Features

LANL: Newer Variant Of COVID-19–Causing Virus Dominates Global Infections

This chart tells the essential story of how the pandemic has shifted over time from orange (the original D type of the virus) to blue (the now-widespread G form, D614G). Courtesy/LANL

Chart: ARS-CoV-2 Spike. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Virus with D614G change in Spike out-competes original strain, but may not make patients sicker

Research out today in the journal Cell shows that a specific change in the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus virus genome, previously associated with increased viral transmission and the spread of COVID-19, is more infectious in cell culture.

The variant in question, D614G,


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COVID-19: An Opportunity For Enhancing School Health

By RACHEL LIGHT
Los Alamos

COVID-19 brings up many negative feelings for people, such as fear, uncertainty, and social isolation. For many, the days repeat themselves like a scene from the movie Groundhog Day and it’s hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Yet, COVID-19 provides us with the perfect opportunity to put sustainable public health measures in schools, such as regular handwashing, that could yield benefits way beyond the current pandemic.

Implementing regular handwashing at key times in school has many benefits for reducing illness beyond COVID-19. This includes the potential


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New Mexico Emergency Public Health Order Extended

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham explaining today that she is extending the state’s emergency public health order through July 15 due to rising COVID-19 case count. She mentioned noticing today around Santa Fe that only about 30 percent of people are complying with the order to wear masks and social distance. Screenshot/LADP

From the Office of the Governor:

Gov. issues severe warning about rising cases, transmission rate; New Mexico at risk of re-enacting public health restrictions

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today extended the state’s emergency public health order through July 15


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New Mexico COVID-19 Cases Now At 12,276 With 3 More Deaths And 5,514 Patients Recovered

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials have announced this afternoon 130 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County remains at 8 cases that have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update announces 3 additional deaths reported in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The New Mexico Department of Health reported today the most recent cases:

  • 38 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 1 new case in Chaves County
  • 2 new cases in Curry County
  • 9 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 2 new case in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Grant County
  • 2 new cases in Lea County
  • 1 new case in Luna County
  • 17 new cases

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Chart 109: COVID-19 In New Mexico July 1

Change in the number of diagnoses during a two week period by county. The percentages indicate change in number of diagnoses between June 18 and July 1 as compared with the period starting June 4 and ending July 17. Counties with less than 50 diagnoses are not shown. Statewide, the number of diagnoses increased by 15 percent from to 2,211 during the past two weeks from 1,925 during the preceding two week period. Source: New Mexico Department of Health. Created by Eli Ben-Naim

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Canceled: 2020 County Fair & Rodeo Due To COVID-19

COUNTY News:

The Annual County Fair and Rodeo celebration in Los Alamos will not take place this year due to crowd considerations in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to comply with the New Mexico Department of Health’s public emergency order governing mass gatherings.

The cancellation includes the exhibits at Mesa Public Library Friday through Sunday, the parade downtown Saturday morning, the festivities at Ashley Pond Park and the Arts & Crafts Fair at Fuller Lodge during the day on Saturday, the Rodeo at Brewer Arena on Saturday and Sunday, and the Cowboy Dinner & Dance Saturday


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LAPS Announces Fully Remote Learning Option For Students

Local student Campbell Washnok. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

Los Alamos Public Schools is excited to announce the opportunity for students to participate in fully remote learning in grades K-12 starting in August 2020.

LAPS Online Learning includes students:

…Participating in high quality instruction with individualized assignments and feedback;

…Working on projects and participating in online teams; and

…Engaging in self-directed work and active learning based upon best practices from the learning sciences.

LAPS has had limited online options available for students


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Hoffman: Percentage Of Positive COVID-19 Tests Is Increasing Slowly In New Mexico And Colorado

The fraction (as a percentage) of daily tests that come back positive, for New Mexico and Colorado. The dots show the daily percentage, and the solid lines show the percentage over a 5-day period centered on the date plotted. Created by Nels Hoffman
By NELS HOFFMAN
Los Alamos
Recent news accounts describe an increasing daily number of new covid-19 cases around the US. But to judge how serious the situation is, it’s important to look not just at the number of new cases, but also at the number of new tests that are done every day.
That way, we avoid lulling ourselves into a false sense of security,

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Shin: Concerned About Well-being; Eye Health Of Our Kids 

By LISA SHIN, O.D.
Los Alamos

Dear Friends:

With the news of Los Alamos Public Schools planning for a hybrid model and remote learning this coming fall, as a mom, I am very concerned about the well being of our kids!

While some families, such as homeschoolers, are well-positioned and equipped for this change, others are simply not. Without proper supervision, parental involvement, and social interaction, some will fall behind.

