COVID continues, the Census count ends
Rise in COVID cases prompts new restrictions
New Mexico continues to struggle with high rates of coronavirus. Governor Lujan-Grisham's press conference last week and her announcement today provided stark numbers regarding the rise in COVID rates currently present in the state. New Mexico logged 3,410 cases in the two weeks ending on October 7th, is not meeting its gating criteria, and is one of only four states that have seen an increase of over 100% in cases during that period. Due to these high numbers, public health guidelines have been updated to implement further limits on hotel capacity, restaurant hours, and self-quarantine for out of state travelers. Additionally, school sports programs will not be permitted and the size of gatherings will go down from 10 to 5. The updated guidelines go into effect Friday October 16th.
Last week's press conference also emphasized the importance of COVID safe practices at work, limiting travel to a daily COVID-safe triangle, and stressed the importance of these behaviors. The governor also provided information and suggestions for COVID-safe Halloween activities.
Time to be counted has ended.
On Tuesday, October 13th, the Supreme Court voted in favor of the Trump administration's request to halt the Census 2020 count immediately. As Justice Sotomayor, who cast the sole dissenting vote, noted (as reported in the Washington Post), "even a fraction of a percent of the nation's 140 million households amounts to hundreds of thousands of people left uncounted. And, significantly, the percentage of non-responses is likely much higher among marginalized populations and in hard to count areas, such as rural and tribal lands." Rural portions of San Miguel County represent one of the most difficult to count portions of the state and are chronically undercounted. An undercount can mean decreases in critical services such as rural clinics, school lunch programs, early childhood education, Medicaid and Medicare, Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) and more.
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