Health Care

County Council Chair Sara Scott Issues Update On Local COVID-19 Response Following State’s Recent Actions

By Chair Sara Scott
Los Alamos County Council

In the past week, two important actions have been taken by our state government to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

These include the Stay at Home instruction issued by Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel on March 23 and the announcement by Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart (today) that schools would be closed for the remainder of the year. 

Our state is also aggressively expanding access and throughput for testing; New Mexico is currently the fourth highest in testing per capita in the nation (New York Times, March 26, 2020). While understanding that


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 Udall, Heinrich: $150 Billion ‘Marshall Plan’ For Health Care System Included In Emergency Coronavirus Package

U.S. SENATE News:

  • Udall, Heinrich, and Senate Democrats secured an additional $55 billion for needs of hospitals and healthcare workers over course of negotiations
  • New Mexico and its local governments also can receive up to $1.25 billion in federal reimbursement for pandemic response costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) announced that the coronavirus emergency response bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday will provide more than $150 billion of critical relief to hospitals and health care workers across the nation in response to the COVID-19


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Chart 12: COVID-19 Daily Cases By County In New Mexico

Chart shows between March 11 and March 27 the daily cases of COVID-19 by county in New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim

Chart shows the cumulative cases of COVID-19 by county in New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim

Chart shows total COVID-19 cases statewide in New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim

Chart shows number of COVID-19 cases per county across New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim


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New Mexico COVID-19 Cases Now At 191

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico Department of Health officials today announced 55 additional positive tests for COVID-19.
Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:
  • 27 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 1 new case in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Lea County
  • 2 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Rio Arriba County
  • 1 new case in Roosevelt County
  • 5 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 3 new cases in San Juan County
  • 7 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 5 new cases in Taos County
  • 1 new case in Valencia County

The Department of Health on Thursday reported no additional deaths in the


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PED Secretary: K-12 Schools Closed Through Academic Year

Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart

By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
bjgordon@ladailypost.com

SANTA FE — Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart hosted a virtual conference call with members of the media 10-11 a.m. today.

Early Childhood Education and Care Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky, Children, Youth and Families Secretary Brian Blalock and Indian Affairs Secretary Lynn Trujillo joined Stewart for the call.

Stewart announced that schools will remain closed through the end of this academic year in May. Educators will communicate with students online and via cell


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Los Alamos Family In Quarantine Gets Birthday Surprise

The Los Alamos family seated on the stairs today is in two-week quarantine because they were out of state when all of the social distancing guidelines took affect in New Mexico. Today is their son’s 8th birthday and to help him celebrate, Hill Stomper Ringleader Jeff Favorite is putting on a juggling and fire breathing show. Such a wonderful act to celebrate an otherwise very isolated little birthday boy. Photo by Maggie Moore


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Changes To Council Meeting Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos County Council meeting scheduled in Council Chambers 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 will be using a format that complies with the recent New Mexico Department of Health’s public health emergency order governing mass gatherings because of COVID-19.

Public in-person attendance Tuesday evening will not be allowed. Minimal County staff will be in attendance to present items and most Councilors will be participating by phone.

The agenda has been streamlined to focus on time-sensitive matters. Members of the public interested in watching the meeting can view the agenda


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Superintendent Responds To Governor’s Announcement

Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus
Los Alamos Public Schools

LAPS News:

Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus today sent the following letter to parents and families:

Dear LAPS Parents and Families,

Attached is today’s announcement from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Education Secretary Ryan Stewart. 

This information tracks closely with what I sent yesterday about our plan called innovative LA learning. 

Today, we are working on a special message for high school


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Health Department: COVID-19 Testings In Los Alamos April 2

NMDOH News:

Testing people sick (not needing immediate medical attention) or who have recently traveled.

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s reports a COVID-19 screening Thursday, April 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or while supplies last, at Overlook Park in White Rock.

Priority screening will be provided for the following:

  • People experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, or shortness of breath; and
  • People who have traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Portland.

It is critical to


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New Mexico Governor Announces K-12 School Closings Must Continue To Prevent Potential Spread Of COVID-19

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico public education will shift to a learn-at-home model as schools remain closed for the rest of the academic year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state education and child care officials announced today.​

The decision is part of a two-pronged plan to protect New Mexicans from COVID-19 and ensure that children are protected, fed and educated and that families are supported through this crisis.

The governor previously ordered all public schools closed for three weeks, March 16-April 3, but warned at the time that an extension could be needed. It came today with


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U.S. Senators Udall And Heinrich: Coronavirus Relief Bill Provides $377 Billion In Small Business Aid

U.S. SENATE News:

“Payment Protection” loans can be used for payroll, rent, and utilities and will be forgiven and converted to grants if workers are kept on payroll

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are highlighting that the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes major provisions to provide relief to small businesses and non-profits hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and its required public health responses.

