Coronavirus Updates

New Mexico COVID-19 Cases Rise 40% To 191

16 hours ago

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 55 additional positive tests for COVID-19.  This increases the number of positive cases by 40 percent to 191.

The Department of Health on Thursday reported no additional deaths in the state related to COVID-19. The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains at one.

Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham addressed New Mexicans via social media Friday evening, saying additional measures were necessary as the state looks to keep the virus from spreading.

She said the increase in cases is not unexpected but it means there's more social distancing that must be done.

A stay-at-home order is already in effect across New Mexico, and the governor has ordered all air travelers arriving in the state to self-isolate for 14 days.

This week, a conversation with Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, including a wide range of your questions.

Today, the city council unanimously approved a resoultion granting the Mayor and the Council the power to declare a state of emergency in the city.  

While this action has not yet been taken, it may be of use during the continuing pubilc health emergency.

New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham orders self-isolation for air travelers to N.M.

20 hours ago
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an executive order requiring air travelers to New Mexico to self-isolate for at least 14 days to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Air travelers who fail to voluntarily self-isolate will be subject to forced isolation or quarantine by the New Mexico Health Department, Lujan Grisham says in the order.

The majority of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico have resulted from interstate and international travel into the state.


   Following the State of New Mexico Public Education Department’s announcement Friday that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the year, Las Cruces Public School administrators are working to finalize plans to have teachers and students finish the spring semester remotely starting April 6. 

“We are navigating our LCPS family through an unprecedented time of innovation,” said Dr. Karen Trujillo, Superintendent for Las Cruces Public Schools. “But that opportunity doesn’t come without the disappointment of knowing teachers and students will not return to their physical classrooms this school year.” 


At a special meeting this morning, March 27, 2020,  the Las Cruces City Council unanimously approved an emergency declaration ordinance that allows the mayor and City Council to take immediate action in the event of a declared emergency. The action stated in the ordinance is for the protection of life and property, and for the preservation of public peace, safety, health, welfare, and for the continuity of efficient government operations.

The ordinance allows the council to exercise its emergency powers through a proclamation. The term of a proclamation is three days, but the council can extend the term for up to 14 days, at which time an extension or renewal would be required. The ordinance will expire at the end of the current mayor’s term.

Office of the Governor of New Mexico

SANTA FE – New Mexico public education will shift to a learn-at-home model as schools remain closed for the rest of the academic year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state education and child care officials announced Friday.​ 

The decision is part of a two-pronged plan to protect New Mexicans from COVID-19 and ensure that children are protected, fed and educated and that families are supported through this crisis.

The governor previously ordered all public schools closed for three weeks, March 16-April 3, but warned at the time that an extension could be needed. It came Friday with a new executive order that extends the closing through the end of the school year.

A spate of mysterious second-time infections is calling into question the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic tools even as China prepares to lift quarantine measures to allow residents to leave the epicenter of its outbreak next month. It's also raising concerns of a possible second wave of cases.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

Mesilla Valley Community of Hope and Covid-19

Mar 26, 2020

Las Cruces, NM – On this edition of PUENTES a la comunidad, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra spoke with Mesilla Valley Community of Hope Executive Director, Nicole Martinez, about how life has changed at Community of Hope since the Covid-19 health crisis began. She said they are an organization that is considered an essential service and remain open to people experiencing homelessness. They can provide their clients with laptops for Telehealth to prevent community spread if someone becomes ill.

The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package marks the largest rescue package in American history. President Trump announced Wednesday that it includes $300 billion in direct payments to individuals to alleviate at least a little of the financial pain caused by the deliberate near-standstill of the U.S. economy.

  On Thursday, March 26, a third male employee of The University of Texas at El Paso tested positive for COVID-19. The employee traveled to the same out-of-town event as the first two employees who tested positive and returned to El Paso on Thursday, March 12.


He is in self-isolation and recovering at home.


The employee had limited access to the Foster Stevens Center on March 13. The facility has been isolated and cleaned regularly with disinfectant. It was also closed and disinfected again March 24.


Campus officials and support services are in contact by phone with the employee on a daily basis.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — More than 17,000 New Mexico residents applied for unemployment benefits amid the widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

The numbers released Thursday show the jump in New Mexico is more than 19 times the number of claims the previous week.

The U.S. Department of Labor says New Mexico saw 17,187 people apply for unemployment benefits last week compared to 869 the week before.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The largest municipal jail in New Mexico is releasing some inmates facing non-violent charges who are considered vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

Officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque say no one at the facility has tested positive, but they have set up a quarantine area if needed.

New Mexico reported its first death from the virus Wednesday, and cases climbed Thursday to at least 136.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday formally requested the federal government establish a 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital in Albuquerque to boost the state’s treatment capacity.

State education officials also say an announcement regarding an extension to the school closure period is expected Friday.

