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COVID-19

This new page on the Beat, as of March 18, 2020, will be dedicated to news on COVID-19 as we receive it. Some articles in front page news, in legal notices,  columns, in sports, in editorials or letters to the editor, as well as in local and non-local news releases may also pertain to COVID-19. So please look at all pages in the Beat for ongoing news.

Useful if check the "All Rapid Responses,"not just "Watchlist"

This work was done by a Beat reader to explain the use of Rapid Responses in Grant County, and whether they are part of the Watchlist or not. 

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) website posts valuable COVID-19 coronavirus information regarding the Rapid Response program (https://www.env.nm.gov/rapid-response-data/). While the "Red-Yellow-Green" county designations have been receiving the most attention lately, the Rapid Response program is still in effect. The NMED website has tabs for Watchlist (can search or download in Excel- such as by city or county name), Closures, Testing Agreements, All Rapid Responses (daily reports that can also be searched or downloaded in Excel), and "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions).

Beware of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

NEW MEXICO – As the number of people and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so do the scams associated with it. Scammers use public health emergencies as opportunities for new fraud schemes, and because older adults are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, they may target older populations.

It’s important to remember that although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health officials including state contact tracers may contact you if they believe you may have been exposed to the virus, they will not need to ask you for insurance or financial information.

The state is encouraging New Mexicans to register for the COVID vaccine in order to streamline distribution for Phase 1B and upcoming phases

NEW MEXICO –The State’s Aging and Long-Term Services Department [ALTSD] has announced that by Friday, January 22nd all 309 of New Mexico’s Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities (including staff and residents) will have been offered the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Now the department is working to register currently-eligible populations (people 75+ years of age and individuals with underlying health conditions), as well as individuals who will be eligible in upcoming phases. (The state’s vaccine distribution plan is available here.) ALTSD is partnering with the Governor’s Commission on Disability as well as the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council to get individuals registered at VaccineNM.org

Below is a 12-page document with the frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines from the New Mexico Department of Health.

States encourages residents to redouble COVID-safe practices

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health on Tuesday announced the state’s second COVID-19 case with the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant. This case is a close household contact of the first case, announced on Wednesday, January 13.

The female in her 30’s has experienced mild symptoms and has not required hospitalization. No additional close contacts outside of the household have been identified to date. 

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first emerged in the UK in September, 2020. Currently, there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death, nor that it has an impact on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness. However, research suggests that B.1.1.7 and other emerging variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to spread more easily and quickly than previous variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. 

List includes establishments with two or more rapid responses within the last 14 days

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has updated its daily Rapid Response COVID-19 Watchlist, which includes New Mexico places of employment that have had two or more rapid responses in the last 14 days. There are currently 86 establishments on the Watchlist.The state initiates a rapid response when it learns of a positive COVID-19 case in a workplace. The state agency initiating the rapid response will offer direction to establishments regarding testing, quarantining and isolating, disinfecting, and COVID-Safe Practices.

The Watchlist includes:

Providers must distribute vaccine in sequence

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health on Friday reiterated the appropriate sequence of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

New Mexico is currently in the first portion of Phase 1B - people 75 years and older. Soon, the state will expand vaccinations to those with qualifying medical conditions. Health care professionals and other workers in Phase 1A remain eligible for vaccination. 

The state has issued clear requirements to providers about the specific conditions under which they may move from one subphase to the next. These include scenarios in which vaccine is about to expire, or in which providers are unable to fill appointment slots within the current subphase.

List includes establishments with two or more rapid responses within the last 14 days

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has updated its daily Rapid Response COVID-19 Watchlist, which includes New Mexico places of employment that have had two or more rapid responses in the last 14 days. There are currently 84 establishments on the Watchlist.The state initiates a rapid response when it learns of a positive COVID-19 case in a workplace. The state agency initiating the rapid response will offer direction to establishments regarding testing, quarantining and isolating, disinfecting, and COVID-Safe Practices.

The Watchlist includes:

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