico News reported.The changes to the state’s public health order are putting service workers in a more prominent role addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albuquerque Journal reported.The New Mexico Military Institute is in a 14-day quarantine after 63 positive tests among employees or cadets, the Roswell Daily Record reported.The Santa Fe County administration building closed because of a positive COVID-19 test and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe said churches will stop celebrating mass in person after Sunday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.New Mexico In Depth wrote about how COVID-19 is disrupting the college preparations for Native American students.The Las Cruces City Council approved agreements with local nonprofits—but the aid was first approved in late August and the nonprofits said they could have used the money back then, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.An Alamogordo Public Schools employee tested positive for COVID-19, but staff and parents were not informed because the district said the employee had not been on school grounds for several days, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.A jury trial in state district court was stopped after the nanny of one of the lawyers tested positive for COVID-19, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.Taos County has implemented a curfew, KRQE-TV reported.The Navajo Agricultural Products Industry won’t have a customer appreciation day this year because of COVID-19, the Farmington Daily-Times reported.Another “Faith over Fear” protest defying the state public health order took place in Socorro, reported El Defensor Chieftan.The pastor at a megachurch in Albuquerque accused the mayor of being a communist and said worshippers should pack the church in protest of pandemic rules, KOB-TV reported.An upcoming Halloween party will not happen because it would violate the state’s mass gathering ban, KOB-TV reported.Larger box stores like Costco are still enforcing the reduced capacity limit, KRQE-TV reported.

669 new COVID-19 cases, three additional deaths as health officials sound warning about crowded hospitals

The state Department of Health reported 669 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the eighth time in nine days that the state has reported more than 500 cases. DOH also reported three additional deaths related to the disease. On the same day, State Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase held a webinar in which he said the hospitalization numbers include some troubling trends. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased to 213, 11 more than reported on Wednesday. This is tied for the second-most COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day in New Mexico.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (10/22/20 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 reported a new record of COVID-19 cases, 827, on Wednesday. Read more details here.Senate Republicans are poised to expand the conservative bloc on the U.S. Supreme Court to six members. This could mean the court would overturn the Affordable Care Act, which would have a big impact on New Mexico—and it’s likely the ruling would take place while the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on.

COVID-19 hits new daily record in NM: 827 new cases of COVID-19, eight new deaths

State health officials reported 827 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number reported in a single day in the state, and the second time in the last week the state has reported 800 or more confirmed cases in a single day. 

DOH also reported eight additional deaths, the most reported in a single day since Sept. 1. The seven-day average of confirmed daily cases by the date they were reported reached 633. The seven-day average was 88 on Sept. 12.

Hospital capacity a looming problem amid COVID-19 surge, and restaurants have to get COVID-safe certified

“The state of New Mexico last week experienced its worst week for COVID-19 infections throughout the duration of the pandemic,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during a press conference on Tuesday with other state officials. She also acknowledged troubling patterns when it came to hospitalizations. Because of this, she announced further restrictions on businesses, including restaurants, beginning on Friday. But she did not put a stop to indoor dining—as long as restaurants complete the state’s COVID-safe certification program. Restaurants that complete the online program will be able to continue serving 25 percent of maximum capacity of indoor patrons, along with outdoor service.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (10/21/20 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. Warning again that the virus is winning, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said restaurants that want to continue indoor dining will need to complete the state’s COVID-safe certification program, as well as imposing other restrictions. Read more here.See also stories from the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe Reporter and the Las Cruces Sun-News.State museums and historical sites will again be closed, KRQE-TV reported.The watchlist of businesses with two or more COVID-19 rapid responses within two weeks is online at the state Environment Department.On Tuesday, state health officials reported 599 new cases and seven additional deaths related to the disease. Read more here.The state Public Education Department said there were 30 positive COVID-19 cases among staff and students in the last 24 hours.There have been 135 cases related to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Albuquerque Westside homeless shelter, the Albuquerque Journal reported.New Mexico health officials are preparing the old Lovelace Hospital on Gibson for overflow patients if necessary, KRQE-TV reported.The state Department of Health mistakenly resent thousands of COVID-19 test results, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.On Tuesday, the Navajo Nation reported 30 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no recent deaths. A fundraising dinner featuring U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would break the state’s public health order, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

Nearly 600 new cases of COVID-19, seven deaths

State health officials reported 599 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and seven deaths related to the disease. This is the sixth time in the last week that the state has reported 500 or more cases after not doing so in the previous seven months of the pandemic. 

