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New Mexico Governor To Lead Democratic Governors Group - Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been selected as the new chair of the Democratic Governors Association for 2021.

The first-term governor had previously served as a vice chair and was among those seen as possible U.S. Cabinet candidates for the post of health and human services secretary in the Biden administration. During the course of the pandemic, her administration has imposed some of the toughest public health restrictions in the nation.

Daniel Paquet via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Sets Priority For Initial Vaccine Doses – Morgan Lee, Associated Press

New Mexico's lieutenant governor lobbied on Thursday for educators to be among the first people to get access to coronavirus vaccines, along with health care workers, as the first doses become available in coming months.

New Mexico’s initial batch of 17,500 vaccine doses from Pfizer is slated to go to hospitals for use with personnel who have had high or medium risk exposure to the virus.

New Mexico Surpasses 100K Infections, Reports 40 Deaths – Associated Press

New Mexico marked more grim milestones Wednesday with confirmed COVID-19 infections surpassing the 100,000 mark and the daily death toll reaching a new high as some public health restrictions were eased following a two-week lockdown.

Health officials reported an additional 1,549 confirmed cases for the day, bringing the statewide total to nearly 100,970. About half of the state’s total cases since the pandemic began have been reported in just the past month.

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New Mexico Residents Endure Long Wait For Virus Results – Associated Press

Health officials say New Mexico residents have encountered longer lines for COVID-19 testing and must wait several days or weeks for test results as confirmed coronavirus cases surge throughout the state.

COVID-19 Public Dashboard / New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico Counties Have Long Way To Go Under Virus System – Associated Press

New Mexico is moving soon to a county-by-county system for responding to COVID-19 that allows local communities to shed restrictions if the virus retreats. via Unsplash / Creative Commons

‘Buy Local' Push Picks Up Steam In New Mexico Amid Shutdown - By Pilar Martinez Albuquerque Journal

Jenny Gonzales, owner of Los Ranchos' Culture Club Salon, said she has seen firsthand this year how local businesses are able to lift one another up — even during the current state-mandated shutdown of nonessential businesses.

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New Mexico Governor Says Holiday Plans Aren't Worth The Risk - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is making a last push to get people to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

She tweeted a new video from the state health department showing family members eating dinner at their own homes while talking via a livestream.

The governor says seeing family isn't worth the risk and that it's not too late to cancel plans.

Albuquerque Journal pool photo

New Mexico Looks Ahead To More Economic Relief Amid Pandemic - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

The flurry to pass a $330 million relief package aimed at helping out-of-work New Mexicans and certain businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic is done.

Mr.TinDC via Flickr / Creative Commons

New Mexico On Track To Pass $330 Million Virus Relief Bill - By Cedar Attanasio AP/Report For America

Republican lawmakers are voicing support for a coronavirus relief package proposed in the Democratic-controlled New Mexico legislature.

Bipartisan support emerging in the House signals that the $330 million bill will pass quickly.

If signed this week, the state could distribute $1,200 stimulus checks to people who are unemployed or who have run out of unemployment this year.

New Mexico Aims To Boost Virus Testing With Saliva Samples - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

The New Mexico Health Department hopes to expand capacity for COVD-19 testing by offering saliva testing.
Starting Monday, officials said the FDA-approved test is being offered at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque.

The method is recommended for asymptomatic individuals and involves swabbing the mouth to collect a saliva sample.

Alb., 11/21-At Saturday's Senate Democratic Caucus meeting, Mimi Stewart was chosen as the Democratic nominee for Senate President Pro Tem and Linda Lopez was elected Democratic Whip. Stewart, Lopez, and former senator Dede Feldman were interviewed on KUNM Women's Focus.

New Mexico Opens Alternate Care Facility For COVID PatientsAssociated Press

With New Mexico hospitals facing a capacity crunch due the coronavirus outbreak, the state on Friday opened an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients in a renovated former hospital in Albuquerque.

The state Department of Health said the Gibson Medical Center will only serve recovering COVID-19-positive adults who don't require acute care. The facility won't have an emergency hospital, intensive care unit or surgical suite, the department said in a statement.

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Governor Calls On Legislature To Approve Pandemic Relief - By Cedar Attanasio Associated Press/Report For America

The governor is calling a special legislative session next week in the hope of providing new economic relief from the coronavirus pandemic and aggressive emergency restrictions.

