Coronavirus

Marcelo Leal via Unsplash / Creative Commons

State health officials announced Wednesday, Aug. 25, that as COVID-19 cases continue to spike, New Mexico has an unprecedented waiting list for ICU beds and that the state is on the brink of having to ration care. 

Leohoho via Unsplash / Creative Commons

Amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Mexico, and as the vaccination rate stagnates, the state announced Tuesday, Aug. 17, it is reimplementing a statewide mask mandate. 

Cases of the COVID delta variant are surging nationwide, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week to issue new guidance for vaccinated people to mask up in areas with high transmission rates. But if infections continue to rise, some Western states have limited how officials can respond.

Idaho, Montana and Utah recently passed laws softening local or executive authority during a public health crisis.

Courtesy UNM


  University Showcase, 7/16, 8a: The last year of the coronavirus pandemic has challenged communities all over the state. Last November, five students at the University of New Mexico began interviewing people about how they and their communities were coping in the pandemic and how they were forced to find their own resilience.

Nash Jones / KUNM

It’s been a month since fully-vaccinated New Mexicans were allowed to stop wearing face masks in most public spaces and businesses got a choice as to whether to require them of all customers. Still, reaction to the newfound flexibility remains varied and somewhat confusing for both businesses and their customers. 

How Many Indigenous People Died From COVID-19? Unknown.

Jun 9, 2021
Illustration by Jolene Nenibah Yazzie
University of New Mexico

University Showcase, Friday 5/21 8a: Each year the University of New Mexico recognizes a faculty member with its Community Engaged Research Lecture award. On this episode, Professor Jennifer Nez Denetdale from the American Studies Department talks about her lecture "Dikos Ntsaaígíí  ̶ Building the Perfect Human to Invade: A Diné Feminist Analysis of the Pandemic and the Navajo Nation.”

Megan Kamerick

After more than a year, people are buying tickets and popcorn at The Guild Cinema in Albuquerque. Owner Keif Henley scrambled to re-open when the state revamped its color-coded risk system recently. Bernalillo County was suddenly in the least restrictive turquoise phase.

New Mexico Department of Health

Many Hispanic Americans who aren't yet vaccinated against the coronavirus are eager to get the shot, according to the results of a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 33 Percent of unvaccinated Hispanic respondents reported wanting to get vaccinated "as soon as possible," compared to about 16% of unvaccinated non-Hispanic white and Black respondents.

Canva / Creative Commons

Public schools in New Mexico started fully in-person classes this month for the first time in over a year. Some students chose to stay remote, others returned, and some of those who went back are already remote again due to COVID exposure. On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re hearing from students about how it’s going.

New Mexico Working To Solve Disparate Vaccine Rates

Apr 19, 2021
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 In the race for herd immunity, New Mexico is being heralded around the country as an unlikely frontrunner. Over half of the state’s population has gotten at least one dose of vaccine. But when it comes to some demographics hit hardest by the virus, vaccination rates are falling short. The numbers continue to highlight what the pandemic put into sharp relief—structural racism interfering with public health efforts.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Local artisans who rely heavily on markets and festivals to sell their products were hard hit during the pandemic as many events were canceled, postponed, or reduced their capacities. In response, new opportunities popped up around Albuquerque for these creative vendors to showcase their goods. As the Downtown Growers’ Market kicks off Saturday, April 17, with more vendors and customers than last year, some of the pandemic-era solutions for local artists are set to stick around. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico public schools welcomed students back to fully in-person class this week for the first time since the pandemic began. KUNM spoke with Monica Armenta, Executive Director of Communication for Albuquerque Public Schools, about how the week is starting off, and why some students are choosing to stay remote.  

SizeSquares / Shutterstock

This week, federal officials issued dire warnings of a potential fourth wave of coronavirus cases and deaths if Americans let their guards down. President Joe Biden urged governors to maintain or reinstate mask mandates to ward off a surge.

Denver Indian Health and Family Services

This is the second in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part one looks at the success of the rollout on rural reservations.