Bernalillo County reported 154 new cases of the disease, while Doña Ana County reported 135 new cases. Eleven other counties reported double-digit increases in cases: Curry County (45), Santa Fe County (33), San Juan County (30), Otero County (29), Chaves County (26), Eddy County (21), Lea County (18), Sandoval County (18), Luna County (17), McKinley County (16) and Valencia County (15). 

The state Department of Health also reported one new case among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility and one new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County. DOH offered the following information about the seven deaths: 

A male in his 80s from Curry County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 80s from Eddy County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A second female in her 80s from Eddy County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 60s from Roosevelt County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 40s from Santa Fe County who had underlying conditions.A male in his 80s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and was a resident of the Kingston Residence in Santa Fe.A female in her 90s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and was a resident of the Kingston Residence in Santa Fe. DOH did not disclose which underlying condition the man had, only if one was present.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (10/20/20 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 518 cases of COVID-19 and one additional death on Monday. Read more details here.The state Public Education Department confirmed 48 new positive cases in schools.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will hold a press conference about COVID-19 Tuesday at 1 p.m. The state’s COVID-19 press conferences have typically taken place on Thursdays.It’s not clear what is the biggest current contributor to the swift and dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases, the Albuquerque Journal reported.The state Department of Workforce Solutions said the work search requirement for those seeking jobless benefits will be waived, the Albuquerque Journal reported.The city of Las Vegas will implement a town curfew to help slow the spread of COVID-19, KRQE-TV reported.The pandemic-fueled absentee ballot push has led to 141,612 voters choosing to cast their ballots by the mailed ballots, nearing the all-time record with two weeks until election day. Read more here.Tuesday is the final day to request an absentee ballot, which can be done at nmvote.org.Otero election officials are holding mobile voting events next week, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.The Daily Lobo covered the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Bernalillo County.New Mexico Tech had to shut down its campus because of several off-campus parties, the Albuquerque Journal reported.Albuquerque officials said they are still focusing on “educating” those breaking COVID-19 health rules instead of handing out citations, KRQE-TV reported.As cases continue to grow in Chaves County, the Roswell Daily Record reported that there was a high number of people seeking tests in Roswell.The City of Las Cruces launched a $5.4 million grant program for small businesses to aid them on pandemic-incurred costs, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.Silver Consolidated School District was planning on sending middle and high school students to school as part of a hybrid learning program, but it is not allowed with the current public health order, the Silver City Daily Press reported.The state of New Mexico encouraged New Mexicans to get testing through “reputable testing sites” like state public health offices instead of using at-home tests, KOB-TV reported.Rio Rancho Public Schools warned of a loss of learning during remote learning this year, including with attendance the Rio Rancho Observer reported.A student in Roswell without internet at home had to walk to their school building for an internet connection, KRQE-TV reported.Netflix suspended filming of the movie The Harder They Fall because of COVID-19, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.KRQE-TV reported on a video of a Colorado resident who was angry after being turned away from a state park; only New Mexico residents can go to state parks currently.An annual Christmas parade in Silver City was canceled, the Silver City Daily Press reported.

518 new cases of COVID-19 in NM, one additional death

On Monday, the New Mexico Department of Health reported 518 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death. This is the fifth time in the last week that New Mexico reported 500 or more cases after not doing so in the previous seven months of the pandemic. Bernalillo County, the most populous county in the state, reported 123 new cases, while Doña Ana County reported 102 cases. This is the 15th straight day that DOH reported 100 or more cases in Bernalillo County in a single day, and the fourth time overall with 100 or more cases in a single day in Doña Ana County. DOH also reported 28 new cases among detainees or inmates of state or federal authorities, including 24 among state inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility.