KRWG

Coronavirus Updates

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Top health officials in New Mexico say the U.S. government needs to boost vaccine supplies if it wants the state to meet a new mandate for getting at least one shot into the arms of all teachers by the end of March. Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said during a briefing Wednesday that the state already has vaccinated more than 15,000 educators. With demand still outpacing supplies, the state is in talks with the White House about how to roll out the initiative. Teachers are next in line under New Mexico's phased-in approach. But health officials have been reluctant to offer a timeline given the limited supplies.

Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

  SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Democratic governor has signed economic relief legislation that provides $600 rebates to low-income workers and a tax holiday for restaurants that have been hobbled by aggressive pandemic health restrictions. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed two bills that are part of an ambitious economic recovery package. The newly signed bills also would provide loans of up to $150,000 to business that lost income in 2020. New Mexico state finances and trust funds are rebounding amid a surge in oil production and prices, along with a boost from 2020 federal relief. Lujan Grisham says she hopes the relief reaches people who need it most.

KRWG News

  Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima has asked Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and New Mexico Department of Health officials to consider two options that could possibly enable indoor dining to be reinstated in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County restaurants.  Here is a statement from the city of Las Cruces:

Mayor Miyagishima has said restaurants in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County have especially been hit hard by the restrictions of a New Mexico Public Health Order that has been in effect for almost a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 positivity test rates of COVID-19 have fluctuated, City and county restaurants have had to cease indoor dining operations several times, with the most recent change occurring last week after Doña Ana County’s positivity test rate changed from the Yellow Level – high risk – to Red Level, very high risk.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 359 additional COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths. As of today, there are 195 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.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 247 additional COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths. As of today, there are 199 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.

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is touting her administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the state stepped up last year with direct economic aid and is looking to provide more relief through pending legislation.

She spoke Tuesday during an online forum, acknowledging that the pandemic has been a cruel hardship. Critics have accused her of ignoring her own policies and spending thousands of dollars on groceries while many New Mexicans remain without jobs and businesses have yet to recover.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is lifting a COVID-19 mask mandate that was imposed last summer but has only been lightly enforced.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement Tuesday makes Texas the largest state to do away with a face covering order. The new rule takes effect March 10.

The decision comes as governors across the U.S. have eased coronavirus restrictions, despite warnings from health experts that the outbreak is far from over.

PPE Grant Secured For County Firefighters In The Las Cruces Area

Mar 2, 2021

Doña Ana County was recently awarded $111,984 through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant, AFG Supplemental program to purchase personal protective equipment, PPE for professional and volunteer firefighters throughout the County.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, our firefighters have had to carefully optimize PPE,” said Doña Ana County Fire Chief Shannon Cherry. “I appreciate knowing that the federal government recognized the need and provided this support to our team, as we serve residents through the pandemic.”

https://www.facebook.com/NewMexico/photos/pb.71496410164.-2207520000.1428944233./10154606678000165/?type=3&theater

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The commission that oversees horse racing in New Mexico says live racing is set to resume in April now that public health restrictions are being eased.

The tracks and their associated casinos were hit hard by the pandemic. Without revenue from slot machines and tables, purse money was reduced last year to a fraction of what it in 2019.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 166 additional COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths. As of today, there are 186 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.

Right to Earned Sick Leave Passes House

Mar 1, 2021

 

   Santa Fe, N.M. – Legislation guaranteeing earned sick leave for New Mexican workers passed the House of Representatives 36-33 today and will now head to the Senate for consideration. Here is a statement from the NM House Democrats:

House Bill 20: The Healthy Workplaces Act is sponsored by Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos)Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces)Senate President Pro Tempore Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales) and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque)

“We’ve tragically lost 3,700 New Mexicans to COVID-19, yet half of our state’s workforce can’t afford to take time off when they’re sick or infected,” said Rep. Chandler. “Until all of our workers can access paid sick days that allows them to care for themselves or family members without compromising their financial security, COVID-19 and other illnesses will continue to spread through our workplaces.” 

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 245 additional COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths. As of today, there are 192 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.

 

 

  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it will appeal a judge’s ruling that the federal government’s eviction moratorium is unconstitutional. Prosecutors filed a notice in the case on Saturday evening, saying that it is appealing the matter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevented had overstepped its authority and that the moratorium was unlawful. The CDC eviction moratorium was signed last September by President Donald Trump and then extended by President Joe Biden until March 31.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 275 additional COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths.

As of today, there are 227 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.

Las Cruces Promotes Vaccine Awareness and Assists with Registration

Feb 27, 2021

  The City of Las Cruces continues its front line efforts against COVID-19 with a new campaign designed to create more awareness about the COVID-19 vaccines and information about the registration process.  Here is a statement from the City:  “Sleeve Up Las Cruces” events will begin on Saturday, February 27, at the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market. City staff and volunteers will kick off the campaign by helping Las Cruces residents register for COVID vaccinations.

City of Las Cruces staff and volunteers will be onsite from 8 a.m.– 1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 27 on the stage at the Plaza de Las Cruces for the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market. Residents will be able to get general information and have access to assistance with the online registration process. Registering for a COVID-19 vaccination will help put their name on the list to receive a an appointment for the vaccination as soon as they become available for each individual's vaccine group. 

