New Mexico COVID-19 Cases: 5,069

COVID-19 by the numbers

Yesterday, New Mexico health officials announced 207 additional positive tests for COVID-19, with hefty numbers for hard-hit San Juan and McKinley counties in the northwest part of the state: 73 and 63, respectively. Doña Ana County had the third highest number with 24 new cases. The state also reported 11 new cases at the ICE Otero County Processing Center, bringing the total there to 30. The statewide total number of cases to date is now 5,069.

The health department also reported eight new deaths from the virus, half from McKinley County, two from Bernalillo County and one each in Cibola and Socorro counties. New Mexico has now had 208 fatalities. As of today, 207 people have been hospitalized. The health department has designated 1,300 cases as recovered.

You can read all of SFR's COVID-19 coverage here. If you've had experiences with testing or the virus, we would like to hear from you.

More money for hospitals

The state Human Services Department announced yesterday that New Mexico hospitals will receive a Medicaid rate increase of up to 50%, an estimated $66 million in additional payments to help compensate for losses as a result of the pandemic. Retroactive to April 1, the Medicaid program will increase reimbursement for inpatient hospital stays by 12.4%, taking it to 100% of the Medicare rate, and will increase reimbursement for Intensive Care Unit stays by 50% for the duration of the public health emergency. "New Mexico Medicaid health care providers are on the front lines—carrying out heroic work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Human Services Secretary David R Scrase said in a statement. "We want all those who put themselves at risk to serve our most vulnerable New Mexicans to have the additional financial support they need during this crisis."

Pop Quiz: Santa Fe County Clerk

What's the age requirement for marriage in Santa Fe County? What election recently triggered a recount? What circumstances are required for recounts? These are just a few of the questions SFR posed in the Pop Quiz to Democrat primary candidates for Santa Fe County Clerk. The seat is open as Geraldine Salazar finishes up her second term and can't seek a third. Katharine Clark, Sarah M Guzman and Richard A Padilla submitted to the questions designed to gauge their knowledge of the office they speak. Candidates Letitia Montoya and Bryan P Flores did not respond to requests to participate.

Meet the Midtown developer

Santa Feans will have their first opportunity to "meet" the chosen master developer for the Midtown campus this evening, with the first of several scheduled discussions from 5 to 7 pm on the City of Santa Fe's YouTube channel. Last week, the City Council entered into a negotiation agreement with the Dallas-based KDC Real Estate Development & Investments/Cienda Partners. The public is invited to submit questions through 1 pm today to the development team at You can watch an introductory video to the development team here. The master developer has several local partners, including Santa Fe Community College, the University of New Mexico, YouthWorks and Homewise.

Listen up

Last week, Human Services Secretary David Scrase said he would be providing more information going forward about New Mexico's contact tracing goals. Contact tracing entails tracking down the contacts of anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. A standard public health practice, contact tracing has been characterized by officials as a crucial component for recovering economically and otherwise during the pandemic. Contact tracing could also be a job prospect for those who have lost work: some estimates say the US could need between 100,000 and 300,000 contact tracers. Interest piqued? This recent NPR episode delves into the world of contact tracing.

The sound of silence

If you heard a non-melodious welp followed by the sound of a scratchy alto sobbing in the distance yesterday, it's because the moment we'd been dreading arrived: the Santa Fe Opera canceled its 2020 season. Granted, the tragedy was inevitable but shockingly dramatic nonetheless (which also kind of summarizes lots of opera plots). "I am at a loss to describe the disappointment that I myself and all my colleagues feel today," General Director Robert K Meya says in an open letter. The Word also is at a loss, hence the wailing and muffled sobs as the curtain closes on visions of M. Butterfly and the Magic Flute. For ticket holders, numerous options will be made available, including crediting money already spent toward the 2021 season, donating ticket costs to the opera, a full refund or a combination.

Chamber Music Festival canceled

Just to be clear: Expect a quiet summer. Following the Santa Fe Opera's announcement, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival also canceled its 2020 season. "Many realities factored into our decision," Executive Director Steven Ovitsky's letter reads. "First and foremost is helping to keep our patrons, artists, and staff safe and secure. In our view, the best way to do that is to follow social distancing guidelines, which, although they may be relaxed somewhat in the coming weeks and months, will likely discourage large gatherings and international travel." Ovitsky says the festival will make at least partial payments to musicians who were scheduled to appear, stating that "supporting them during this difficult time is a priority for the organization." Those who purchased tickets can receive a refund, use them next year or donate the cost.

Back to our previously scheduled sunshine

If you enjoyed yesterday's (too brief) rain, well, it's over. Today's forecast: Sunny, with a high near 78 degrees and east wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest 15 to 20 mph in the morning. And you can pretty much press repeat for the rest of the week (at least as of now).

Thanks for reading! Are you imagining all the places you'd go if travel were allowed? Check out Atlas Obscura's current art challenge in which people draw places they've never visited. The challenge is ongoing if you'd like to try your hand.

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