Coronavirus

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State Updates Orders To Expand Capacity In Churches, Retailers – Albuquerque Journal, KUNM

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham eased some capacity restrictions on churches and retailers Friday even as the state reported 164 new positive COVID-19 cases.

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Access to medical care could not be more important than it is at this moment.  And plenty of people either don’t have health insurance or lost it because they lost their jobs during the pandemic. On Episode 62, we look into what options exist for the underemployed and recently unemployed, what a hospital worker experienced when she got a $1,500 COVID-19 test bill she was not expecting, and we talk to the superintendent of insurance to discover what the state is doing to help.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As of May 14, 5,503 New Mexicans have tested positive for COVID-19, with health care workers among the most likely to be exposed to the virus. Catherine Delaney, a physicians assistant and recovered COVID patient, talked to Your NM Gov host Khalil Ekulona about what it was like to be infected with COVID-19, the rocky road to recovery, and the range of symptoms she, family members and her patients have experienced.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Antibody tests are meant to detect whether a person has had a prior immune response to a COVID-19 infection. But the accuracy of the antibody tests on the market right now varies widely. Dr. David Grenache, Chief Scientific Officer for TriCore Reference Laboratories, spoke with Your NM Gov host Khalil Ekulona about how antibody tests are important from a population health perspective – to gather data about how many have been exposed – but they cannot tell us yet whether or not an individual has developed an immunity to the virus.

When you think about Doctors Without Borders you may picture the medical humanitarian NGO working in war-torn countries like Syria or Yemen. But as the COVID-19 crisis lays bare inequalities and vulnerabilities in the U.S., the organization's working here, too, assisting the Navajo Nation in fighting the disease.

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Governor Says New Mexico Is Short On Virus-Tracing Personnel - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says the state is woefully short of professionals devoted to contact tracing aimed at alerting people who are exposed unknowingly to the coronavirus.

U.S. Air Force photo by Pedro Tenorio via CC

 

As Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham eases restrictions in New Mexico starting Saturday, we talk about the factors that signal when and how to reopen the country: testing, contact tracing, modeling, antibody tests and treatment. In episode 61, we hear about test expansion and antibody test development, a new treatment involving plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, and what it's like to be sick with the virus. 

Most of us have never experienced anything like the coronavirus pandemic in our lifetime, and that's especially true for children. The Mountain West News Bureau spoke with five kids about what's on their minds: 6-year-old Emerson, 10-year-old Eleanor, 11-year-old Wren, 11-year-old Brennan, and 10-year-old Olivia. Amanda Peacher shares their voices in this audio postcard.

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Retail Restrictions Will Ease In NM, But Everyone Must Wear Masks In PublicAlbuquerque Journal and KUNM News

New Mexico’s public health restrictions will relax starting Saturday with more businesses able to open, but with a new mandate that everyone wears a face mask in public places.

Senior Airman Valerie Seelye, U.S. Army / CREATIVE COMMONS

Lets Talk New Mexico 5/14, 8a: K-12 schools across the state closed in late March and students have been finishing up their last months online. Many youth have had their extracurriculars cancelled and aren’t able to leave the house or see their friends. This week, we hear from the generation of young New Mexicans impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. As they approach the end of the semester, we’ll hear from middle and high school students about what the shutdown’s been like for them and what they think the future might hold.

At the end of April, the national unemployment rate hit 14.7% – the highest rate since the Great Depression. On CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett predicted the rate will exceed 20% when the Department of Labor issues May's numbers.

Megan Kamerick

New Mexico Opens COVID-19 Testing To All Workers In StateAssociated Press

New Mexico officials have announced that COVID-19 testing is now available for all workers in the state.

The New Mexico Department of Health said Monday testing would be open to government employees, utility and construction workers, grocery and pharmacy employees, and anyone in food service or other service industries.

Depending on the estimate, the U.S. needs between 100,000 and 300,000 contact tracers to help fight COVID-19. Some say these new jobs could be an opportunity for some of the millions of Americans who've been laid off or furloughed.

