COVID-19 by the numbers
New Mexico health officials yesterday reported 936 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 147,315. Of those, the health department has designated 69,903 as recovered. Bernalillo County had 279 new cases, followed by Doña Ana County with 116 and San Juan County with 69. Santa Fe County had 63 new cases, 38 of which were in the 87507 ZIP code, which had the second highest number of new cases in the state.
The state also announced 23 additional deaths, including two women in their 80s from Santa Fe County, both of whom had underlying conditions and were hospitalized. There have now been 80 fatalities in Santa Fe County and 2,574 statewide. As of yesterday, 703 people were hospitalized with COVID-19.
DOH announces enhanced vaccine registration
The health department yesterday announced enhancements to the vaccination pre-registration site it launched last month. Now registrants on Vaccinenm.org can provide more personal medical and employment information. Those who pre-registered should receive a text notifying them they can expand their profiles, DOH Communications Director Matt Bieber says and, going forward, anyone registering will be able to fill out all the information, with the exception of scheduling an appointment. The latter will occur when one becomes eligible for an appointment, at which point users also will be asked to fill out a more detailed medical questionnaire. According to a news release, the site has had more than 230,000 registrations since it launched. As for who comes next in vaccine prioritization, Bieber says that information will be forthcoming this week. The state will also be launching a vaccine call center in the coming days, Bieber says, to provide additional information and support.
And then there were five
Magistrate Court Judge Donita Sena agreed last week to drop charges against one of the six people charged in the October toppling of the Plaza obelisk after the arresting officer failed to appear in court. Santa Fe Police arrested Sean Sunderland, 24 on the day of the Oct. 12 protest, and he faced charges of criminal trespass and resisting an officer. According to a court order, SFPD officer Jesse Campbell failed to show up to a court hearing and Sunderland's attorney moved to dismiss the case. Sena agreed and dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning the charges can't be refiled. City spokesman David Herndon, however, says Campbell wasn't served a subpoena and "there is an inquiry into the circumstances and whether the judge can be petitioned to reconsider the dismissal." First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies notes her office had offered to help SFPD with Sunderland's prosecution, but SFPD declined the assistance.
Lawmakers tinker with energy act
Lawmakers yesterday began pre-filing bills for the legislative session starting Jan. 19. Those include a proposal from state Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Santa Fe, to amend the 2019 Energy Transition Act to give the Public Regulation Commission full oversight over future coal plant closures and concomitant costs that might be passed onto consumers. Sen. William Tallman, D-Albuquerque, another supporter of the proposal, says the changes proposed are designed to help consumers. "The Energy Transition Act should have done a very good job providing environmental protection and consumer protection. It succeeded on the former and failed on the latter," he says. However, Camilla Feibelman, director of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, says the proposed changes reflect bad information and a misunderstanding of the bill itself. Other proposed laws include one to allow remote court testimony in certain situations; a joint resolution to amend the state constitution to provide people with environmental rights; and one that would require the Cultural Affairs Department's administrative services division to provide social, racial and cultural impact statements for pending legislation.
As the name indicates, the New Mexico Wildlife Podcast, produced by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, covers all things outdoors in the state. Its fourth episode features Eric Frey, the department's Sport Fish program manager, and then dives into all things ice fishing in New Mexico: places to go, species to catch, tactics and gear. Previous episodes delve into hunting, conservation and game bird research.
The LANL Workout
While one might not immediately think of Los Alamos National Laboratory when looking for workout advice, that's where you'll find tips on "deskercise," a seven-minute routine directed at those of us who now telecommute from home and rarely stand up from our desks. The routine, recommended for two to three times a day, includes 14 flexibility movements, each done in 30-second increments. If "standing alternating reverse kick hugs" sounds as though it might result in an at-home accident, not to worry. Los Alamos National Laboratory's Wellness Center Health Services Coordinator Jonathan Loibl provides a video demonstrating all the moves.
New York Times Copy Editor David Vecsey explains the gestalt of his job in the most recent Times Insider column, noting that: "My job, simply speaking, is to get things right. So there is no worse feeling than the realization that you have entered a correctable error into print and that a correction will appear a day or two later to proclaim, 'Because of an editing error…'" As an example, Vecsey discusses one of his most recent and glaring errors: misidentifying New Mexico's now-former US Sen. Tom Udall as being from…Utah. Vecsey takes his lapse pretty hard: "There is no doubt that five years from now, I'll buy something on eBay and it will come in a box padded with a scrap of The New York Times that says 'Tom Udall of Utah.'" How did it happen? "I'm pretty sure I typed 'Udall' and then typed 'Utah' because of the alliterative assonance. The brain plays funny tricks like that." For what it's worth, we're guessing Sen. Udall took the gaffe in stride.
Today brings another sunny day with a high near 43 degrees and northwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. If you're waiting on snow, you'll be waiting until Saturday.
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