The latest on COVID-19
– By the end of yesterday, New Mexico's COVID-19 cases numbered 35, with seven new cases reported yesterday. Santa Fe County now has seven cases, the second-highest in the state; Bernalillo County has 20.
– It's all hands on deck to help the state fight the novel coronavirus, and many local businesses are going above and beyond to do so. Albuquerque-based sustainable roofing company RoofCARE has donated 75 protective suits and 250 face masks to the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Kevin Wilson, RoofCARE's health and safety officer, urges other private businesses and members of the public to donate supplies.
– It's clear that what RoofCARE did is necessary, as a clinic in Santa Fe has run out of supplies to properly test folks and protect their healthcare providers. Doctors at an internal medicine clinic in town said they did around 30 tests for COVID-19 before they ran out of the swabs and viral media, which preserve specimens so they can be taken to a lab. "Imagine if the construction world ran out of nails," Dr. Joshua Brown said.
– Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber called it "outrageous" that, now of all times, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is conducting visits to local businesses for inspections to verify workers' citizenship and identities. "We cannot have people hiding in the shadows with symptoms of the coronavirus because they're afraid they will be scooped up and deported," Webber said. "Everyone's health is put at risk by irresponsible enforcement." Additionally, Border Patrol agents and the US Attorney's Office in New Mexico have stopped criminally charging people caught crossing illegally into the United States, and instead have expedited deportations.
– Local activist groups already have a strong network of socially conscious folks all around the state, so no matter the groups' original focus, they're the perfect people to help mobilize during a health crisis. SFR's Julia Goldberg reports on what youth climate activists and others are doing to keep their fellow citizens safe.
– Speaking of what local activists are doing to help the community, have you heard about the Santa Fe mutual aid form? It's a form you can fill out with whatever you are able to do to help OR whatever you need from your fellow citizens, and volunteers will call you and get you what you need. The Word can confirm that this is a legit and fantastic service, as she delivered groceries to a family in quarantine just yesterday thanks to a connection made by these fine folks. Now is the time to pitch in, if you can.
– To stay updated on COVID-19 stories as we post them, visit sfreporter.com/covid19 and keep refreshing throughout the day.
Oil, that is
There could be austere times ahead for New Mexico, thanks to the exact same industry that put us high on the hog just a few months ago. Oil prices have dropped to their lowest level in 22 years, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said a special legislative session is likely inevitable.
Farmers markets were not addressed Wednesday in Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's sweeping orders that closed much of New Mexico's service industry, so this weekend you'll be able to visit the Santa Fe Farmers Market with a few alterations. Some produce vendors will set up outdoors, hand sanitizer stations are set up, vendor booths will be 6 feet apart and shoppers may not touch produce on display.
A Santa Fe family is suing the Santa Fe Police Department for the freezing death of 92-year-old Antonia Garcia, saying the cops didn't do enough to try and find her when she was reportedly confused and wandering outside last March. An officer was dispatched to search for the elderly woman, but he only looked for her for seven minutes before abandoning the search.
Still able to get outside
It should be sunny but still a little chilly today, as highs are expected to reach 47. Temps will creep up over the weekend, topping out around 53 tomorrow and 55 on Sunday. Outside remains the best place to practice social distancing, and if you're tired of the same woodsy hike you've been doing the last few days, try wandering your neighborhood instead. Play lawn-ornament bingo. Wave to folks in quarantine through their windows. Find a loose dog, help it get home. Pick up trash as you wander. Bounce a tennis ball while you walk to get that hand-eye coordination going. The world is your oyster. Be well.