What about single, working parents who cannot afford to work part-time? What happens to small business owners who have school age children and cannot afford paid family


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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Signs House Bill 1 Creating Framework For Recovery And Budget Solvency

House Democrats News:

SANTA FE – Today, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the recently passed House budget bill, bringing fiscal solvency to the state’s finances, and creating a budget framework for recovery in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

Sponsored by Chair of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee Rep. Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup), House Bill 1 achieves fiscal solvency while prioritizing the education, health care, and public safety of New Mexicans. By sanding roughly 4 percent across most state agencies from their pre-COVID FY21 budgets


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JJAB Community Gift Card Program Has Impact During COVID-19

JJAB News:

At the start of the pandemic, Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) developed the Community Gift Card Program to assist community members in need, recognize helpers in the community, and support local eating establishments. 

Since starting, the program has received and delivered 72 gift cards, impacting 202 adults/youth in Los Alamos and White Rock. The goal was to provide each recipient with funds for a meal for the entire family.

The gift cards were purchased by community members or with donations received, directly from local restaurants.  Secret City Kitchen,


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New Mexico COVID-19 Cases Now At 12,147 With 4 More Deaths And 5,393 Patients Recovered

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials have announced this afternoon 168 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County remains at 8 cases that have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update announces 4 additional deaths reported in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The New Mexico Department of Health reported today the most recent cases:

  • 36 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 5 new cases in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 10 new cases in Curry County
  • 21 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 2 new cases in Eddy County
  • 19 new cases in Lea County
  • 1 new case in Lincoln County
  • 1

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Skolnik: Please Tell It Like It Is – Before It Is Much Too Late

By RICHARD SKOLNIK
Los Alamos

Providing the public with regular, clear, evidence-based, and actionable messages has been key to successfully addressing every major public health problem. Successful messaging has also centered on creating a popular consensus around understanding outbreaks and taking the measures needed to deal with them. This has been true, for example, about messaging in the U.S. on tobacco and seat belts. It was also true for how governments dealt with HIV in Thailand and Uganda and with Ebola in West Africa. Messages in the above manner have also been at the core of the global


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Theater Continues In Santa Fe: Outdoors With The Crows

Upstart Crows of Santa Fe actors perform in a socially-distanced, small-audience, outdoor production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth at 6 p.m. July 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12. Courtesy/UCSF

UCSF News:

A director’s debut, a cast disrupted by the pandemic, Zoom rehearsals to keep the play alive, a change of venue, the need to completely reblock and redesign the play, delays as they waited for restrictions to allow performance.

Despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune these intrepid young players have persisted and created a live theater experience worthy of this provoking tragedy


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American Red Cross Offers Ways To Stay Safe During Fourth Of July Celebrations Due To Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Red Cross News:

ALBUQUERQUE — The Fourth of July is just ahead, a time when people typically enjoy the summer holiday with backyard barbecues, fireworks or water fun.

But this year, celebrating Independence Day will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Red Cross offers safety tips you can follow.

“If your community is reopening, it’s important to know which safety measures to take as you venture out in public,” said American Red Cross Regional CEO Kurt Kroemer. “Follow these coronavirus precautions.”

  • Continue to social distance by staying 6 feet away from others,

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Local Winners Of COVID-19 Poster Contest Announced

‘Use your Head’ poster created by Elektra Caffrey is the first place winner in the adult division of the Los Alamos Museum of Art and Los Alamos History Museum COVID-19 poster contest. Courtesy/LAMA

LAMA News:

The Los Alamos Museum of Art (LAMA) and Los Alamos History Museum announce the winners of the 2020 COVID-19 poster contest.

Adult Division:

  • First place winner is Elektra Caffrey with “Use Your Head. . .”
  • Second place winner is Deeanna Foster with “. . . Stay 6 Feet Away”
  • Third place winner is Debbie Merhege with “Work At Home”

Kids Division:

  • First place winner is Evelyn Fobes with “Somos Unidos”

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Han: We May Finish COVID-19 Pandemic With Less Fatality This Summer By Raising Curve

Proposal on how to avoid fall resurgence of the COVID-19 health crisis. Chart courtesy of Dr. Cliff Han

By DR. CLIFF HAN
Los Alamos

With all the talk of flattening the coronavirus pandemic curve of infections, we can also ask the question another way: When should we raise the curve?

This accompanying chart is one we’re all used to by now: showing the number of newly infected people during the course of a pandemic. The CDC is currently trying to flatten the curve with preventive measures so that the pandemic will not overwhelm the healthcare system. But, if the priority is saving lives, then actually


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New Mexico COVID-19 Cases Now At 11,982 With 1 More Deaths And 5,296 Patients Recovered

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials have announced this afternoon 173 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County now at 8 cases that have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update announces 1 additional deaths reported in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The New Mexico Department of Health reported today the most recent cases:

  • 45 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 6 new cases in Chaves County
  • 11 new cases in Curry County
  • 35 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 9 new cases in Eddy County
  • 3 new cases in Hidalgo County
  • 6 new cases in Lea County
  • 4 new cases in Luna County
  • 11 new cases

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