Alibi V.29 No.33 • Aug 13-19, 2020 

Newscity

Police Reform in the Roundhouse

The News Monkey

New Mexico’s Criminal Justice Reform Subcommittee says police reform will be a focus for the next round of legislation.

According to KOB the 2021 legislative session in New Mexico will be addressing concerns being voiced across the state and nation.

Rep. Antonio Maestas told reporters that there will be 8 to 12 bills introduced next session that will deal with police reform. “We've never really dealt with police issues at the state level before,” he said.

The subcommittee met on Monday for the first of three meetings meant to discuss police accountability, qualified immunity and other issues.

The Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association is being represented at the meetings, and the group says it’s happy to be a part of the conversation. Association President Shaun Willoughby told reporters that the group welcomed the chance to address “the current reform question being posed by some of the public.”

State COVID-19 Stats Positive

New Mexico state health orders seem to be paying off, as New Mexico is now showing a test positivity rate that is significantly lower than neighboring states. Seven-day averages for new cases are also showing improvements. Hospitalizations also continue to decrease.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that only 1 in 30 tests for COVID-19 are returning positive, making the “positivity rate” around 3 percent. In Texas the rate is 16.2 percent, in Arizona it’s 15.5 percent and in Colorado it’s 7.2 percent. The overall rate across the US is 7.5 percent.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Mexico dropped from 289.29 new confirmed cases per day on July 24 to 197.86 new cases per day on Aug. 7.

But the most significant metric—hospitalizations—continues to decrease, showing an overall positive trend. At the beginning of this week, there were 121 state hospitalizations. Down from spikes between 170 and 178 hospitalizations around the same time last month.

State: Employers Must Report COVID-19 Cases

New Mexico environmental officials have issued an emergency rule requiring employers to promptly report known cases of novel coronavirus infection in the workplace.

The Associated Press reports that the state Environmental Department ordered employers to report positive COVID-19 cases in the workplace within four hours of receiving notification.

“By requiring employers to report positive cases in a timely manner, the state will be able to more rapidly respond to workplaces,” the department said, “providing immediate guidance and support to employers and preventing the spread of COVID-19 beyond the infected employees.” The agency said that employers were aware of positive cases before the department in at least 280 cases.

The emergency rule will remain in effect for 120 days. A permanent rule can be put into place during that time, however.