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Coronavirus Updates

New Mexico quarantine requirements amended to accommodate medical, family needs

Aug 6, 2020

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday issued a revised executive order requiring quarantine for individuals arriving into the state of New Mexico, incorporating adjustments for those leaving the state for urgent medical and family needs. 

As neighboring states and other parts of the country have not taken up adequate public health restrictions and guidelines, and in the absence of a coherent federal strategy to slowing the spread of COVID-19, individuals arriving in New Mexico from out of state, whether residents of New Mexico or not, must self-isolate for a period of time sufficient to ensure public health and safety is not jeopardized. 

As the school year starts in many districts across the country, a new national poll of teachers from NPR/Ipsos finds overwhelming trepidation about returning to the physical classroom.

Caitlin Boehne wasn't too happy that she had to vote in person during a recent primary runoff in Austin, Texas.

Boehne is under 65 and isn't disabled, so voting by mail wasn't available to her under current Texas law. She says it was a frustrating situation.

"The workers, the voters — everybody has to risk their health in order to participate in the democratic process," she says. "It's astounding."

New Mexico State University, in collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Health, is providing free COVID-19 testing for incoming out-of-state resident students who are currently undergoing the 14-day quarantine required by the state of New Mexico.

To support a safe return to campus, New Mexico State University is testing approximately 100 students for COVID-19 over a two-day period Aug. 5-6.

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 21,566

Aug 5, 2020

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 229 additional COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths.

As of today, there are 138 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 — Today, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) filed an emergency rule that requires employers to report positive COVID-19 cases to NMED within four hours of being notified of the case.

The emergency amendment goes into effect today and will remain in effect for no more than 120 days, unless NMED proposes and the Environmental Improvement Board adopts a permanent rule prior to the end of the 120-day period.

NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau is frequently notified of positive cases after employers are notified, resulting in delayed rapid responses. To date, there have been more than 600 cases where the employer knew of a positive worker before NMED, including more than 280 instances where the employer knew of the case at least three days before NMED.

cabq.gov

Albuquerque, NM - Albuquerque's zoo will partially reopen next week to visitors wearing face masks or other face coverings after being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Tim Keller announced Wednesday that outdoor exhibitis of the ABQ BioPark Zoo will reopen Aug. 12 but indoor facilities such as the reptile and crocodile buildings will remain closed to the public.

New Mexico launches recovery loan fund; $400 million in funds now available

Aug 5, 2020

SANTA FE – The Small Business Recovery Loan Fund for New Mexico small businesses opened on August 5, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday.

The online application is available at http://www.nmfinance.com.

The Small Business Recovery Act of 2020 allocates $400 million in funds from the New Mexico State Severance Tax Fund to provide loans to New Mexico businesses and nonprofits that have experienced financial hardship due to the public health order resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The census taken every ten years determines how much federal money goes to New Mexico programs for things like schools, small businesses, health care, food assistance and housing. The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday that all counting, including door-to-door efforts, will end September 30th – a full month sooner than expected. The time crunch threatens efforts to get an accurate count in New Mexico, especially in hard-to-count areas including rural and tribal communities. 

  After closing to public on March 17 in the interest of public health and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Thomas Branigan Memorial Library continues to offer limited services through August 31, 2020.  

The Library is providing curbside pick-up services from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday, computer lab hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and reference services over the phone such as library card sign-up, digital resource troubleshooting and reference from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Books by Mail also continues for those who prefer receiving their books in the mail.  

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 21,340

Aug 4, 2020

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 214 additional COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths.  

As of today, there are 133 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, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Supreme Court has upheld the governor’s authority to fine businesses as much as $5,000 per day for violations of emergency health orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The court heard arguments from businesses claiming that the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham overstepped its authority in response to the pandemic.

Las Cruces Parks & Recreation COVID-19 Status

Aug 4, 2020

The City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department continues to observe its Phase 2 status for parks and recreational programs that follows COVID-19 safe practices and the State Public Health Order (https://cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/7.13.20-PHO.pdf) still in place which includes:

1. Wearing face coverings in public settings except when eating, drinking, or swimming.
2. Practicing social distancing.
3. Limiting the numbers of people gathering to five or fewer.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico state Supreme Court is weighing whether the governor has the authority to levy hefty fines against businesses as she enforces a public health order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Oral arguments were scheduled for Tuesday in the case pitting Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham against business owners who have questioned recent health orders spurred by the pandemic.

