Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/18/20 edition) – New Mexico Political Report

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See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • The state has nearly 6,000 positive COVID-19 cases and 265 COVID-19-related deaths. See the details on the latest announcement here.
  • Retailers are opening across the state, KOB-TV reported. Under the current public health order, retailers can operate at 25 percent of fire code capacity, as long as they abide by COVID-safe practices as outlined by the state.
  • The state now requires all people to wear masks in public, while the federal government and many other state governments have strongly encouraged it; it’s becoming the new normal.
  • The Navajo Nation announced 90 new COVID-19 cases and zero additional deaths on Sunday and said that the Nation now had a higher testing per capita than any state in the United States; on Saturday, the Nation announce 172 cases and 13 deaths.
    Overall, the Navajo Nation has 4,002 total confirmed cases and 140 total deaths.
  • The Albuquerque Journal wrote about those quarantined in hotels in Gallup.
    • The closure of a detox center in Gallup, because of the spread of COVID-19, had a ripple effect on the region, including the Navajo Nation, the paper reported.
  • The state has let out a trickle of inmates in state prisons, but many lawyers of inmates potentially vulnerable to COVID-19 are pushing for their clients to be released, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
    • There are more than 70 cases among inmates at Otero County federal facilities, the Alamogordo Daily News reported. The cases at the two facilities, north of Chaparral, make up one of the largest outbreaks in the state, the paper said.
    • There are no confirmed cases at the Doña Ana County Detention Center or the J. Paul Taylor Juvenile Detention Facility, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported. The paper also reported that the detainee population at the detention center. 
  • A 96-year old at Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales who tested positive for COVID-19 is “doing great,” The Eastern New Mexico News reported.
  • Churches across the state are slowly reopening, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. Under the current public health order, places of worship can operate at 25 percent of fire code capacity.
  • Four kitchens that have prepared and distributed meals to students in the Gadsden Independent School District closed after workers self-reported possible exposure to COVID-19 or had symptoms, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
  • A nursing expert said that reusing personal protective equipment, as is happening now amid a shortage of equipment because of the worldwide pandemic, should not become the new normal.
  • Exporters in New Mexico, many along the border with Mexico, are feeling the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • While doctors, nurses and grocery store workers are getting attention for their work during the pandemic, KUNM spoke about others still working—like domestic cleaners, sanitation workers, janitors at hospitals and more.

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