Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

NM Health Secretary: “We Have to Keep Up the Fight” |

COVID-19 in numbers

New Mexico health officials reported 838 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, bringing the nationwide total to 256,947. DOH has designated 227,898 of these cases as recovered. Bernalillo County had 214 new cases, followed by San Juan County with 71 and Sandoval County with 65. Santa Fe County had 22 new cases. Currently, transmission is still high in most counties, with only De Baca and Los Alamos counties in the “significant” versus “high” category for transmission.

The state also announced 10 more deaths, nine of them recently; Nationwide there are now 4,840 fatalities. As of yesterday, 336 people with COVID-19 had been hospitalized.

Currently, 80.4% of New Mexicans aged 18 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 71.1% are fully vaccinated. In the 12 to 17 age group, 64.4% of people received at least one dose and 61.5% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 91.3% of those over 18 have received at least one dose and 81.3% are fully vaccinated.

You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Health officials are reporting worrying signs of a pandemic

New Mexico COVID-19 cases have stabilized and hospitals remain overcrowded, health officials said during a weekly pandemic update yesterday. “It’s a pretty flat line,” said Acting Health Minister Dr. David Scrase on the current fall curve, “And that’s a big problem for New Mexico.” The state’s test positive rate has also exceeded the state target of 7.5% – it’s 7.9% – with Scrase noting that when the state is above that threshold, “we don’t really feel confident that we are all cases have here under control ”. New Mexico. “Hospitals continue to fluctuate between emergency and crisis care standards, with very low bed availability. For example, only 17 intensive care beds and 67 regular beds were available nationwide on Tuesday morning, Scrase said.” The fact that this was at that level happened has gotten incredibly stressful, “said Scrase.” Our hospital staff are incredibly exhausted, discouraged and frustrated, in all honesty, that they are now dealing with a pandemic and working extra shifts and putting their own health at risk for a preventable disease. ” Depends on vaccination with health authorities continues to emphasize protection from COVID-19 vaccines as 77% of cases, 85.7% of hospitals and 91.5% of deaths here were unvaccinated last month. While the pandemic continues (today is day 576), Scrase admitted that earlier predictions about the “end” of the pandemic have not yet materialized were retired. “Without the delta virus mutation, we might be in a completely different place now,” he said, “but the problem is that the virus fights us, it mutates, it either takes time away from treatments or vaccines or other things, and that’s why we have to keep fighting. ”Yesterday’s update also provided a preview of upcoming federal decisions on vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 and booster vaccinations for the Moderna and J & J. vaccines.

NM is focused on new appointments

Although the number of New Mexico residents receiving unemployment benefits has decreased, the unemployment rate remains above the US average – 7.2% in August versus a national rate of 5.2%; Santa Fe’s unemployment rate is closer to the national rate at 5.9% – and thousands of jobs remain open across the state. Acting Secretary for Workforce Solutions Ricky Serna provided a statistical update on the state’s employment picture during yesterday’s weekly COVID-19 update, highlighting the lack of a direct correlation between the number of people receiving unemployment benefits and the state’s current unemployment rate (due to the expiry of federal laws). Services in August and September). However, Serna split the industries that saw the largest drop in applicants between August and October, with the largest sector, arts and design, falling 86.8%, followed by education and training at 78.9%. The state continues to see thousands of job vacancies across the state – particularly in health care, where there are currently more than 13,000 positions available – and is focused on its Ready New Mexico initiative, which provides training and other job placement services. After the health sector, the education service has the most vacancies: 7,875. The state also shows thousands of available jobs in professional services, retail and hospitality. Overall, according to Serna, Workforce Solutions monitors workplace trends, not just geographically but also demographically, and looks for data “that could indicate we need to provide additional services,” he says. DWS also works with other government agencies such as the Ministry of Tourism to fill vacancies. “It was a huge priority to really focus on helping tourism and hospitality employers,” he says.