  Because Dona Ana County slipped back to Red-Level restrictions for public spaces due to the pandemic, the City of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department must close its aquatics facilities and all recreation centers with no clear date when reopening can occur. Here is a statement from the city of Las Cruces:

The closures affect the following beginning Saturday, February 27:

  • Regional Aquatic Center – Upstairs fitness, and aquatic area.
  • Frenger Swimming Pool – Lap swimming
  • Meerscheidt Recreation Center – Tutoring
  • East Mesa Recreation Center – Tutoring
  • Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center – Tutoring
  • Safe Haven – Tutoring

 

  AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has reported 290 more deaths from the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is plummeting. The Texas Department of State Health Services said Friday that the state’s pandemic death toll from COVID-19 now totals 42,575. The state’s confirmed and probable coronavirus cases rose by 7,332 to almost 2.63 million. An estimated 174,645 cases are active and 6,185 required hospitalization, down by 794 this week. Figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University show the rolling average number of daily new Texas cases fell by 4,179.6 per day over the past two weeks, a decrease of 36.7%. 

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 659 additional COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths. As of today, there are 226 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.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 299 additional COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.  As of today, there are 245 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.

Nash Jones / KUNM

  SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health today announced the details of its vaccine equity plan - a statewide effort to ensure that vaccine goes to the most exposed and vulnerable New Mexicans. “New Mexico is using its doses more efficiently than any state in the country - and we’re ensuring that while supplies are limited, those doses go to the places where they can save the most lives and stop the spread of this virus most effectively,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 448 additional COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths. As of today, there are 251 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.

  SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Feb. 24, with 19 New Mexico counties at the Yellow Level and six at the Green Level, at which there are fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities amid decreased virus risk.

 

Counties that met neither of the health metric thresholds and must operate at the Red Level are: Doña Ana, Eddy, McKinley and Otero.

 

Doña Ana had reached the Yellow Level with a positivity rate of 4.33 percent as of Feb. 10 but regressed, with a positivity rate of 6.77 percent as of Feb. 24; in accordance with the operative public health order, a county that moves to a more restrictive level must begin operating at the more restrictive level within 2 days.

New Mexico COVID-19 Relief Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk

Feb 24, 2021

  Santa Fe, N.M. – COVID-19 tax relief for local restaurants and bars, as well as working New Mexicans, is on its way to the Governor’s desk after passing the House of Representatives today. Here is a statement from the NM House Democrats:

 

Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe)Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque)Senator Siah Correa Hemphill (D-Silver City), and Representative Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque), Senate Bill 1 provides a four-month tax holiday for food and beverage establishments. It also creates a $600 tax credit for individuals who earn $31,200 or less, and heads of household, surviving spouses or those married filing jointly who earn up to $39,000. 

New Mexico State Parks to reopen for all visitors

Feb 24, 2021

  Santa Fe – Today the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) State Parks Division announces that day-use will reopen for all visitors immediately. Camping will reopen to all visitors by reservation only beginning February 27th.

Several state parks are currently managing for seasonal closures and it is important for visitors to continue to check for details on specific park hours of operation and additional information before visiting. Check the State Parks website and know before you go.

  SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico’s Red-Yellow-Green framework for aligning county-level requirements and guidelines with local virus risk has been modified to permit more day-to-day and commercial activities, reflecting the improving COVID-19 outlook across the state as New Mexicans help drive down transmission and vaccine distribution contributes to decreased community spread.

 

The framework includes a new least restrictive level where all categories of business can operate indoors with minimal occupancy limitations, depending on the risk level of the activity. A county will reach this least restrictive level, the Turquoise Level, by meeting key health criteria for two consecutive two-week periods and effectively graduating out of the Red-Yellow-Green framework, provided the virus remains suppressed.

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 314 additional COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths. As of today, there are 261 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.

  LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — County officials in southern New Mexico have said most of the first responders in Doña Ana County, which includes Las Cruces, have received at least one of the two doses of coronavirus vaccine under a county mandate, despite questions about requiring the vaccination. County Manager Fernando Macias told the Las Cruces Sun-News that 195 county employees of the 203 staff subject to the directive of the county detention center were at least partially vaccinated, while the remaining had registered or had an approved waiver. County employees were told last month they were required to receive the vaccine or be terminated. Labor unions questioned the directive and others threatened litigation.

  Santa Fe, NM—Attorney General Balderas today joined 30 attorneys general in urging the Federal Communications Commission to fund internet connectivity and internet-enabled devices to K-12 students whose schools are closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who are learning online at home or other locations. This month, the FCC asked for comment on petitions urging the commission to temporarily waive some restrictions on its E-Rate program to allow schools to extend their broadband internet networks to students’ homes and to allow E-Rate funds to support Wi-Fi hotspots or other broadband connections for students who lack adequate internet connectivity to participate in remote schooling. In their comment letter to the FCC, the attorneys general urge the commission to promptly take action to unlock the doors of the virtual classroom while physical schools remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s largest school district has asked the state to separate athletics and other extracurricular activities from the hybrid learning structure being used because of the coronavirus pandemic. KRQE-TV reports Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education members said during a special meeting Monday they do not believe activities should be connected to a hybrid learning model, which is a current requirement set by the state Public Education Department. Board members say students involved in extracurricular activities overseen by the New Mexico Activities Association would perform better in school if they were allowed to continue doing extracurricular activities they love.

Nash Jones / KUNM

  SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Tuesday that the state had administered more than 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. New Mexico consistently ranks among the three fastest states in the country for vaccine administration, according to the CDC.   

“New Mexicans can be proud: thanks to a first-in-the-nation registration system and a dedicated network of health care providers and volunteers across our state, we are vaccinating our population extraordinarily quickly,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins. “We are doing so because we recognize the toll this virus has taken - more than half a million American lives, including more than 3,600 New Mexicans. We seek to move New Mexico beyond this pandemic as rapidly as possible."

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