COVID 19 Update: What’s New in New Mexico?

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Update: May 18th, 2020 12:13 p.m.

The Numbers: As of late, 5,938 positive cases of COVID-19 in NM are active. In addition, there are a total of 265 deaths and 211 current hospitalizations. However, 1,755 residents have recovered from the virus.

From the Governor: While businesses underwent a partial reopening a few weeks ago, Governor Lujan-Grisham has warned that “COVID-safe practices MUST be in place in order for any business or organization to resume partial operation.” On the other hand, the Governor has also instituted policy of mandatory masks in public as well as maintaining stay at home orders.

Update: May 13th, 2020 9:38 a.m.

The Numbers: There are currently 5,364 positive cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico. In addition, there have been 231 deaths and currently, 200 residents are being hospitalized due to the virus. However, 1,515 individuals have recovered.

Around the State: On Sunday, lockdown orders in McKinley county were lifted at noon. However, standard stay at home orders remain effective around the state. While some non-essential businesses have been allowed to open, they are still under strict orders to operate through delivery and pick up options.

Update: May 8th, 2020 8:47 a.m.

The Numbers: New Mexico has a total of 4,493 positive CODID-19 cases and 172 deaths. In addition, 1,125 residents are deemed to have recovered and 197 residents are currently being hospitalized. Cases in McKinley county are at a total of 1,402 and in Bernalillo County, 1,012.

Around the State: The Governor mandated shutdown in McKinley county has been extended through the weekend, prohibiting travel in or out of the county. However, efforts seem to be working as only 200 new cases have appeared in the last two days. Previously, there was a daily increase of almost 200 cases. Governor Lujan Grisham has stated that it is simply too early to ease restrictions beyond curbside pickups and delivery options for businesses, much less fully reopen the state.

Update: May 5th, 2020 8:34 a.m.

The Numbers: New Mexico has reached 4,031 positive cases of COVID-19 while deaths are at 156. Meanwhile, there are 499 cases in Bernalillo County and 1,233 in McKinley County where the Governor has currently put in place strict social distancing measures (see update below).

From the Governor: Governor Lujan Grisham recently posted that farmers and agricultural workers would now be eligible to apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans, stating, “No lender is necessary – New Mexico farmers and ranchers in need due to the #COVID19 pandemic are encouraged to apply directly here: https://bit.ly/3c7CT0c.” In the meanwhile, she continues to urge New Mexico residents to stay at home and protect themselves and others.

Update: May 4th, 2020 12:09 p.m.

The Numbers: New Mexico inches closer to reaching 4,000 cases as numbers stand at 3,850 positive cases in our state. In addition, deaths over the weekend have risen by 28, leaving a total of 151 deaths. In addition, 832 residents have recovered and 164 individuals are currently being hospitalized.

From the Governor and Around the State: McKinley county has been put under a city lockdown as cases there constitute almost 1/3 of all cases in NM. As business restrictions ease in Bernalillo County and around the state, on May 1st, Governor Lujan Grisham enacted the Riot Control Act in Gallup, extending these orders in order to curb the spread of the virus. According to a press release by the Governor’s office on May 1st, “Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at 12 p.m. on Friday invoked the state’s Riot Control Act, authorizing her to enact further temporary restrictions to mitigate the uninhibited spread of COVID-19 in that city.” As such, all roads are closed, all businesses may only operate from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., and vehicles may not have more than two individuals. After enacting these orders, Lujan Grisham tweeted, “The spread of #COVID19 in McKinley County is frightful. Physical distancing has not occurred & is not occurring. Stricter measures are necessary to stop the virus.”

Update: May 1st, 2020 9:51 a.m.

The Numbers: Deaths due to COVID-19 have seen a sudden spike, leaving a total of 123, most of which took place in residential homes. In addition, there are now a total of 3,411 positive cases, 172 current hospitalizations, and 536 total hospitalizations. On the bright side, however, 760 residents have recovered from the virus.

From the Governor: Despite rising cases, Governor Lujan Grisham has instated easing of business restrictions. Starting today, non-essential retailers may operate through curbside pickup and delivery. Golf courses may also open up, although for golfing purposes only as dine-in services remain prohibited. These changes, according to the Albuquerque Journals, were made amongst backlash from the GOP party on strict enforcement of stay at home orders. Because NM has experienced such a stark increase in unemployment rates due to business restrictions, however, Lujan Grisham said on Thursday, “this public health crisis,” Lujan Grisham said, “has also become an economic crisis. There’s great urgency to address both.”

