TIMELINE: Tracing a year of coronavirus - Albuquerque Journal

TIMELINE: Tracing a year of coronavirus

From left, Department of Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Dr. Chad Smelser, also with the Department of Health, and others hold a news conference on March 11, 2020, to talk about the first three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

MARCH 11, 2020: N.M. confirms 4 positive tests for coronavirus; governor declares emergency; state high school basketball tournament allowed to resume without fans

MARCH 12: Schools closed for 3 weeks beginning March 16; large public gatherings banned; Archdiocese of Santa Fe halts church services

MARCH 13: President Trump declares pandemic national emergency; coronavirus testing underway in N.M.

MARCH 14: Nursing home visitors restricted; in a mostly empty Pit, Championship Saturday plays out with the final allowed sporting event for the foreseeable future played

MARCH 15: Restaurants and bars limited to 50% capacity

MARCH 18: DOH asks those traveling into New Mexico from outside the state to self-isolate for 14 days

MARCH 19: Restaurants, bars closed to in-person dining; theaters, indoor malls, gyms, resort spas closed

Carol Campbell, co-owner of ABQ Olive Oil Company, locks her shop after all nonessential businesses are ordered to close. (Anthony Jackson/ Albuquerque Journal)

MARCH 23: Governor issues “stay at home” order; “nonessential” businesses statewide ordered to close; public urged to avoid all nonessential travel

MARCH 25: N.M. announces first coronavirus death — an Eddy County man

MARCH 26: Metropolitan Detention Center releases medically at-risk inmates

MARCH 27: Schools ordered to remain closed for rest of school year; districts move to remote learning

MARCH 30: 39-year-old inmate at MDC tests positive for virus, first known case in a N.M. correctional facility

APRIL 2: State urges residents to wear masks in public

A resident of La Vida Llena walks her dog around the outside of the retirement community as health workers prepared to test people for coronavirus following an outbreak. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

APRIL 3: Outbreak at La Vida Llena retirement community claims 16 residents within a month

APRIL 4: Navajo Nation grapples with skyrocketing COVID-19 infections; per capita rate of infections more than 7 times higher than N.M.

APRIL 6: Governor extends emergency order to May 1; liquor stores, payday lenders now also must close; car dealers required to close sales rooms, lots

APRIL 10: Worldwide virus deaths pass 100,000; in N.M., confirmed cases surge above 1,000 mark with confirmed cases in 26 of state’s 33 counties

APRIL 13: GOP pushes to reopen businesses, a refrain echoed through the coming months

APRIL 27: N.M. pushes past 100-death milestone, recording a total of 104 deaths

MAY 1: Nonessential businesses can resume sales with curbside pickup and delivery; golf courses, state parks can open, with limits; governor orders lockdown for Gallup

MAY 3: N.M. announces 12 deaths, setting single-day record for state

MAY 6: N.M. requires masks for restaurant, grocery workers

Presbyterian Hospital Medical personnel perform Covid-19 Testing. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

MAY 11: State announces that all New Mexicans can now get free virus testing

MAY 16: Retailers throughout most of state and houses of worship can operate at 25% capacity; people in public spaces required to wear masks

MAY 27: Restaurants can open patio dining

JUNE 1: Restaurants, gyms, salons and malls allowed to reopen at partial capacity

JUNE 2: 116 new COVID-19 cases at Otero County Prison, bringing total at facility to 162

JUNE 22: Organizers announce that Balloon Fiesta won’t be held in 2020, following the lead of Santa Fe Indian Market, Traditional Spanish Market and International Folk Art Market; lawmakers wrap up unprecedented special session in Roundhouse, which focused on budget adjustments and approving financial aid to businesses and local governments; the Roundhouse remains closed to the public

JUNE 24: Staggering number of cases reported at Otero prison: 426 in state system, 275 in federal prison facility and 146 at federal processing center

JULY 1: N.M. virus deaths hit 500

JULY 8: COVID-19 spike triggers more testing and hourslong lines at testing sites

JULY 9: State officials announce that high school football and other fall contact sports will be called off

Jeff Harkins, left, and his friend Scott Bleck wear masks as they enjoy the shade in Old Town. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

JULY 13: Governor tightens mask mandate, requiring that they be worn outside of the home for almost all activities, including exercise; indoor dining at restaurants banned; tougher limits on gyms

JULY 21: Governor urges UNM, NMSU to cancel fall sports due to escalating danger from coronavirus

JULY 23: Schools limited to online learning until at least after Labor Day

JULY 24: More than 300 COVID-19 cases reported in jails across state

JULY 30: N.M. extends restrictions another month

AUG. 4: Supreme Court rules fines to enforce health orders are legal, one of several legal victories concerning state’s handling of pandemic

AUG. 29: Restaurants can reopen at 25% capacity; other restrictions eased

SEPT. 4: Travel quarantine order eased; hotels can operate at 75% maximum occupancy

Desks in this first grade classroom at El Camino Real Academy are spaced 9 feet apart to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SEPT. 8: Some schools allowed to reopen under hybrid model

SEPT. 9: N.M. rolling average of new coronavirus cases hits lowest point since April

SEPT. 11: 60% of N.M. voters approve of governor’s response to pandemic in Journal poll; 55% disapprove of President Trump’s handling of pandemic

SEPT. 18: N.M. eases some restrictions on
youth activities

SEPT. 22: U.S. COVID death toll passes 200,000; state notes growth in virus spread in N.M.

