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Coronavirus Updates

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah (AP) — Homes on the Navajo Nation are getting electricity under a program funded by CARES Act money. With the funding expiring at the end of the year, crews are working 10 hours a day, seven days a week to reach more homes. Navajo Tribal Utility Authority spokeswoman Deenise Becenti says they’ve made it to 380 houses so far and there are 130 left to connect. Officials say getting utilities to more people will reduce the spread of COVID-19 on the hard-hit reservation by helping people stay at home safely.

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 1,708 new cases, totaling 89,796

19 hours ago

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 1,708 additional COVID-19 cases.

As of today, there are 880 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

El Paso mobile morgue / Claudia Silva-New Mexico In Depth

COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the region, and El Paso is one of the hardest hit areas in the country.

City officials say contact tracing reveals shopping at big box stores is a leading source of new coronavirus cases in the city.

Mayor Dee Margo talked about the research.
"And what we discovered is that 55.11 percent of our positives were coming from shopping at large retailers," said Margo.     


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham / Office of the New Mexico Governor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is making a last push to get people to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday. She tweeted a new video from the state health department showing family members eating dinner at their own homes while talking via a livestream. The governor says seeing family isn't worth the risk and that it's not too late to cancel plans. State health officials on Wednesday reported 1,873 additional confirmed cases, marking one of the lower daily counts seen in recent weeks. The state's latest public health order will expire Monday, but the governor is not expected to announce any changes until then.

Yesterday, the New Mexico Departments of Health and Environment announced a new initiative that offers greater public health protections to employees and customers of essential businesses while avoiding closure requirements. The agreement requires proactive COVID-19 regular testing and contact tracing of essential workers.

Today, Albertsons is adopting this program to increase protections for their employees at all 34 New Mexico locations. All New Mexico Albertsons locations are now open for business.  The Las Cruces Albertsons on Lohman Avenue reopened Wednesday after the state forced the store to close last week.

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 1,873 new cases, totaling 88,102

Nov 25, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 1,873 additional COVID-19 cases.

As of today, there are 897 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

Gov. Lujan Grisham signs $330 million relief package for New Mexicans

Nov 25, 2020

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed into law a significant relief package for New Mexicans that will deliver grants to small New Mexico businesses, supplemental payments to the unemployed and other emergency food and housing relief.

“I know this stimulus will mean so much to so many New Mexicans as we enter the holiday season,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But our work isn’t done. The pandemic has never been more dangerous in our state, and the economic pain caused by the spread of the virus is felt in every corner of New Mexico. We must remain vigilant in our fight against the virus. We must continue to evaluate how we can get more assistance to more New Mexicans who need it in this time of crisis. I’m grateful to the Legislature, both chambers and both parties, for their work yesterday. New Mexico will always step up, even when the federal government won’t.”

The New Mexico Legislature passed a $330 million COVID-19 relief bill during a special session on Tuesday.

New Mexico’s unemployed workers will receive a one-time $1,200 payment next month, following authorization of the legislature’s COVID-19 relief bill by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Grisham, who called for the special session, spoke about the need to get funds out to New Mexicans as soon as possible. 

“We spent the last several days working with legislators, both chambers, both sides of the aisle, to work on those details,” Grisham said. “And it's a tough time to ask legislators, as they're trying to be, and they are, effective local leaders—getting their counties ready, their cities and communities, families, but we want to get this relief out to New Mexicans. They need unemployment. They need housing assistance and businesses need grants.”

Office of the New Mexico Governor

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature has approved a $330 million economic relief package aimed at helping unemployed workers and certain businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Passage came Tuesday night as lawmakers rushed to wrap up a one-day session that was called by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. If the Democratic governor signs the measure, the state could distribute $1,200 stimulus checks to people who are unemployed or who have run out of unemployment this year. Most of the proposed spending will be made possible by federal relief funding previously assigned to New Mexico.

