COVID-19 by the numbers
New Mexico health officials yesterday reported 154 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 25,612. Doña Ana County led with the most new cases: 33, followed by Bernalillo and Chaves counties, each with 24 new cases and Lea County with 19. Santa Fe County had five new cases.
The state also announced three more deaths in Bernalillo, Doña Ana and San Juan counties; there have now been 790 total fatalities. As of yesterday, 71 people were hospitalized with COVID-19.
NM expects November vaccine rollout
New Mexico officials yesterday previewed plans for a vaccine roll-out in the state as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified all 50 states to plan on administering as-yet-unknown vaccines to healthcare workers as early as this fall. In a news briefing yesterday, New Mexico Human Services Secretary David Scrase said the health department expects a vaccine will be available here for healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities in November, with free vaccines available to the public starting in January. The state has assembled a 60-person vaccine committee, he said, reviewing all aspects of a vaccine plan. Although it is not yet known which vaccines will be used, the CDC says they will either be licensed as vaccines or available under emergency use authorization by the Federal Drug Administration.
Enviro Dept fines Santa Fe biz $79,000 for violating health order
The New Mexico Environment Department cited O'Reilly Auto Parts store at 4715 Airport Road in Santa Fe for violating the state's Occupational Health and Safety Act, following a July inspection of the business. According to a news release, during that inspection, the store "did not ensure employees wore face coverings…and [exposed] the five employees working in close proximity to one another in the sales area to the imminent danger of COVID-19. The store also did not encourage or post signage urging customers to wear face coverings while inside the store, further endangering employees." An inspector said the problems appeared corrected in later visits. The shop will have to pay $79,200 in fines and submit documentation the problems have been corrected, but also has the option to contest the citation and fines.
Medio Fire wrapping up
Firefighters finished up burnout operations for the Medio Fire earlier this week, and the fire is winding down as they continue suppression repair activities around the fire perimeter. According to a news release yesterday, the 3,721-acre fire in the Santa Fe National Forest was 59% contained and the US Forest Service was expecting its Burned Area Emergency Response team to begin its work as early as today. According to another news release, the BAER Team, led by Greg Kuyumjian—who recently headed a BAER team on the Coronado National Forest after the Bighorn Fire—will use field surveys, satellite imagery and computer models to evaluate the burned area and "analyze the fire's impact, determine any values at immediate risk and recommend emergency treatments." According to the forest service, residents in communities downstream from the burned area should stay updated on any weather conditions that could result in heavy rains over the Medio Fire footprint.
NNSA: LANL doesn’t need more review
The National Nuclear Security Administration has decided no further review is needed for Los Alamos National Laboratory's forthcoming plutonium pit production. The lab faces a 2026 deadline to annually make 30 such pits—used to trigger nuclear weapons—by 2026. A supplemental analysis—released this week—to a 2008 environmental impact statement said preview reviews had been sufficient. Many nuclear watchdogs criticized the decision, with Nuclear Watch New Mexico Executive Director Jay Coghlan saying in a statement: "It's past time that our congressional delegation steps in and protects New Mexicans. They should demand that NNSA conduct current studies on expanded plutonium pit production with the opportunity for public comment and hearings as required by the National Environmental Policy Act."
Most of us haven't had much reason to dress up lately, but that doesn't mean we can't dream of putting on pants, or even learn a bit about fashion during our pant-less down time. Enter Dressed: The History of Fashion, a podcast co-hosted by Corrales fashion historian and designer Cassidy Zachary with April Calahan, a special collections associate and curator of manuscript collections at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In the most recent episode, Zachary and Calahan interview Marcellas Reynolds, author of the book Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion, to discuss the legion of black models who have transformed and defined the fashion industry over the past 75 years.
Roll the dice
Tomorrow, Pojoaque Pueblo plans to reopen its three casinos: Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino, Cities of Gold Casino and Hotel and Jake's Casino. The reopenings come as state and tribal officials continue to come to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on both tribal revenue and the state's general fund through the tribal revenue-sharing compacts. The months-long closures this spring and summer mean New Mexico is already missing millions in revenue-sharing that's not likely to rebound any time soon. SFR takes a look at the state of gaming for this week's cover story, as well as COVID-19's impact on gambling addiction resources.
What’s your AIQ?
The New York Times recently examined whether "athletic intelligence" can be measured. According to Scott Goldman, co-creator of the Athletic Intelligence Quotient, or AIQ test, it can. The test claims to "assess the innate cognitive abilities that are most utilized in attaining, developing, and applying athletic skills, strategies, and tactics" and is reportedly used by Olympic, NFL, NBA and multiple other teams. The AIQ test creators say historically intelligence tests have a variety of biases—some less obvious than others. "I grew up in New Mexico," Albuquerque native Goldman tells the Times, "and I remember on one test they would say, 'What is a schooner?' Which is a boat. I lived in New Mexico. I didn't know what a schooner was."
Days at the museum
Following Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's announcement last week that museums can re-open at 25%, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian has done just that. The number of visitors are small but, for now, that's beside the point. "As a museum, we're nothing without visitors and our members. It's really critical for us to get back to that," Interim Director Jean Higgins tells the Santa Fe New Mexican. SITE Santa Fe also has announced its reopening, scheduled for members on Sept. 9-10, and the general public on Sept. 11. SITE re-opens with its postponed show Displaced, an exhibition examining the global refugee crisis from international contemporary artists' perspectives. Moreover, admission to SITE, via timed entry, will be free for the duration of the show. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum plans to open Sept. 25, and the state museums are still finalizing their plans.
Thanks for reading! The Word isn't sure if she'll watch Enola Holmes on Netflix later this month, but she did finally read the lawsuit the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate filed in New Mexico federal court in June against Netflix and the author, writer and director, which claims copyright infringement based on the development of Sherlock Holmes' empathy.