Battling a microscopic enemy: What we’ve learned about SARS-CoV-2

It’s been just six months since the first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, was documented in China. In that time, the microscopic organism has infected over 1.3 million people around the world and brought the globe’s largest economies to the brink of recession.

As the disease COVID-19, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, spread across the world, scientists have scrambled to learn as much as they can about the new virus in hopes of developing vaccines and bring the outbreak under control.

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/7/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended and expanded the state’s public health emergency over COVID-19. It includes closing liquor stores, automobile dealerships and payday lenders. Another change will also limit how many people can go into retail stores that remain open, including grocery stores. Read our story, with the details, here.Earlier, the Navajo Nation leadership wrote to the governors of New Mexico and Utah asking them to close liquor stores near the Navajo Nation, the Navajo Times reported.The state announced 62 new cases of COVID-19.

Zia Pueblo sees COVID-19 outbreak

“As of today April 5th, the Pueblo of Zia has confirmed 11 Zia Tribal Members, potentially 20, infected by COVID-19(Coronavirus),” Acting Governor Floyd Toribio wrote Sunday in a memo to tribal members.

Liquor stores, payday lenders closed as Guv extends, expands coronavirus public health emergency order

The state officially extended its public health emergency for COVID-19 until April 30, which included previous restrictions and added new restrictions, including limiting the occupancy at grocery stores and retail spaces deemed essential. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order renewing the public health emergency order on Monday. The state Department of Health also announced the new provisions of the public health emergency. She warned that if the new directions aren’t followed, she could enact further restrictions. The new provisions go into place beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

62 new cases announced Monday, bringing total COVID-19 cases to 686

State health officials announced 62 new COVID-19 test positive cases Monday, raising the total to 686 for the state. The state Department of Health announcement on Monday includes three additional positive cases from La Vida Llena long-term care facility in Albuquerque, where one additional resident and two additional staff have now tested positive for the type of coronavirus. The amount of deaths related to COVID-19 in the state remains at 12. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

16 new cases in Bernalillo County1 new case in Chaves County1 new case in Doña Ana County2 new cases in Grant County4 new cases in McKinley County25 new cases in San Juan County11 new cases in Sandoval County2 new cases in Santa Fe County

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 686 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 262Catron County: 1Chaves County: 14Cibola County: 14Curry County: 6Doña Ana County: 30Eddy County: 4Grant County: 3Lea County: 2Lincoln County: 1Los Alamos County: 2McKinley County: 44Otero County: 3Rio Arriba County: 6Roosevelt County: 1Sandoval County: 114San Juan County: 83San Miguel County: 1Santa Fe County: 64Socorro County: 5Taos County: 13Torrance County: 6Valencia County: 7

The state has processed 21,825 COVID-19 tests. That’s an increase of 2,689 over the previous day’s total.

How Tea Party budget battles left the national emergency medical stockpile unprepared for coronavirus

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Dire shortages of vital medical equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile that are now hampering the coronavirus response trace back to the budget wars of the Obama years, when congressional Republicans elected on the Tea Party wave forced the White House to accept sweeping cuts to federal spending. Among the victims of those partisan fights was the effort to keep adequate supplies of masks, ventilators, pharmaceuticals and other medical equipment on hand to respond to a public health crisis. Lawmakers in both parties raised the specter of shortchanging future disaster response even as they voted to approve the cuts.

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/6/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. The New Mexico Department of Health announced one new death related to COVID-19, bringing the amount in New Mexico to 12. The state also announced 81 new positive cases, for a total of 624 New Mexicans who have tested positive to 624. See our story, with more details, here.Sandoval County saw a big jump in cases, but the DOH didn’t say whether it’s in Rio Rancho, one of the state’s most populous cities, or in the rural areas, reported the Santa Fe New Mexican.The Navajo Nation announced another person died with COVID-19, bringing the total to 14. And with another 33 cases since Saturday, there are now 354 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.

State announces 81 new COVID-19 cases in New Mexico, 1 more death

The New Mexico Department of Health announced another 81 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and one additional death related to COVID-19. 

That means 12 people with COVID-19 have died and a total of 624 New Mexicans have tested positive. Update (4/6): 62 new cases announced Monday, bringing total COVID-19 cases to 686

The states said a male in his 40s from McKinley County died on Sunday. He had underlying chronic medical conditions, the state said. 

The 81 new positive cases included three additional cases from the La Vida Llena long-term care facility in Albuquerque—one resident and two staff members. 

The DOH also announced that 45 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in New Mexico. The number includes those who tested positive in other states and are now hospitalized in New Mexico, but not include New Mexicans who tested positive and are now hospitalized in other states. The state also announced that 130 cases of COVID-19 are considered recovered by DOH.

Domestic violence shelters have no shortage of beds, but reports of abuse are on the rise

Kinsey Moores steeled her nerves and tried to appear unruffled as she worked intake at Albuquerque’s S.A.F.E House this week. Picking up a pair of gloves from a dwindling supply of donated PPE (personal protective equipment), she reached for a thermometer and asked the now-routine question asked of every person seeking help at the city’s largest domestic violence shelter. 

“Have you experienced any kind of dry cough or fever?” 

“I just have to keep a smile on my face and show that we’re here to help, we’re not going to turn anybody away,” said Moores, 22, who started her job last August after graduating from the Child and Family Studies program at the University of New Mexico. “One of the hardest things is just coming in to work with a mindset that everything is going to be OK, we’re going to get through this.”

Across New Mexico, domestic violence survivors and the shelters that serve them are confronting a new and uncertain landscape brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Stay-at-home orders have effectively kept victims inside with their abusers, depriving them of a safe time and place to call for help. It couldn’t have come at a more ominous time.

The daily recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/5/20 edition)

Note: This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free daily email. Sign up here. With 51 new test positive cases of COVID-19, the state’s total number reached 543 and one additional death Saturday. The increase included more positive tests at an Albuquerque retirement community, among residents and staff.The Navajo Nation announced 51 new cases, bringing the total to 321. That includes 54 cases in New Mexico, nine more than the previous day’s announcement. The Navajo Times reported that the Arizona National Guard delivered PPE for use by Navajo Nation officials to combat the spread of the virus.