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 2,107 new cases, totaling 86,247

Nov 24, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 2,107 additional COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths.

As of today, there are 871 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The top elected official for El Paso County, Texas, is announcing a new curfew to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, which is overrunning the area’s hospitals and funeral homes. County Judge Ricardo Samaniego says the curfew would go into effect on Wednesday and would run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew would end on Monday. Samaniego says Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has approved the curfew. Earlier Tuesday, Abbott announced the state has established a wing at an alternate care site set up in El Paso’s convention center to administer a new antibody drug that may help clear the coronavirus sooner and possibly cut hospitalizations in people with mild to moderate COVID-19.

Beginning this week, El Paso will be providing the new COVID-19 treatment called Bamlanivimab, in an effort to prevent hospitalizations due to the progress of severe symptoms in high risk patients.

El Paso was selected to provide this treatment modality of monoclonal antibody developed by Eli Lilly due to the high number of COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations. El Paso has received a limited number of doses of this new infusion treatment.

In an effort to increase proactive COVID-19 testing of New Mexico’s workforce and avoid additional temporary restrictions on essential businesses, the New Mexico Departments of Health and Environment have implemented a voluntary surveillance testing and contact tracing agreement to enable businesses to prevent mandatory 14-day closures triggered by state rapid responses to COVID-19 cases.

The agreement requires essential businesses to conduct regular COVID-19 testing among staff, as well as assist the Department of Health in contact tracing efforts. If positive cases are discovered as a result of this testing, the resulting rapid response will not count toward the mandatory 14-day closure requirement in the current public health order.

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 2,259 additional COVID-19 cases.

As of today, there are 846 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

Office of the New Mexico Governor

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday announced she will call the New Mexico Legislature into special session on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to take up a relief package for New Mexicans who have been affected by the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor’s priorities for the session – sometimes referred to as the governor’s “call” – include direct unemployment assistance, supplementing the payments to New Mexicans whose employment has been impacted by the economic fallout of the pandemic; grants to New Mexico businesses, making meaningful funding assistance as accessible as possible for business-owners whose operations have been impacted by the public health emergency; emergency housing assistance; and emergency food bank services.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is reporting 383 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, an all-time high for the vast reservation.

Tribal health officials on Sunday announced the latest daily figure of new cases as well as five more coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of known cases now stands at 15,039, including 42 delayed reported cases. The death toll for the Navajo Nation is now up to 631.

EL PASO, Texas – A new research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support The University of Texas at El Paso’s efforts to increase access to COVID-19 testing for populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

UTEP is one of 55 institutions that received an NIH award through the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program to support projects designed to rapidly implement COVID-19 testing strategies in populations including African-Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Latinos and Latinas, Native Hawaiians, older adults, pregnant women and those who are homeless or incarcerated.

University of New Mexico doctors have begun treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients suffering from acute breathing and kidney problems with a new drug therapy that tamps down life-threatening inflammation in the body.

The first patient to be treated with the therapy, dubbed SBI-101, has been enrolled in a Phase1/2 clinical trial, said Christos Argyropoulos, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Nephrology in the UNM School of Medicine. The drug was developed by Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc., a Lexington, Mass., biotechnology company.

NMDOH to introduce COVID-19 saliva tests

Nov 23, 2020
cdc

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health, evolving with the demands of COVID-19, will begin administering an FDA-approved COVID test that involves swabbing the mouth to collect a saliva sample. The department will begin offering the test at Balloon Fiesta Park on Monday.

NMDOH is collaborating with Curative, a research company in California that has created the first oral fluid test in the United States. The saliva samples have been demonstrated to be at least as accurate as the more traditional nasopharyngeal test swab. The tests will be self-collected – meaning they do not require a trained health care worker to administer -- but trained personnel will be present when and where these tests are made available to ensure samples are properly collected.