No such thing as a free lunch

State lawmakers on the Legislative Education Study Committee had lunch on Tuesday courtesy of Comcast: enchiladas, roast beef sandwiches, steak salads and more, the Associated Press reports. Legal? Yes, says Melanie Majors, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, of the AP. “And then the public has to ask, ‘Why are you doing this?'” She notes. Kathleen Sabo, executive director of New Mexico Ethics Watch, says it stands to reason that companies that jump in lawmakers’ lunch are likely to want something. “It’s human nature,” she says. “If someone gives you … you will be more benevolent.” Comcast recently offered an internet contract for a New Mexico school district even though lawmakers do not directly award the contracts, a point emphasized by Senator Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs who says the sponsored lunches – an outdated practice – don’t affect her. However, former Republican MP Jim Dines says he never accepted anything from lobbyists during his tenure. “The semblance of impropriety is always there when you accept something free,” he notes, and “only lawmakers themselves know whether they are being influenced or not.” Sabo, a former legislative adviser, estimates it is about US $ 50,000 -Dollars to feed lawmakers’ unpaid lunch and has been looking for a sponsor for a bill she wrote that would do just that for the past two years.


October isn’t just the best month for leaves and candy: it’s also the month of breast cancer awareness. In the latest episode of the weekly “To Your Health” podcast, presenter Dr. Wendy Johnson, Chief Medical Officer of La Familia Medical Center, on breast cancer, with multiple experts providing information and allaying fears. Guests include Julie Voss, Vice President of the Susan G. Komen Foundation; Dr. Margaret Gallegos, radiologist at Santa Fe Imaging; Dr. Susan A. Seedman, breast oncologist, Presbyterian Cancer Care; and Dr. Erin J. Bouquin.

Native American superhero film on show

The state film bureau announced earlier this week that the short film Rude Girl will be filmed in Albuquerque this month. The film tells the story of a half Native American and half white teenager grappling with identity issues who visits her grandfather Lee in the spiritual world only to find out she is a superhero. According to a press release, the film – directed, written, and produced by Joshua Zunie – received support from the 2020 Senator John Pinto Native Filmmakers Memorial Program. “As an Indian from Zuni and influenced by the storytelling tradition of his tribe, Joshua Zunie is part of the movement to bring stories about the indigenous culture to the screen in an authentic way. “Said Amber Dodson, director of the film bureau, in a statement. “Rude Girl pioneered and presented a heroic story about a current Indian woman in the superhero genre and universe,” said Zunie (Bad Boys for Life, The Kid, Better Call Saul, From Dusk Till Dawn) in a statement. The production will have about 40 New Mexico crew members, five lead actors and five New Mexico background and extras as well as stars Shawnee Pourier (Seeds), David Midthunder (West World, Longmire) and Joshua Horton (Army of the Dead) , Better Call Saul.) Deal, day break), among others.

Communication with O’Keeffe

The Paris Review speaks to artist Josephine Halvorson, the first artist-in-residence at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to spend time there, as well as at O’Keeffe’s two homes, the Ghost Ranch and nearby Abiquiú, and last in the summer of 2019 Year during the COVID-19 pandemic. An exhibition of Halvorson’s work opened at the museum on October 1 and runs until March 28, 2022 as part of the museum’s Contemporary Voices series. Halvorson tells the Paris Review that there was a certain weathered tree stump at the Ghost Ranch that she went to when she took a break from her own work and found a clear view of Cerro Pedernal that is evident in many of O’Keeffe’s paintings too see is and where they ashes have been scattered. The paintings that Halvorson created as a result of the residency, as the museum describes it, “respond to natural features of the landscape and also connect the viewer to domestic snapshots of O’Keeffe’s homes,” including many of her belongings. “I connected with her things through the feeling of calm and closeness,” Halvorson tells the magazine. “The registrar of the museum opened a cupboard for me or put the key set on the table. Nobody who visited me was allowed to come into the house, so I was really the only one who was there and worked every day from morning to evening. “

Nice day in the neighborhood

Clear and mostly sunny skies are returning to Santa Fe today, says the National Weather Service, with a high near 75 degrees and north winds of 5 to 10 miles per hour turning west in the afternoon.

Thank you for reading! Not being a great player, The Word didn’t place any bets this morning on who would win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2021 (it was the writer Abdulrazak Gurnah). But she has mastered this very silly game and tested her knowledge of award winners in the past.

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