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

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See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • Six additional New Mexico residents died of COVID-19 and 104 more tested positive the state Department of Health announced on Tuesday. The state has found a total of 6,192 cases since the pandemic began and has reported 276 COVID-19-related deaths. See all the details here.
  • The Associated Press reported on how the medical system in McKinley County was overwhelmed by COVID-19, starting from mid-March. Read the whole story here.
  • The governor sent a scathing response to Republican senators who asked her to reopen the state by Thursday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
    • “Your reckless demand for a full-scale ‘re-opening,’ ” the governor wrote, “serves only to inflame misinformed public opinion, which is to risk further illness and likely death, death that will be lonely and all the more tragic because it was and is within our power to prevent.”
  • Navajo Nation health officials announced 82 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths; there are now a total of 4,153 confirmed cases on the Navajo Nation and 144 total deaths. The number of cases deemed recovered has reached 1,000; Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said that nearly 12 percent of the Navajo Nation has now been tested, and said because of another large-scale testing event in Tonalea, the Nation could see another spike when those tests are processed.
  • La Vida Llena said that all residents have tested negative for two consecutive COVID-19 tests. They are still awaiting a second negative test on fourteen employees. See the story here.
    • A resident tested positive for COVID-19 at Retirement Ranch in Clovis. All residents and staff have been tested after two employees tested positive; results are still coming in, The Eastern New Mexico News reported.
  • A man who was one of the first in New Mexico to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, who has since recovered, could be the first to donate his plasma to those recovering from the disease. The Albuquerque Journal has the story.
  • The City of Santa Fe says federal relief will likely be needed as it faces a massive budget shortfall, KOB-TV reported.
  • Researchers think Doña Ana County will need to work to create 10,500 jobs lost because of the pandemic, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
  • The Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security will review the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, after a letter from Democratic senators led by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall last month.
    “There is a long history of disease outbreaks in detention facilities and this is the first step toward ensuring that sufficient policies and practices are in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in ICE detention,” said Udall. “I am urging the DHS IG to be fully transparent and thorough in its review of the agency’s disease control procedures at detention facilities. And we expect the final report to include meaningful, unbiased recommendations that protect the health and safety of detainees, of the individuals who work at these facilities every day, and of the surrounding communities.”
  • Western Sky Community Care donated $15,000 for rental assistance in Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • City facilities in Rio Rancho will reopen on May 26, KRQE-TV reported.
  • Santa Fe Community College laid off 80 full- and part-time employees, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • New Mexico saw a 13.9 percent drop in home sales in April, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • Ruidoso Downs will restart races on Friday, with an eye on safety, the El Paso Times reported.
  • Those going to businesses in Ruidoso and nearby lakes didn’t abide by the face mask requirement or social distancing, the Ruidoso News reported.
  • Grant County commissioners voted to take over governance of the Gila Regional Medical Center, in a move they say is temporary, the Silver City Daily Press reported.
  • Much of the talk in a recent forum for Republicans candidates in the 2nd Congressional District was about the pandemic, the Roswell Daily Record reported.

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