Updated 9:31 p.m. ET Thursday

The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world, surpassing China's total and highlighting how rapidly the virus can move through a population.

The U.S. logged more than 83,000 cases as of 8 p.m. ET Thursday, while China reported more than 81,00 infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Two U.S. officials tell NPR that the Pentagon is expected to send 1,500 troops to the nation's borders with Canada and Mexico to assist Customs and Border Protection operations as the coronavirus death toll tops 1,100 in the United States.

Gov. Lujan Grisham seeks deployment of Army hospital to New Mexico

Mar 26, 2020

  SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has formally requested that the U.S. Defense Department deploy a staffed 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital (CSH) to Albuquerque as a proactive measure intended to enhance the state’s treatment capacity.

“This CSH is urgently needed to support the State of New Mexico’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to overwhelm our existing medical treatment facilities and resources,” Lujan Grisham wrote Wednesday in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The governor made the request under a federal law that authorizes the U.S. government to provide states with emergency medical assistance.

Three New COVID-19 Cases In Doña Ana County; Now 136 In New Mexico

Mar 26, 2020

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 24 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

The Department of Health on Thursday reported no additional deaths in the state related to COVID-19. The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains at one.

Access To Be Restricted At Las Cruces Solid Waste Facilities

Mar 26, 2020

  In an effort to ensure the continued functionality of the Solid Waste System, restrictions will be instituted at Solid Waste facilities in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County beginning 12:00 p.m. Noon on Friday, March 27, 2020.


Essential businesses should supply written documentation of their “essential” status. This may be required for access to local Solid Waste facilities.


All facilities remain open to regional commercial trash haulers to drop off solid waste during normal business hours.


Through Emergency Alerts, the State of New Mexico is urging residents to stay at home. The SCSWA and LCU appreciates public support at this time and will reopen to normal business as soon as possible.

New statewide fund to respond to COVID-19 launches with over $1.1 million

Mar 26, 2020
Office of the Governor of New Mexico

  SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced a new fund established by the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations to help New Mexico respond to and eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The All Together NM Fund will be used to address immediate needs and offer long-term support for the recovery work that lies ahead.


Pledges of more than $1.1 million from Ian and Sonnet McKinnon; Intel; Pattern Energy; Blattner Energy; and Tri State Generation and Transmission Association will seed the fund, which will be administered by the Santa Fe Community Foundation.



Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET

A record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country. The Labor Department's report for the week ended March 21 was one of the first official indicators of how many people have suddenly been forced out of work nationally.

In the prior report, for the week ended March 14, initial claims totaled 282,000.

Preserving personal protection equipment is goal of two new health orders

Mar 25, 2020

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday announced two public health orders that will protect New Mexico’s supply of the personal protective equipment health care workers need to stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

One order prohibits non-essential health services, defined as services that can be delayed for three months without undue risk to the patient’s health. Eliminating non-essential medical procedures will slow the use of personal protective gear. Read it here.

The second order prohibits health care providers and wholesale medical suppliers from selling or otherwise distributing personal protective equipment without prior approval from the New Mexico Department of Health. Read it here.

State to use emergency alert system for important communications

Mar 25, 2020

SANTA FE – Given the current public health crisis and the need to communicate critical information directly to as many New Mexicans as possible, the state of New Mexico will use an emergency alert system, disseminated from the state’s Emergency Operations Center, when conditions warrant.

This system is similar to Amber Alerts which are used to notify the public about missing children. Alerts will be sent through text messages, television, and radio.

The system is intended to disseminate important information widely and as quickly as possible and is not a cause for alarm.

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 13 additional positive tests for COVID-19.  Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

Five new cases in Bernalillo County:

  • A male in his 20s
  • A female in her 40s
  • A male in his 40s
  • A female in her 70s
  • A female in her 80s

One new case in Eddy County:

  • ​A male in his 70s – deceased. As previously reported Wednesday by the Department of Health, this individual died Sunday, March 22. The state laboratory confirmed a positive COVID-19 test late Tuesday, March 24, after receiving it the same day.

Two new cases in Rio Arriba County:

  • A male in his 60s
  • A female in her 70s

One new case in Sandoval County:

  • A female in her 30s

One new case in San Juan County:

  • A male in his 30s

Three new cases in Santa Fe County:

  • A female in her 40s
  • A female in her 50s
  • A male in his 70s

New Mexico Announces First Death Due To COVID-19

Mar 25, 2020

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the state’s first death related to COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, a male in his late 70s in Eddy County died Sunday, March 22, at Artesia General Hospital.

On March 22, he went to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated rapidly. He died the same day. 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico is postponing its spring commencement due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

The university said President Garnett Stokes will seek student input as he considers when to reschedule the commencement that had been scheduled for May 16 and how it will be conducted.

Stokes said the decision to postponement is regrettable and that he knows its a memorable part of graduates' university experience.  

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."