Update: April 30th, 2020 12:27 p.m.

The Numbers: Yesterday marked the single highest increase in COVID-19 cases in New Mexico– 239, bringing the total to 3,213 cases. There have also been two additional deaths– 112 in total. Currently, 163 individuals are being hospitalized for the virus and 734 have recovered. Health officials predict that New Mexico may be reaching its peak before a possible plateau over the summer. However, national predictions state that cases may go up as states reopen.

From the Governor: Governor Lujan Grisham continues to maintain social distancing and stay at home orders, stating that a decline in cases is crucial before allowing a full state reopening. In response to backlash over these policies, Lujan Grisham said, “There is only one you. We can – and will – sustain and rebuild our economy and workforce throughout and after this pandemic. But we cannot replace YOU – if this disease is allowed to spread, we will lose more New Mexican lives. I cannot and will not abide that. Please, protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community by staying home.”

Update: April 29th, 2020 11:18 a.m.

The Numbers:  New Mexico now has 2,974 positive cases of COVID-19 as well as 110 deaths. While 157 individuals are currently being hospitalized for the virus, 705 residents have recovered.

Around the State: A recent report from the Albuquerque Journal has found that undocumented immigrants face unique struggles during the pandemic. Despite newly approved federal funding during this time, most all undocumented families do not qualify and struggle to stay financially afloat as staggering unemployment rates and business closures have led nearly 22 million Americans to file for bankruptcy.

From the Governor: Despite state openings around the country, Governor Lujan Grisham continues to maintain social distancing orders, posting on her Facebook, “this virus continues to spread. If we protect ourselves & our loved ones, more of us will live. We cannot underestimate COVID-19. Slow the spread by staying home and saving lives.”

Update: April 27th, 2020 11:20 a.m.

The Numbers: Cases of COVID-19 in NM are nearing 3,000 at a total of 2,726. In addition, there have been 99 deaths and148 current hospitalizations. While 650 residents have recovered from the virus, a model from the Los Alamos National Laboratory has suggested that New Mexico may have already hit its peak after the number of daily reported cases has surged after a brief period of decline.

From the Governor: While states around the country are reopening, Governor Lujan Grisham has extended stay at home orders until “at least” Wednesday, May 15th. However, these precautions seem to be working as a report from the New York Times describes how New Mexico was able to avoid a potentially sharp death toll through strict enforcement of social distancing, which can be expected to continue well into the summer months.

Update: April 22nd, 2020 10:32 a.m.

The Numbers: Positive cases of COVID-19 in NM have now surpassed 2,000 and are now at 2,072. There have also been seven additional deaths leaving a total of 65 deaths. While 119 residents are currently being hospitalized for the virus, 529 are reported to have recovered and daily cases are decreasing, leaving some home that perhaps we may be on our way to stabilizing the situation.

Uzair Hammad ’24
Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in NM
Uzair Hammad ’24
Recovered Cases of COVID-19 in NM

Around the State: In the meantime, small businesses around New Mexico are struggling to stay financially stable without receiving federal assistance. With strict stay at home orders in place, many restaurants and other small businesses are losing customers drastically and some fear they may go out of business. “We were just hoping to get the support from our government,” Phillip Blackman of Blackman’s Championship Martial Arts said. “We have done everything right for the last 27 years with our business and we were hoping we would get some sort of financial help.”

Update: April 20th, 2020 10:40 a.m. 

The Numbers: As of April 19th, 2020, there have been 1,845 positive cases of COVID-19 and 55 New Mexicans have passed from the virus. In addition, 103 individuals are currently being hospitalized and 487 people are reported to have recovered.

Around the State: New Mexico farmers are struggling to maintain a steady income as lockdown orders from the governor has decreased restaurant and store activity. However, New Mexico’s American Friends Service Committee launched an initiative called Farm to Foodbank in an effort to both aid local farmers and provide food to those in need. By both purchasing fresh produce from these farmers and providing supplies to aid in their work, Farm to Foodbank is an organization that strives to bring the community together during these troubling times. “It’s been a wonderful win-win. It helps the farmers, and it helps the local food banks in New Mexico serve the hungriest people. It’s been great to bridge the gap between the two,” said the program director of the state’s American Friends Services Committee, Sayrah Namaste. You can read more about Farm to Foodbank here.

