Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (5/23/20 edition) – New Mexico Political Report

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See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • The state now has more than 300 COVID-19-related deaths and over 6,600 confirmed cases. See the details here.
  • Navajo Nation health officials reported 95 additional COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths; the Navajo Nation has now found 4,529 COVID-19 cases and recorded 149 COVID-19-related deaths. Health officials say about 1,235 people have recovered.
  • Naturalization ceremonies have been suspended until at least June 3, the day after primaries in New Mexico. Sen. Martin Heinrich told the Las Cruces Sun-News, “I am beginning to worry that they intend to do this through the election — that this is not a COVID issue. This is beginning to feel like an anti-immigration issue.”
  • Zuni Pueblo also has an increase in COVID-19 cases, KOB-TV reported.
  • The Mescalero Apache reported their first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
  • Inmates are worried about the number of cases in facilities, which is totally 149, but many believe the actual number is actually much higher, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • Cleaning staff at UNM Hospital say leadership isn’t providing them COVID-specific training or adequate personal protective equipment, KUNM reported.
  • The Albuquerque Journal reported on restaurants’ reluctance about a contact tracing rule.
  • The New Mexico Environment Department suspended the food service permits of two restaurants, the Jalisco Cafe in Silvery City and Anaheim Jacks in Ruidoso, that operated dine-in services in violation of the state’s public health emergency order.
  • The Carlsbad Current Argus reported on a gym in Carlsbad that remained open after receiving a $100 fine.
  • The Santa Fe New Mexican wrote about how hospitals can now resume elective surgeries.
  • State Rep. Rebecca Dow said she believed the state should reopen its portion of Elephant Butte, KOAT-TV reported.
  • While many voters are opting to vote with absentee ballots, KOB-TV looked at the precautions for in-person voting.
  • The state is accepting applications for 200 to 250 positions for contact-tracing, a key part of the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. The state seeks applicants with experience in a health-related field or work with communities on social service matters, social work or case management. Those who wish to apply can do so at and the “View Job Opportunities and Apply” link.
  • Workers at the Albuquerque International Sunport are concerned about the lack of plexiglass barriers at ticket counters, KRQE-TV reported.
  • The state Supreme Court announced that district judges can permit in-person family visits among children in state custody if the visits can occur under COVID-19-safe conditions.
  • The Santo Domingo tribal government warned members that there were reports of those who tested positive for COVID-19 spitting on car door handles.
  • Gov. Michlele Lujan Grisham ordered flags flown at half staff this weekend for both the victims of COVID-19 and for military personnel who passed away.
  • The Luna County emergency response team went into action when a Luna County Detention Center employee tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the Deming Headlight reported.

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