On Oct. 15 during her weekly online update, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced 672 additional Covid-19 cases in New Mexico, setting a new record high and bringing the positive rate across the state up 8.1%; she reiterated that more restrictions would going into place if the numbers do not start to go back down.

In the Tricounty area, as of Oct. 15, there are 303 new cases of Covid-19 in Bernalillo County, and 18 new cases in Santa Fe County.

County totals for the area have all spiked. Bernalillo County is currently at a total of 8,428 cases; Santa Fe County has a total of 1,274; and Torrance County is at 91 total cases. The Torrance County Detention Facility accounts for 44 total positive cases.

On Oct. 6, a letter was sent to families of Estancia Schools by Superintendent Cindy Sims informing families that a student tested positive for Covid-19. According to the letter, the student was present on Sept. 29 and absent from school on Oct. 1, getting tested Oct. 2. In addition, the parents notified the school immediately to help mitigate the spread.

The letter also said schools are following the guidance of the state, are required to investigate “close contact individuals.”

A “close contact” is defined as being closer than six feet for more than three minutes to a person who has tested positive for Covid. The letter also said all staff and students who were in “close contact” are required to get a test and any such person would be notified.

On Oct. 13, a letter was sent to families from Moriarty-Edgewood Schools by Todd Bibiano, Director of Personnel and MESD Covid-19 Point of Contact, informing them that a student had tested positive. This was the first case and the according to the letter, eight students and three staff from the classroom and 12 students from the bus and the one bus driver have all been asked to quarantine.

The school plans to clean and disinfect all areas of the school and buses in which the student spent time. All the persons who were in close contact were notified.

In addition, the letter stated that MESD will not be informing the entire district for each positive case as it comes in but will keep the website updated.

Both new school cases are in Torrance County and in elementary school students.

New Mexico has now had a total of 34,958 Covid-19 cases. There have been 922 total deaths across the state.

Just over a million tests have been provided, with a total of 19,457 cases designated as having recovered.

There are 150 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for Covid-19. The governor reported 21 of those people are on ventilators and there has been a 74% increase in cases in the past month.

State health officials will, effective Friday, Oct. 16, append changes to the public health order and associated public health guidance documents which include a temporary closing time for specific types of businesses.

Any food or drink establishments serving alcohol must close at 10 p.m. each night.

The governor’s Economic Recovery Council, which has advised her administration on re-opening strategies to strengthen and sustain the state’s workforce and economy through this crisis, made the recommendation for this mandatory closing time.

“New Mexico hotels and restaurants and our hospitality employees have suffered more from Covid than any other sector,” said Allan Affeldt, hotel and restaurant owner and member of the Economic Recovery Council. “In spite of that, the overwhelming majority of hotels and restaurants are in support of the state’s Covid-Safe Practices and are doing our best to keep our guests and staff safe so our economy can recover faster. … Together we can get all New Mexico businesses open sooner if we take these simple steps to help limit viral spread.”

Mass gatherings of more than five individuals are once again prohibited, down from 10. A “mass gathering” is defined as any public or private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, organized amateur contact sport, or other grouping that brings together individuals in an indoor or outdoor space.

Tamara Bicknell-Lombardi
Tamara Bicknell-Lombardi

Tamara has worked for The Independent off and on for several years, as an integral part of this family
business. She currently does reporting, manages the ad sales team, and serves as office manager. She is
an artist, working primarily in oil paints.