From the Governor: As the virus continues to spread across the state, Governor Lujan Grisham continues to reassure New Mexicans about our state of affairs. “Just like me, New Mexico mayors know our small businesses are hurting,” she wrote in a post yesterday. “But they understand we must be safe before we can relent in our fight against the virus. They know we need more tests; they know we need more safeguards. We will get there — together.‬”

Update: April 16th, 2020 12:30 p.m.

The Numbers: Eighty new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday, with no new deaths, leaving the total count as of today at 1,484. At the moment, 90 residents are being hospitalized and 353 individuals have recovered from the virus.

Around the State: Recent reports have found that hospitals in rural areas are operating on highly limited supplies. Especially in NM, where most of our demographic lives in rural areas. Such limitations have even led one hospital in southern NM to file for bankruptcy as stay at home orders have left many hospitals with little to no revenue to operate on. “Compliance with the public health orders to reduce elective procedures and surgeries is absolutely the right public health thing to do,” said the president of the NM Hospital Association, Jeff Dye. “But it’s a devastating financial decision for the hospitals.”

From the Governor: Fortunately, the Governor has announced that social distancing seems to be working as our state is finally receiving necessary equipment to fully deal with this pandemic in a press conference yesterday afternoon. In collaboration with the White House, Governor Lujan Grisham is working with the NM Department of Health to increase testing capabilities and says, “New Mexico could soon be the role model for other states.” While social distancing and stay at home orders are still to be maintained, there is hope that NM may be able to recover at a faster rate. “It won’t be enough,” she says, “until we deal with this public health emergency in its entirety and we figure out what the new normal for New Mexico is going to look like, but we must all support each other in order to achieve that.”

Update: April 14th, 2020 5:08 p.m.

Eight minutes ago, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a total of 1,407 positive cases of COVID-19, 62 more than reported yesterday. There have also been five additional deaths, bringing the total to 36 individuals. All five residents who passed were at least 50 years of age and resided in Bernalillo county, Sandoval county, and San Juan county. At the moment, 82 residents are being hospitalized and 340 New Mexicans are reported to have recovered. To help keep New Mexicans informed, the NM Department of Health recently created a database tracking the spread of COVID-19 in our state.

Update: April 13th, 2020 5:15 p.m.

As of this afternoon, there have been an additional 107 COVID-19 cases reported and five new deaths, leaving the total count at 1,345 cases and 31 deaths. Unfortunately, the virus seems to be spreading at an alarming rate. All five individuals who passed from the virus were at least 40 years of age and had underlying conditions. Currently, there are 455 cases in Bernalillo County and 87 residents are currently being hospitalized. 236 individuals are known to have recovered from the virus and there is still hope that, if maintained, social distancing measures will help slow the spread of the virus after we reach our “peak.”

Update: April 13th, 2020 9:52 a.m. 

An additional 74 positive cases of COVID-19 were announced by the New Mexico Department of Health on Sunday, April 12th, leaving the total count at 1,245. There have also been six additional deaths; all four individuals were at least 50 years of age and 3/6 resided in Bernalillo County; the current death count is 26. Bernalillo County still stands as the most concentrated area of all COVID-19 cases in New Mexico, with 440 cases. As a result of the high number of cases at La Vida Llena Retirement Center in Albuquerque, NM’s attorney general has launched an investigation into the outbreak due to claims that it could have been avoided had proper safety precautions (such as social distancing and providing face masks and gloves) been taken. At the moment, there are more than 50 cases at La Vida Llena and six deaths have taken place. As she announced this news, the Governor left a final message to New Mexico residents: “Stay home. Slow the spread of COVID-19. Save lives.”