OCT. 1: Governor pleads with New Mexicans to wear masks, avoid gatherings of more than 10 as hospitalizations climb 30%

OCT. 6: COVID-19 cases spike at MDC

OCT. 8: Governor warns state is at risk of “uncontrollable” virus spread; remaining fall sports postponed until 2021

OCT. 13: Explosion in virus cases prompts governor to tighten restrictions, including prohibition of gatherings of more than 5 people; COVID-Safe Practices for Intercollegiate Sports guidelines introduced that includes clause prohibiting games or even practices when county is in “red” status

OCT. 16: Virus surge claims 18-year-old Eddy County woman — at the time the youngest victim in N.M.; at MDC, 307 inmates and 43 staffers have COVID

OCT. 20: Record-breaking virus cases prompt governor to announce more stringent requirements, including closing retail and some other businesses by
10 p.m.

OCT. 22: Archdiocese of Santa Fe says it will once again halt in-person church services

Alicia Rodriguez lost her parents and brother to COVID-19. They were among the first 1,000 New Mexicans to succumb to the virus. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

OCT. 30: State surpasses 1,000 COVID deaths; UNM Lobo football announces it will relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada, to practice and play for the 2020 season

NOV. 5: Governor warns that N.M. is running out of hospital beds and is scrambling to add more health care workers

NOV. 16: Governor’s two-week lockdown goes into effect, reimposing ban on in-person dining at restaurants and closure of salons, gyms, other “nonessential” businesses in N.M.; GOP leaders warn that move will further harm economy

NOV. 17: At 12 years old, Aedan Selph becomes youngest New Mexican to succumb to COVID; NMSU announces it will relocate Aggies men’s basketball team to Arizona in order to practice and play season

NOV. 18: UNM announces it will relocate Lobo men’s and women’s basketball to west Texas — men to Lubbock, women to Amarillo — in order to practice and play the season

NOV. 19: State reports 3,675 new infections, a single-day record

NOV. 24: Lawmakers approve $330 million COVID relief package in 1-day special session; bill includes small-business grants, expanded jobless aid

DEC. 2: Governor implements new county-by-county, three-tier system on business restrictions based on number of new cases per capita and positivity rate; restrictions eased even
for “red” counties

DEC. 4: Governor issues executive order asking medical advisory team to recommend “if and when” NM should activate crisis care standards, which would help overwhelmed hospitals decide how to ration scarce medical resources

DEC. 10: State Health Department issues emergency orders instituting crisis care standards in hospitals and prohibiting nonessential surgical procedures that can be safely delayed for three months

Dominick Armijo, a registered nurse at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, gets the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Jeremy Willard, another nurse, at the hospital. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

DEC. 14: Health care workers at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe are among first in N.M. to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

DEC. 15: NM surpasses 2,000 COVID deaths

DEC. 16: State eases some retail restrictions in effort to reduce long lines outside grocery stores and large retailers

DEC. 17: State announces 48 deaths, the highest reported in a single day

This sign appeared in December outside the New Mexico State Veterans Home, the state’s only nursing home for military veterans and their spouses, located in Truth or Consequences. (Courtesy photo)

DEC. 18: Administrator of NM State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences placed on leave pending investigation after a coronavirus outbreak at the facility caused the deaths of at least 21 residents; 110 residents and 78 staff members contracted COVID

DEC. 22: State announces free at-home virus tests and more drive-thru testing sites around state

DEC. 24: Bipartisan group of lawmakers crafting bill to give Legislature greater say in decision-making during public health emergencies

DEC. 27: Residents and employees of nursing homes in NM begin receiving vaccine

DEC. 28: State fines Legacy, Calvary churches for violating health orders during Christmas services

JAN. 8, 2021: NM opens vaccination to people 75 and older, those with chronic medical conditions, essential workers

JAN. 13: DOH says it has detected first NM case of new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus

JAN. 18: State amends guidelines to allow college sports teams in NM to again practice in state, contingent on strict testing protocols; home games still not allowed

JAN. 19: State lawmakers embark on a historic legislative session with new rules aimed at keeping coronavirus at bay

JAN. 20: State surpasses 3,000 COVID deaths; vaccine clinic opens at the Pit, hundreds get first shot

JAN. 26: Governor announces schools can reopen Feb. 8, if safety measures are in place; school boards, charter leaders will make final call; schools can only participate in N.M. Activities Association sports if they have been in a hybrid learning model for 14 days

FEB. 2: State says O’Reilly auto parts store in Lovington fined $242K for allowing workers to continue to work despite having COVID symptoms

FEB. 3: APS board puts off decision on whether to resume in-person classes for most students

FEB. 9: UNM athletics deficit for the fiscal year projected at between $12.4 million and $13.8 million

FEB. 11: Governor lifts travel quarantine requirements; 19 counties now in green or yellow status, including Bernalillo, clearing the way for some in-person dining there

FEB. 15: Gathering of Nations organizer confirms live event will be canceled for the second year; online powow planned

FEB. 17: APS board votes to stay virtual, but will expand in-person learning slightly by allowing some small groups

From left, President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, bow their heads during a ceremony to honor the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19(

FEB. 22: U.S. surpasses 500,000 COVID-19 deaths

FEB. 24: Governor again eases restrictions, adds new color to map that would allow some counties to open bars, theaters at partial capacity; amended guidelines allow for home games/matches, with restrictions, to be played again in state, in some cases with fans

March 3: APS reaches agreement with state, clearing way for the district’s high school athletes to return to their sports

Online Memorial: Those We’ve Lost

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