New Mexico Tightens Restrictions, Virus Cases Hit New High - Cedar Attanasio Associated Press/Report For America

New Mexico officials are reporting that daily confirmed positive COVID-19 cases have swelled to a record 2,897 cases.
They also reported Wednesday an additional 26 deaths.
Following a set of restrictions rolled out Monday in an attempt to "reset" the state's fight against the virus, the governor is issuing additional tightening on the definitions of essential businesses.

Mariquitas CK via Wikimedia

Amid Record Virus Deaths, New Mexico Looks For 12k Students - By Cedar Attanasio, Associated Press

New Mexico has hit a new high in virus deaths and infections.

On Tuesday, the state reported a record 2,112 known new cases of the virus, bringing the total case count to over 67,000.

Felipe Esquivel Reed / Creative Commons

New Mexico Begins Lockdown As State Looks To Curb Spread – Associated Press

New Mexico is starting its lockdown as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and hospital administrators look to curb COVID-19 infections.

Arianna Sena / KUNM

Pandemic Upends Preparations For Legislative Session - Associated Press


Gerd Altmann via Pixabay / Creative Commons

New Mexico Marks Highest Daily Count Of COVID-19 CasesAssociated Press

New Mexico has marked its highest daily count of confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Health officials on Thursday reported an additional 1,753 cases to push the statewide tally to more than 60,770. Eighteen deaths also were reported.

Hannah Colton, Twitter @hmcolton

The KUNM community is heartbroken to say that News Director Hannah Colton died earlier this week at age 29. 

John Miller via Pixabay / Creative Commons

Election Revives Recreational Pot Initiatives In New Mexico - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

State legislators are rekindling efforts to open New Mexico to recreational marijuana production and sales, with an emphasis on economic opportunity amidst the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic.

Margaret Wright

On Saturday, Nov. 7, just after the presidential race was called for Biden, hundreds turned up on the steps of the state’s capital for a rally against election results--though there has not yet been evidence of fraud. And a quick content warning: This story contains antagonism based in transphobia.  

Victor Björkund via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

Santa Fe Schools End In-Person Learning Experiment - By Cedar Attanasio Associated Press / Report For America, Santa Fe New Mexican

After three weeks of trying to make in-person learning work, Santa Fe Public Schools are calling it quits.

With the city posting its own record numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospital beds filling up, Superintendent Veronica García says it is time to pump the brakes.

New Mexico Hospitals Seeing Strain As COVID-19 Cases Climb - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Top medical officers for some of New Mexico's largest hospital systems say they are now at or above normal capacity as the coronavirus pandemic surges across the state.

Wow, we just had a tense bunch of days, each one filled with anticipation and impatience and consternation. From people worrying about how the election was going to play out, to some keeping an eye on potential violence, it would be an understatement to say that anxieties were high. It makes sense, 2020 has been mad anxious as my East Coast compatriots would say. But the electoral college digits that just wouldn’t move are not the only numbers the United States has to grapple with. Most of the country spent so much of their attention on the election, news of record- breaking new covid cases barely cut through the din. No matter who’s in charge, we’ve got a lot in front of us.

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This week, New Mexico voters blew past turnout records of years past, and pushed the state Senate further to the left. That means that in the next legislative session, some policies and plans might be on the table that weren’t before. KUNM's Megan Kamerick spoke with Marjorie Childress, who wrote about the progressive shift for New Mexico In Depth.

Albuquerque Journal pool photo

Court Details New Mexico's Authority To Enforce Health Order - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

The New Mexico Supreme Court says state officials have the power to impose civil penalties as they enforce mandates that are part of public health orders.

Mufid Majnun via Unsplash / Creative Commons

New Mexico Governor Warns Of Critical COVID-19 Situation - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday said the state has recorded its highest daily count for deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic in what has become a "dramatic, critical situation."

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 11/5, 8a: There’s never been an election like 2020, and on this week's Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be looking at how the process played out and the consequences of Tuesday’s vote. From the President all the way down the ballot, join us as we sort through the results and what they might mean for our state. We want to hear from you! What’s been on your mind as you’ve watched results come in? What hopes or fears do you have for New Mexico or the nation in this moment?

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, New Mexico made history by electing its first U.S. House delegation composed of all women of color. Yvette Herrell, Teresa Leger Fernandez and Deb Haaland also make up the largest ever all-woman House delegation to Congress.

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

Election Day 2020 was unique amid the COVID-19 pandemic with historic statewide turnout and record-high absentee ballots cast in New Mexico. Alex Curtas, Communications Director for New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, said Wednesday, Nov. 4, that only a small amount of absentee ballots remain uncounted across the state and that no distruptions at the polls were reported.