Home News COVID-19 Situation 1 new COVID-19 case reported in Chaves County

1 new COVID-19 case reported in Chaves County


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State officials announced a new COVID-19 infection in Chaves County Friday, one of 104 new cases reported in New Mexico.

The new infection is the 23rd case of COVID-19 identified in Chaves County.

A local woman in her 80s was reported to have died from the disease April 22, making her the county’s first and so far only fatality.

New Mexico has had 3,513 positive test results for the virus as of Friday, according to a press release issued by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The press release states Friday’s new COVID infections include: 21 in Bernalillo County, one in Chaves County, 11 in Cibola County, three in Dona Ana County, 37 in McKinley County, four in Rio Arriba County, seven in Sandoval County, 16 in San Juan County, one in Socorro County, one in Taos County and two in Valencia County.

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Eight more New Mexico residents were also reported Friday to have died from COVID-19.

Among the fatalities reported Friday were a man in his 70s from Bernalillo County who was a resident at Advanced Health Care of Albuquerque; a man in his 60s from McKinley County who had been hospitalized; and a man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s, both from Sandoval County.

The remaining four deaths were from San Juan County: two woman in their 70s, including one who was a resident of Life Care Center in Farmington; a woman in her 80s who was also a resident at Life Care Center; and a woman in her 90s who was a resident at Cedar Ridge Inn in Farmington.

All eight fatalities had underlying medical conditions.


According to the New Department of Health, McKinley County has 1,064 reported cases of COVID-19, constituting nearly a third of all documented infections in New Mexico.
The new deaths are mostly concentrated in the northwestern part of the state.

In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in McKinley County, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham used her authority under New Mexico’s Riot Control Act Friday to enact a state of emergency in the city of Gallup.

A press release from the governor’s office said the state of emergency was issued at the request of outgoing Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney and newly sworn in Mayor Louis Bonaguidi in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

As of noon Friday all roads into Gallup had closed. Businesses within the city were forced to remain closed from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. and only two people could be in a vehicle at a time, according to the release.

Gallup residents were warned to remain at home except for emergency outings and those essential to health, safety and welfare.

The emergency, which went into effect at noon, is set to expire Monday at noon.
Police within the city of Gallup, the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico State Police and the New Mexico Department of Transportation are working in tandem to enforce the emergency order and road closures, the release states.

Members of the New Mexico National Guard will also assist the effort in a non-law enforcement capacity, according to the release.

New Health Order

The top Republican in the New Mexico House of Representatives said the governor should have done more in the amended health order issued Thursday to loosen restrictions on small businesses.

“I think the movement yesterday was in the right direction, but it was late and not near far enough,” House Minority Leader Jim Townsend, R-Artesia, said.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, extended a state emergency public health order issued in March instructing people to remain home in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 — and kept most provisions of that order, which expired early Friday, intact.
The new order though, which will remain in effect through May 15, does permit businesses considered non essential to provide curbside pickup and delivery services.

The move is part of a phased opening approved by the state’s Economic Recovery Council, and part of a larger gradual reopening of the state’s economy.

Townsend said smaller retailers should have been able to follow the same rules of grocers and stores deemed essential.

“I do not believe she has given small businesses equal consideration just yet,” he said.

The message is one the Republican Party of New Mexico has been reiterating in recent weeks, alleging that by allowing large chain stores to continue to operate during the pandemic but forcing smaller retailers and specialty shops to close, Lujan Grisham is giving larger chain stores special treatment.

Nora Sackett, a spokesperson for Lujan Grisham, has in the past denied the charges noting that the governor’s orders do not exempt national chain stores and that it is health, safety and welfare of the public that determines whether a business could remain open.

Lujan Grisham said the partial reopening was a good balance, as the state tries to navigate its way through both the pandemic and the economic ruin it has caused.

“This public health crisis has also become an economic crisis and there is a great deal of urgency to address both, and we believe that we can safely and productively do that,” Lujan Grisham said Thursday at the news conference where she unveiled the new order.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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