COVID-19 by the numbers
New Mexico health officials yesterday announced 147 new positive test results for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases so far to 10,838.
As of Tuesday, 141 people were hospitalized—two more than the prior day—and the health department has designated 4,874 cases as recovered.
The new cases were led by McKinley County with 50 new cases, followed by San Juan County with 41. The Torrance County Detention Facility has six new cases among people held by federal agencies.
Santa Fe County had two new cases and now has had 202 cases thus far, 120 of which have been designated as recovered.
The state also reported seven new deaths. There have been 476 total fatalities.
SFPD names India Palace attack a hate crime
The Santa Fe Police Department is investigating the recent vandalism at downtown restaurant India Palace as a hate crime and the department "is aggressively pursuing those responsible for this disgusting display of hatred and intolerance," a new release issued Tuesday afternoon stated. Additionally, Deputy Chief Paul Joye tells SFR police are considering possible connections between this incident and the vandalism that defaced the Plaza obelisk. Police believe both crimes occurred in the same time frame overnight on Sunday, June 21. According to Joye, police are collecting surveillance videos from the area, but have not released any information about potential suspects or leads.The FBI also has offered its assistance with the investigation into unlawful entry, criminal damage and vandalism; restaurant owner Bajit Singh made a report with the FBI shortly after discovering the crime.
NM PED releases school reopening guidelines
Yesterday, the state Department of Public Education released its recommendations to public and charter schools for the 2020-2021 school year. "It is impossible to avoid all risks of virus transmission in the return to school," Education Secretary Ryan Stewart writes in the re-entry guide's introduction, "but we have the power to greatly minimize the potential for illness if we commit to taking reasonable precautions to contain the virus." The guidelines call for phased re-openings beginning Aug. 3 in which students will alternate between in-person instruction at the school building and online instruction when at home—a so-called hybrid model of instruction. The Department of Health and Medical Advisory Team will regularly assess rates of the spread of COVID-19, and districts and schools will then follow the appropriate measures based on their designated safe re-entry categories.
Police arrest Canyon Road-area shooter
Reports of an active shooter yesterday afternoon on Santa Fe's east side resolved by 5 pm with Santa Fe Police taking into custody Jason Elliott, 49, who "allegedly fired a round from his shotgun after a verbal altercation in a parking lot." After police arrived on the scene, "while investigating the area, they heard another gunshot near their immediate vicinity, which caused them to take cover for safety reasons. Mr. Elliott was then seen fleeing the scene in his vehicle. Responding officers nearby located Mr. Elliott's vehicle and conducted a high-risk traffic stop, at which point Mr. Elliot was detained without further incident," according to a police statement. Police charged Elliott with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated assault upon a peace officer; and negligent use of a weapon. Gallerists and businesses in the Canyon Road area were told to shelter in place during the incident. "I've been here 20 years and you very rarely see emergency vehicles on Canyon Road," Deborah Fritz, GF Contemporary owner, tells SFR. "We just don't see police in active pursuit here, so that's why it was shocking,"
This month's "University Showcase" program from KUNM delves into the story of legendary boxer Jack Johnson and his historic fight on July 4, 1912 in Las Vegas, New Mexico, two years after he defeated the so-called "Great White Hope." That fight is the subject of the book Crazy Fourth: How Jack Johnson Kept His Title and Put Las Vegas New Mexico on the Map, just published by University of New Mexico Press. Author and former Albuquerque Journal sportswriter Toby Smith talks about the fight, the racism Johnson faced and how New Mexico ended up hosting the bout.
Come (socially distance) party with us
Santa Fe’s restaurants have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and we think it’s time to celebrate our awesome eating scene. Delayed by disaster, we present today the 2020 Restaurant Guide and we’re having a little party to celebrate. We’ll be socially distancing from 4 to 7 pm at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, 1405 Maclovia Street, where we’ll also be tapping RFA’s new Fourth Estate brew, the proceeds from which benefit Friends of the Reporter. Stop by and grab this year’s Restaurant Guide, order take-out, have a bite on the patio, a sip of something cold and say hi to the SFR crew. We’ll be the ones
drinking heavily wearing masks.
Congressman calls out Trump officials
US Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, had strong words for Trump administration officials yesterday during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. Luján criticized the lackluster state of COVID-19 testing and highlighted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's reported failure—via Politico—to share pandemic data and other health information with tribal health authorities. Addressing CDC Director Robert Redfield, Luján said, "Dr. Redfield, last week your staff indicated—in writing—that the data-sharing issues reported in Politico were merely a 'miscommunication' with a single Tribal Epidemiology Center. But that isn't true. My office has confirmed that this problem goes beyond a single Center, and the Centers report that they have encountered problems obtaining other data sets from CDC, beyond COVID-19." According to a news release from Luján's office, the CDC has since confirmed the data-sharing issue extends beyond one specific Tribal Epidemiology Center and has committed to holding a call with all 12 TECs later this month.
Some like it hot (the rest of us want it to rain)
Sorry to be overly kvetchy, but yesterday's alleged storm left something to be desired…what was it? Oh yes: rain! Here's hoping today delivers. Wednesday's forecast calls for isolated showers and thunderstorms after 3 pm. Otherwise, it will be sunny with a high near 89 degrees. Chances of rain today and tonight about 20% with more isolated storms possible before 9 pm. Those potential storms all week seem to have dissipated as the temps go high again Thursday and Friday with our next slight chance for rain on Saturday.
Thanks for reading! The Word looked long and hard for some good news to deliver this morning and settled on this: Professional fact checkers have plenty of work right now.
Editor's note: The original post about legendary boxer Jack Johnson initially and incorrectly described him as the so-called "Great White Hope." SFR regrets the error.