Update: April 12th, 2020 11:17 a.m.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced an additional 86 positive cases of COVID-19 and 1 additional death, leaving the total count at 1,174 cases and 20 deaths. The individual was a 70-year-old man who lived in San Juan County. 78 individuals are being hospitalized for the virus and 235 residents have recovered. The New Mexico Department of Health continues to monitor the situation and has identified “community spread” in Bernalillo, Doña Ana, McKinley, Otero, Sandoval, San Juan, and Santa Fe counties. As of Sunday, April 12th, there are 422 positive cases in Bernalillo County and stay at home orders remain in place. Amid Easter Sunday, the Governor urges residents to stay at home and avoid large congregations. “The risk is simply too great,” she says. “In-person services risk spreading COVID-19, potentially affecting thousands. This year, home is holy. Please, you MUST stay home.”

Update: April 11th, 2020 12:01 p.m.

New Mexico has officially reached 1,091 positive cases of COVID-19, with 106 additional cases announced by governer Grisham yesterday at 5:00 p.m. There have also been 2 additional deaths, leaving the final so far at 19. Both individuals were in their 80s and 90s: a man who resided in Bernallio county and a woman who resided in Sandoval county. Currently, 75 New Mexico residents are being hospitalized and 223 have recovered from the virus. Bernalillo County is the most affected region of New Mexico thus far, housing 407 cases. As a result of this grim news, the governer’s stay at home orders have been extended until April 30th. Schools and non-essential businesses are to remain closed and businesses that remain open may only operate at 20% capacity.

Update: April 9th, 2020 9:56 a.m.

Thirteen hours ago, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced an additional 124 cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico as well as one additional death, leaving the final count at 989 total cases and 17 deaths. Of these 989 cases, the majority are centered in Bernallio County at 369 positive cases. A death occurred yesterday at La Vida Llena retirement home in Albuquerque New Mexico. The individual was an 80-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions. Now more than ever is the time to practice social distancing and follow stay at home orders. If you begin to exhibit symptoms, testing for COVID-19 may be an option. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the following people may be eligible for testing:

  • Asymptomatic residents recently in close contact with residents who have tested positive for the virus, residing or working in a nursing home, or in “congregate settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, or detention centers.”
  • Symptomatic residents who are displaying flu-like signs of the symptoms

For more information on testing sites, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health website.

Update: April 8th, 2020 4:30 p.m.

New Mexico has now received 72 more positive cases of COVID-19 since April 7th, leaving the total at 865. There have also been 3 additional deaths and all three individuals resided in Bernalillo county and were 80+ years of age. Currently, 59 individuals are receiving care at a hospital. However, on the bright side, 201 people are now reported to have recovered. Please stay safe and practice social distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC.

Update: April 7th, 2020

On January 21st, 2020, the US had its first confirmed case of COVID-19, sparking nationwide panic as cases have increased dramatically. Since the first reported case of COVID-19 in New Mexico on March 11th, there has been an upward surge in infections. As of April 7th, 2020, there have been 794 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in NM, with the highest concentration centered in Bernalillo County. In addition, there have been 13 deaths and the victims’ ages have ranged from 40-70+.
In light of these circumstances, on March 16th Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham closed New Mexico’s schools, and on March 28th, she issued statewide stay at home orders in order to slow the spread of the disease. These guidelines mandate that people may walk their dogs or go for a jog, however, social gatherings of more than five people may not take place. In addition, all businesses have been closed, except those who have been deemed “essential,” including grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware shops, pet supply shops, and medical clinics. While restaurants and breweries remain open, they are only open for delivery or pickup and all stores may only be at 20% capacity. Despite the rapid increase in cases in less than a month, these measures have kept NM from becoming a national “hotspot,” as has happened in New York, Louisiana, New Jersey and numerous other states (See map). While initially only supposed to last until April 6th, these measures have now been extended until April 30th.
Some communities have had higher concentrations of cases than others. At La Vida Llena Retirement center in Albuquerque, there have been 47 confirmed cases and two deaths, leading Mayor Tim Keller to call for strict social distancing measures at nursing homes and retirement facilities across the state. Another outbreak has occurred at Zia Pueblo in Sandoval County where 31 people have tested positive for the virus. Similarly, San Felipe pueblo is also experiencing an outbreak, where 52 people have tested positive.
Despite grim news, there seems to be some hope. In our state, 171 individuals are reported to have recovered from the virus, signaling that not all cases result in severe symptoms. However, upon the governor’s orders, social distancing measures must be maintained in order to protect ourselves and others.