Kate Russell

Sheriffs Ask AG Barr To Review New Mexico Health Orders - By Russell Contreras Associated Press

New Mexico Republicans and sheriffs are asking U.S. Attorney General William Barr to review Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's COVID-19 health orders. 

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Episode 60 we maximize the connective power of radio in service of appreciation and love for the people we might not be able to talk to—whether they're in a hospital, somewhere that phone service or net isn't so good, a senior living facility, a jail or prison, or just far away. And if you have any worries we've strayed too far from our mission, you know, with "government" in the name of this show, it's all good. We do have shoutouts from some government officials, too. 


This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

It's Cinco de Mayo in Sandpoint, Idaho, and a downtown pub is giving away free meals to families in need. Not many people are out. A few are wearing masks. Outside the pub, a teenager is playing the Beatles' song "Yesterday" on his violin.

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Extreme Lockdown Shows Divide In Hard-Hit Navajo Border Town - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

Tens of thousands of people living on and around the vast Navajo reservation in the U.S. southwest do their shopping in Gallup, a town of 22,000 people.

my_southborough via Creative Commons / Creative Commons

Many New Mexicans are being told to stay at home and distance themselves from others to minimize the cases of COVID-19 in the state. But that’s not an option for those stuck in jails and prisons, who usually have close contact with each other in tight spaces. Expanding on an earlier episode, this conversation is all about the dangers that these inmates face – as well as the staff who oversee them and the community at large.

This story is powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

For the past 140 years, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes have both called the Wind River Valley home.

They didn't choose to share this reservation - and it's no secret that the two tribal governments don't always agree. But since the start of the pandemic, they've been on the same page about one thing.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The stay-at-home order is dragging on and things are getting kind of grim. People have been cooped up together for weeks now, money issues are coming to a head, and uncertainty and instability are persistent facts of our everyday lives. After yesterday's discussion of domestic violence, this episode is all about how to get through this difficult time—spiritually, psychologically and emotionally.

As the pandemic decimates local budgets across the Mountain West, another threat looms large at local fire stations across the region: wildfires. That has lawmakers and firefighters demanding more federal support.

Communities across the globe are trying to understand what percent of their population has been exposed to COVID-19 by searching random samples of residents for antibodies against the virus. 

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Most students at the University of New Mexico moved out of the dorms and began taking classes online the last week of March. For students experiencing domestic violence who moved back into abusive situations, or who are no longer leaving home to go to school, there are new barriers to getting support. The LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center is a confidential reporting site on campus for sexual and domestic violence that provides students support, education and resources. KUNM’s Nash Jones, who used to work at the center, spoke with Cole Carvour, the center’s Campus Advocate, about how the stay-at-home order is impacting student survivors and the services the center provides.

Noxious gas, rolling giant eyeballs, being trapped in a perpetually falling elevator. The pandemic is sparking a world-wide increase in vivid dreams. And people are sharing them on websites like I Dream of COVID and across social media.


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New Mexico Mandates Face Masks At Retail Stores, Restaurants – Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is ordering workers at retail stores and restaurants to wear face coverings as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, starting with big box stores and major grocery stores on Wednesday.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In episode 56, we explore New Mexico’s upcoming limited reopening of restaurants and retail stores. What needs to be considered in terms of how to stay safe during a reopening and what are the best practices? 

Every state is wrestling with the tension between reopening economies and protecting communities from COVID-19. Some industries have remained open all along. There are the obvious ones, like grocery stores and hospitals. Then there are others, like mining.

Chris Descheemaeker ranches black angus, red angus cross with her family outside of Lewistown, Montana. The coronavirus pandemic, she says, comes after a few tough winters and an already tough market.


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Hospital Praises Lockdown On City On Edge Of Navajo Nation - By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

Medical personnel on the front lines of a rural coronavirus hot spot on the outskirts of the Navajo Nation are praising an aggressive lockdown involving roadblocks and the National Guard as they grapple with infections that have spilled over to hospital staff.

This week the governors of Colorado and Nevada joined West Coast states in something called the Western States Pact. Its stated aim is to bring together states with a “shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.” 

The U.S. now has at least three such regional collaborations. 

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