 

The Indian Health Service has delivered coronavirus vaccine doses to the most far-flung corners of the country. From remote villages in Alaska to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Indigenous Americans as young as 16 have had access to the shot for weeks.

Amanda Fehring

 

This is the first in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part two looks at the challenges of vaccinating our region's urban Native population. 

 

No More Normal: A Year In Pandemic

Mar 14, 2021
bug carlson


 Twelve months ago, team NoMoNo was busy having conversations about how we were going to make a show that covered the response to a global pandemic. What did we want to talk about? What was not being talked about? What was the vital info? What were the nuances? What life-and-death decisions were being made by public officials? Who needed help—and where is the help? We’ve worked hard over the last year to provide those answers. 

Savannah Maher

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill into law on Friday. It includes the largest ever one-time federal investment in Indian Country, with $20 billion in direct aid to tribal governments, and another $11 billion set aside for federal Indian programs. 

The aid comes as many tribal nations in the Mountain West are struggling to stay afloat.

Alliance for Excellent Education via Flickr / Creative Commons BY 2.0: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Almost exactly a year after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham first ordered K-12 schools closed to reduce spread of the coronavirus, her administration announced all schools statewide must fully reopen by April 5.

PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay / Creative Commons

Recent surveys show that the U.S. Latino population is skeptical and mistrusts the COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 30% saying they are unlikely to get it. University of New Mexico Political Science professor and Director of the UNM Center for Social Policy Gabriel Sanchez co-authored a study published by the Brookings Institution last month that digs deeper into this data. The report highlights the historical roots of this fear, and makes recommendations for community-specific outreach efforts that could increase equity in vaccine distribution. Dr. Sanchez spoke with KUNM’s Nash Jones about the report and why some Latinos said they are reluctant to get the vaccine. 

Acoma Learning Center

It's a Wednesday evening in December. Five o'clock means the end of my work day, and the start of Wampanoag language class.

"Wunee wunôq," my language teacher, Tracy Kelly, greets me as I join the Zoom call from my kitchen table in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Nash Jones / KUNM

As New Mexico schools got the go-ahead last month from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to resume partial in-person teaching beginning Feb. 8, revised re-entry plans have come before districts for debate. The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education on Wednesday, Feb. 3, postponed a decision about students going back to the classroom after several hours of discussion. Prior to the board meeting, protesters gathered outside the district's headquarters.

As highly contagious coronavirus variants spread, health experts in the Mountain West and beyond are urging people to upgrade and double up their masks.

Courtesy of the Dennison family

 

Karlets Dennison's favorite place to be was on a horse. Preferably with loved ones riding alongside him.

"That was his love. His horses, his ranch, his rodeo," said his wife Debbie Jackson-Dennison. "And he loved sharing it with his kids and his granddaughter."

As President Joe Biden calls for a 100-day mask challenge, a new study finds the majority of adults in the U.S. still don't wear masks consistently when they socialize with people outside of their household.

A new report finds that pandemic-related job loss will cause twice as much chronic homelessness than the 2008 Great Recession, with Latinos and African Americans especially vulnerable.

Some of the Mountain West's COVID-19 hotspots have been, and continue to be, areas with major ski resorts.



Rebecca Travers lives in Casper, Wyo. Until late last year, the 42-year-old had been working at a non-profit that helps volunteer organizations across the state.

Nash Jones / KUNM

New Mexico opened up a new phase in its rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday and, on Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it will begin speeding up distribution of available doses. KUNM’s Nash Jones spoke with Matt Bieber, Communications Director for the Department of Health, about the state’s strategies for getting more shots into more arms, and how the process works.

Adobe Stock

 

State lawmakers across the Mountain West are convening for legislative sessions that will focus largely on the fallout of the pandemic. But without significant precautions, statehouses could become hotbeds for COVID-19 spread.

Legislative sessions typically bring together hundreds of lawmakers, legislative staff, lobbyists, journalists, and members of the public. They travel to and from every corner of a given state and gather indoors, sometimes in cramped meeting spaces.

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