33 COVID-19 Deaths In New Mexico; Largest Number In One Day

Nov 22, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 2,468 additional COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths, the largest number of deaths in one day.

As of today, there are 845 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

cdc

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health is seeking passengers who traveled Thursday, Nov. 19 on the El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express Bus Route 284 from El Paso, TX to Denver, CO. The DOH has learned these passengers were likely exposed to COVID-19. There were 32 passengers onboard and some were picked up in New Mexico.

The DOH was informed of a passenger on the bus who later died and tested positive for COVID. The department has little information regarding the other passengers and thus is unable to contact them directly.


New Mexico COVID-19 update: 2,353 new cases, totaling 79,440

Nov 21, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 2,353 additional COVID-19 cases and 25 deaths.

As of today, there are 825 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

El Paso / Claudia Silva/New Mexico In Depth

EL PASO, Texas -- The Texas National Guard has sent a 36-member team to El Paso to assist morgues in the border region with the number of dead as a result of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Statewide, the Texas health department on Saturday reported a one-day high of 12,597 new virus cases, nearly 20,500 dead since the pandemic began and more than 8,200 virus hospitalizations.

“The Texas Military will provide us with the critical personnel to carry out our fatality management plan and we are very grateful to them for their ongoing support,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said late Friday when the deployment was announced.

cdc

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has surpassed 8,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients for the first time since a deadly summer surge, and doctors are amplifying pleas to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small.

Texas reported more than 11,700 new cases Friday, once again approaching record highs. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has ruled out shutdowns and says cities and counties need to enforce restrictions already on the books, including occupancy limits and face coverings.

The Texas Hospital Association is now appealing for families to keep holiday gatherings “very small” as doctors and nurses struggle to keep up with rising caseloads. The group says staff are “tired and emotionally drained” and worried about the health of their own families.

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 2,993 new cases, totaling 77,098

Nov 20, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 2,993 additional COVID-19 cases.

As of today, there are 808 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

State of New Mexico public health guidance, warnings for Thanksgiving

Nov 20, 2020

SANTA FE – Health officials at the state of New Mexico on Friday issued Thanksgiving public health guidance to New Mexicans to ensure residents are able to safely navigate the holiday amid the worsening pandemic.

“This is not a normal year,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “This is not a normal holiday season. I know we all wish it weren’t that way, but it is. Gathering for Thanksgiving this year is an extreme risk to the health and safety of your loved ones and friends. Let me be very clear: A Thanksgiving gathering this year may very well lead to a funeral. The virus is at large. Know the risks and respect them.

As the coronavirus infection rate continues to skyrocket across the United States, officials in one of the nation's hardest-hit regions, El Paso County, Texas, have posted job openings for morgue workers as the number of local deaths from the virus mounts.

This comes as officials had been relying on low-level inmates from the county jail to assist with moving remains of the deceased.

SANTA FE – Following a successful administration of 10,000 COVID-19 tests throughout southern New Mexico, the state of New Mexico and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continue their COVID-19 testing partnership efforts to include five locations.

Beginning Saturday, Nov. 21, the Department of Health will establish five new testing sites to continue addressing the surge of COVID-19 cases in New Mexico.

cdc

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is ruling out another shutdown in Texas as cases soar and thousands of additional medical workers are rushed to overworked hospitals. Abbott said Thursday there's an “overestimation” of what shutdowns achieve and claimed that local leaders asking for stricter measures weren’t doing enough to enforce rules already in place. His stance comes as other governors across the U.S. are retreating to lockdown measures as cases rise nationwide. The state on Thursday shattered a single-day record with 12,000 new coronavirus cases reported. It's on the verge of surpassing 8,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients for the first time since a deadly summer outbreak, which back then Abbott met with orders that closed bars and limited restaurant occupancy.

New Mexico Sets Another COVID-19 Daily Record: 3,675 New Cases Thursday

Nov 19, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 3,675 additional COVID-19 cases.

As of today, there are 774 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

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