The bill includes $377 billion in small business aid – including up


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Chartwells And LAPS Add Breakfast To Free Meals Program

Chamisa Kindergarten Instructional Assistant Lindsay Young and her children, Kohynn, left, a student at Chamisa and Kyler, a student at Los Alamos Middle School, are ready to hand out lunches at Chamisa Elementary School. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

Beginning Monday, March 30, Chartwells and Los Alamos Public Schools will serve free breakfast along with free lunch as part of the Free Emergency Meals program for any child 18 and under.

Meals will be packaged together for one single distribution. Single pick up times are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday at Aspen Elementary School and noon


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Heinrich Update On COVID-19 Response, Legislative Efforts

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) held a teleconference Thursday with New Mexico-based reporters to discuss the latest on efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the call, Sen. Heinrich discussed the Senate passage of a major, bipartisan emergency COVID-19 response bill that will provide immediate and badly-needed relief to New Mexicans grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.

The $2 trillion package includes key provisions to support New Mexico, including:

  • Direct payments to individual New Mexicans and a major expansion of unemployment

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Emotional Healing: Navigating The Unknown

Dr. TED WIARD
Golden Willow Retreat

Editors Note: This is part of a series by grief specialist Dr. Ted Wiard, dedicated to helping educate the community about emotional healing.

We have been discussing the topic of grief and how it is a natural and normal healing process from any type of loss. Grief is the process of redefining one’s self after loss into the new situation and definition of who that person is now.

In previous columns we have discussed the first five phases of grief – since that time, we have watched the entire world shift in unsuspecting ways for different people, but in that shift, there


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Free Community Learning Opportunity In Days Of COVID-19

Richard Skolnik

COMMUNITY News:

Richard Skolnik of White Rock is the instructor for Yale’s Essentials of Global Health, on Coursera. ( https://www.coursera.org/learn/essentials-global-health )

The course is a comprehensive introduction to global health. It is based on a similar course that Richard taught to Yale undergraduates for five years. It is intended for lay people with no or limited experience in global health. It is appropriate for students in the upper years of high school and adults.

COVID-19 has spawned considerable interest in a range of global health topics and members


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EPA Continues Efforts To Help Increase Availability Of Disinfectant Products For Use Against Novel Coronavirus

EPA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took steps to provide additional flexibilities to manufacturers of disinfectants and other pesticides.

EPA intends for these flexibilities to increase the availability of products for Americans to use against the novel coronavirus. After meeting with stakeholders last week and discussing supply chain challenges posed by the pandemic, EPA is allowing manufacturers to obtain certain inert ingredients—or inactive ingredients like sodium chloride or glucose—from different suppliers without checking


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Public Food Distributions During COVID-19 Pandemic

THE FOOD DEPOT News:

SANTA FE — During the COVID-19 public health crisis, The Food Depot is adding a drive-thru  food distribution in Española beginning April 1. 

“The goal is to continue providing essential hunger relief to our most vulnerable community members in our service area. We continue to review our logistics, resources and strategies, and adjust where we can have the most impact,” Jill Dixon, director of development of The Food Depot, said. 

Food will be distributed the first and third Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon (or until the food runs out) at Ohkay Owingeh Casino’s parking


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Chart 11: COVID-19 Daily Cases By County In New Mexico

Chart shows between March 11 and March 26 the daily cases of COVID-19 by county in New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim

Chart shows the cumulative cases of COVID-19 by county in New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim

Chart shows number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim

Chart shows number of COVID-19 cases per county across New Mexico. Courtesy/Eli Ben-Naim


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Governor Seeks Deployment Of Army Hospital To N.M.

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has formally requested that the U.S. Defense Department deploy a staffed 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital (CSH) to Albuquerque as a proactive measure intended to enhance the state’s treatment capacity.

“This CSH is urgently needed to support the State of New Mexico’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to overwhelm our existing medical treatment facilities and resources,” Lujan Grisham wrote Wednesday in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The governor made the request under a federal law that authorizes


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New Mexico State Police: Working To Keep Citizens Safe During COVID-19 Outbreak

State Police requests public and businesses to comply with Emergency Public Health Order. Courtesy/NMSP

NMSP News:

New Mexico State Police requests the help of the public and New Mexico businesses in complying with the Emergency Public Health Order.

The Order requires all non-essential businesses to stop operating, and State Police, in conjunction with local law enforcement, will ensure that businesses adhere to its directives.

We believe the great majority of businesses will continue to voluntarily comply in the interest of public safety. However, in the event businesses are not compliant,


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