The latest on COVID-19
– New Mexico's cases of the novel coronavirus now number 23. The state Health Department reports having performed a total of 1,272 tests; these no longer need to be verified by the Centers for Disease Control (so that means no more use of the phrase "presumptive positive").
– Mayor Alan Webber announced an update to the city's emergency proclamation late Tuesday that indefinitely freezes evictions during the COVID-19 crisis. It also puts a moratorium on water shut-offs, delays lodger's tax collection, and makes all public buses free, effective immediately. Spokesman Tripp Stelnicki says a statewide eviction freeze is something Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is also looking into.
– Following a international trend, Smith's Food & Drug Stores announced stores will now be open only for seniors from 7 to 8 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This will continue until further notice.
– Both of Santa Fe's hospitals have drive-up testing centers now, but people are asked to first call the state hotline (855-600-3453) to get screened remotely before showing up in person. Advice for many folks is the same: Stay home, take care of yourself, avoid the elderly or immune-compromised. Call back if things get worse. The state is focusing its efforts on testing people with symptoms of respiratory infection and a fever of 104 degrees and above. The state is at work to make these testing centers operate 24 hours a day.
– Despite orders to limit mass gatherings, the state's prison system has not tested any of the thousands of inmates locked up or the corrections officers guarding them. And there do not appear to be contingency plans in place should an outbreak occur. This has caused a group of incarcerated folks to consider legal action against the state.
– This week may be spring break, but when next Monday comes, Santa Fe's students will have to "go back" to school from home. Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica García says that our schools are working on their distance-learning plans and that SFPS' virtual curriculum could include everything from online resources already in use, such as a program called Google Classroom where kids can access their homework assignments online, to live streaming or video chat classes.
– In light of this unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office will not dispatch deputies to take in-person reports for certain types of incidents. Citizens are encouraged to report vehicle crashes and theft, burglary and vandalism with no suspect information to the nonemergency dispatch line at 505-428-3720, and likely won't see a cop in person for these kinds of things.
Do it for the teens
The governor slashed capital outlay projects in light of COVID-19, but one project spared the cutting pen was Santa Fe's Southside teen center. Santa Fe has not had any city-owned center for teens since Warehouse 21, located in the Santa Fe Railyard area next to SITE Santa Fe, closed its doors last year.
Passing time during social distancing looks like one thing for many folks: Screens. Movies on screens, to be exact. SFR has moved to an all-streaming model for its movie reviews for the time being, so check out what Alex De Vore thought of Hulu's Big Time Adolescence and a doc on Netflix about ZZ Top. This follows news that Santa Fe theaters Violet Crown and the CCA's Cinematheque/The Screen have decided to temporarily shutter.
Man, you guys suck at this
Bet you didn't know this is Sunshine Week, a chunk of the calendar that journalists devote to educating the public (and themselves) about government transparency. If you're looking for a little normalcy, we once again bring you The Foilies, a dubious distinction awarded each year to some of the worst in government transparency around the country. This annual feature is a fun, perhaps infuriating, always interesting read of which the Word is a big fan, if my opinion counts for anything.
Meow Wolf sued…again
Artist Lauren Adele Oliver, whose sculpture "Space Owl" features prominently in Meow Wolf, is suing the arts megacorp, saying that she was promised a share in an artist collective but was instead offered pennies on the dollar for her work. "Oliver trusted Meow Wolf would make good on their promises and work with her to formalize a mechanism by which she could share in Meow Wolf's extraordinary success," the lawsuit says. "However, over the course of 2017 and 2018 the language Meow Wolf used to describe itself and its relationship with member artists began to shift."
Well, that’s a bummer
Tomorrow may be the first day of spring, but the weather isn't gonna cooperate. Expect rain today and possibly snow overnight. Temps will likely drop to the 40s tomorrow. But don't worry, the 60s will return. (Not to be confused with the '60s returning, which I think we can count on not happening this week.)
Thanks for reading! The Word got curbside pick-up from Kohnami last night and ate sushi until she didn't know her own name any more. Remember to keep patronizing your favorite local businesses, if you can. They're depending on us to stay afloat.