COVID-19 cases continue to dip, but DOH reported six additional deaths

The state of New Mexico announced Friday 197 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, the first time in over a month that the state announced fewer than 200 tests on a day with full results. The state also announced six additional deaths. With the new totals, DOH has now reported 21,965 confirmed cases and 675 deaths related to the disease. The 197 cases represented 2.33 percent of the 8,472 tests reported on Friday. The state has seen a drop in positivity rate in recent weeks, and is below its gating criteria on the measure.

Guv optimistic, but still cautious, as COVID-19 number improve

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials had good news for New Mexicans when it came to COVID-19 during her Thursday press conference. 

The number of cases, after reaching a peak in mid-July, have dropped down in the past couple of weeks through much of the state. The positivity rate on tests has also dropped, even as the number of tests remains high in the state. But Lujan Grisham noted that there is a long road ahead, and it’s not an invitation for New Mexicans to abandon COVID-safe practices. She warned the state is not “out of the woods” yet, even as things trend in the right direction. Because of this, and other efforts, Lujan Grisham and Aging and Long-term Services Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez announced that limited nursing home visitation would be allowed.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (8/7/20 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. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials had an optimistic, but cautious, press conference updating the public on COVID-19, including outlining how people will be able to visit those at nursing homes. Read about it here.You can watch the full thing here.The state Department of Health announced 212 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and two additional deaths. There are now 21,773 total confirmed cases of the disease and 669 deaths related to the disease.

With 42 new cases of COVID-19 in Bernalillo County, the county’s total grows to over 5,000

The state announced during Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s press conference Thursday 212 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. The 42 new cases in Bernalillo County pushes the total number of cases in the most populous county in the state to more than 5,000 cases. Doña Ana County continues to report double digit numbers of cases – 36. Five other counties had double-digit numbers of tests: Lea with 23; Chaves with 16; San Juan, Curry and Valencia with 10 each. The additional cases Thursday brings the total number of cases of the disease in the state to 21,773.

WATCH: Lujan Grisham’s 8/6 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gave her regular update on the state’s COVID-19 response on Thursday. The press conference came hours after Lujan Grisham adjusted part of the state’s public health order on quarantine requirements for those who travel out of state. Watch the full video, via the governor’s Facebook page, below.

State adjusts quarantine requirements for out-of-state travel for medical, family needs

On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an adjusted executive order regarding quarantine for those who leave the state for medical or family needs. The adjusted order says that the quarantine requirement no longer applies to New Mexico residents who left the state to access medical care or those who left for less than 24 hours for parenting duties. A statement, attributed only to the state of New Mexico, said, “Traveling for anything other than business that is absolutely essential to safety and well-being during a global pandemic is an extraordinary risk to yourself, your family, your community and your state. Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by reducing travel outside of the home and outside of the state.”

The governor said during last week’s press conference on the COVID-19 response that an update would be forthcoming to the self-quarantine requirement. The previous order required all those traveling to New Mexico from other states to self-quarantine for 14 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Inmates in Cibola County protest over COVID-19 conditions

A small group of federal detainees held a protest on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the private company which runs the facility confirmed. Amanda Gilchrist, the director of public affairs for CoreCivic, the company that oversees the western Cibola County Correctional Center, said in a statement that the group of detainees were protesting their “quarantine status” and said the protest ended without injuries. “During the incident, these detainees blocked the pod door, covered the windows and cameras, and refused to comply with verbal directives provided by facility staff,” Gilchrist said in an email. 

She added that medical staff “reviewed the individuals involved in the protest” and that guards “Successfully restored order, with no injuries occurring as a result of this incident to detainees or staff.”

In May, guards at the Torrance County Detention Facility used pepper spray to subdue detainees, Searchlight New Mexico reported. The Cibola County Correctional Center houses federal detainees, which include those detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Last week, the facility saw a significant increase of COVID-19 cases.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (8/6/20 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 New Mexico Department of Health announced 9 additional deaths related to COVID-19, as well as 229 new cases. There was some good news on other numbers, though. Read more here.Inmates in Cibola County protested against COVID-19 conditions on Wednesday, but details are still scarce.

DOH: 229 new COVID-19 cases, 9 additional deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health announced 229 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and nine additional deaths related to the disease. This is the 12th day where the state has reported nine or more deaths in a single day, including the second in the last week. Bernalillo County narrowly had the most confirmed new cases, with 45, while Doña Ana County had 44 new cases and Lea County had 27 cases. DOH has now has found 21,566 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. The 229 additional COVID-19 cases represent 3.48 percent of the 6,583 tests reported since Tuesday.

NM Supreme Court rules state can impose fines, other punishments for businesses who violate state health orders

The New Mexico Supreme Court decided Tuesday that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office has the power to implement fines against businesses that do not follow the state’s emergency health orders. 

“The court has concluded that the Legislature has clearly given the governor that authority,” New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Vigil said. 

Vigil added that the court will issue a written opinion “as quickly as [the court] can get it out.”

The state’s high court heard oral arguments Tuesday morning from the governor’s attorney Matthew Garcia and from Carter Harrison IV, who argued on behalf of about a dozen businesses and business owners.