With the national death toll from COVID-19 passing the grim 150,000 mark, an NPR/Ipsos poll finds broad support for a single, national strategy to address the pandemic and more aggressive measures to contain it.

Two-thirds of respondents said they believe the U.S. is handling the pandemic worse than other countries, and most want the federal government to take extensive action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, favoring a top-down approach to reopening schools and businesses.

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 21,130

Aug 3, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 117 additional COVID-19 cases. 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a technical disruption of the electronic laboratory reporting system, the following data reflects only a partial total for today’s case update. The delayed results will be included in the state’s reporting as soon as they are received and confirmed. NMDOH continues to actively investigate all cases that are reported to the state throughout the day.

A recent Yelp survey indicates over 60 percent of restaurants nationwide that closed temporarily because of COVID-19 have now shut their doors forever.

Here in Las Cruces, the weight of the pandemic is being felt by restaurants across the city. 

“The unknown. That's the problem, the unknown, are we going to be able to go inside again?” Jodie York said.

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 21,016

Aug 2, 2020

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 226 additional COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths.

As of today, there are 127 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.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Sunday that the U.S. is in a "new phase" of the pandemic, urging people to follow public health guidance as cases continue to climb in many parts of the United States.

"What we're seeing today is different from March and April," Birx said on CNN's State of the Union. "It is extraordinarily widespread — it's into the rural as equal urban areas."

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 20,796

Aug 1, 2020

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 210 additional COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths.

As of today, there are 134 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.

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 20,600

Jul 31, 2020

  SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 216 additional COVID-19 cases and 7 deaths.

As of today, there are 152 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, NM – On this edition of PUENTES a la comunidad, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra spoke with All Relations United, Founder and Managing Director, Lorelei Marie Horse Stands Waiting, to talk about their non-profit organization and the focus on Native American communities.

Through the BEAR program, Be Excited About Reading, All Relations United addresses youth addictions and suicide prevention in New Mexico and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Santa Fe – Today the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) State Parks Division announces that overnight use and campgrounds will remain closed through August 28th. Visitors with overnight camping reservations through August 28th will be issued a refund. Group shelters remain closed and all events are canceled.

New Mexico renews emergency public health order

Jul 30, 2020
Albuquerque Journal / Pool photo

  SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials on Thursday announced the state of New Mexico will extend its emergency public health order and keep intact existing public health restrictions and guidelines while the state continues to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

The emergency public health order retains the state’s public health prohibition on mass gatherings and keeps in place temporary indoor occupancy restrictions for certain businesses, particularly indoor “close-contact” businesses such as restaurants and gyms. 

Also unchanged is the statewide requirement that all individuals wear face coverings in public and that business operators require customers to wear face coverings upon entrance.

State renews emergency public health order

Jul 30, 2020

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials on Thursday announced the state of New Mexico will extend its emergency public health order and keep intact existing public health restrictions and guidelines while the state continues to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

The emergency public health order retains the state’s public health prohibition on mass gatherings and keeps in place temporary indoor occupancy restrictions for certain businesses, particularly indoor “close-contact” businesses such as restaurants and gyms. 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico labor authorities are approving unemployment benefits automatically for people who don’t return to work because of their advanced age or for a variety of serious medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Workforce Solutions Department Secretary Bill McCamley on Thursday said people 65 and older and other “high-risk workers” should consider not returning to work immediately because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials have reported 41 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths.  

The total number of people infected on the reservation now stands at 8,968 with 453 known deaths as of Wednesday night. Tribal health officials said 79,583 people have undergone testing and 6,622 have recovered from the virus.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials say the state has 352 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bring the state's total to 20,136. The state Department of Health said Wednesday that six more people died from the virus and New Mexico’s death total is now 632. There are 158 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 the state. In addition, there are 7,817 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A county in New Mexico’s southeastern oil producing region is backing a legal challenge against a statewide ban on indoor dining amid surging coronavirus infections across the state.

Eddy County filed a legal brief with the New Mexico Supreme Court in solidarity with restaurants that say Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has overstepped her authority under a stay-at-home order that bans indoor dining.

School meals to continue during remote learning

Jul 29, 2020

SANTA FE – No child will miss a school-provided meal due to remote learning to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Mexico Public Education Department reaffirmed today.

Since in-person instruction ended March 16, the department has provided almost 9 million meals to New Mexico children through their school districts. That will continue.

“We’re going to work as much as we can through whatever obstacles arise to get all these children fed,” said Michael A. Chavez, director of New Mexico’s National School Lunch Program.

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