KRQE Newsfeed: COVID cases rising, Homeless shelter, Dry and sunny weather, Smart signals, Chile farmers

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[1] New Mexico COVID-19 cases rise, metro area hospitals weigh in – The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in New Mexico has more than doubled in a month. The numbers show that almost all of the cases are of people that are unvaccinated. Presbyterian Hospital and the University of New Mexico Hospital both say they are seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 make up fewer than 5% of patients of UNMH. New data from the New Mexico Department of Health shows about 93% of COVID hospitalizations from the beginning of February to this week were unvaccinated New Mexicans.

[2] City releases draft operation plan for Gateway Center – Some neighbors of the city’s new 24/7 homeless shelter are raising concerns after they revealed its plan of operation. The operational plan the city released Wednesday for the Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub does not say how many people will be allowed to stay at the shelter or how many beds there will be. People referred by police, first responders and hospitals will be admitted around the clock. The plan also says there will be 24/7 security, but it’s still a concern for the president of the Siesta Hills Neighborhood Association. The plans rely on the expansion of the nearby Albuquerque Police Department substation for security purposes and do not allocate extra officers to the area.

[3] Drought improves from last week but drier, hotter days ahead – Thursday morning is completely dry and mostly sunny. Dry air is taking over the state today, keeping the weather much drier than it has been this week.

[4] City of Albuquerque to install “smart” stoplights along Lead and Coal – Six intersections along Lead and Coal may soon be getting smart stoplights to slow down speeders. The City of Albuquerque is wanting to install the “Rest on Red” lights which stay red every time a car approaches. It will only turn green if you are going the speed limit or under. Over the last five years, dozens of crashes have happened along the Lead and Coal corridor. The lights could be installed in a few months.

[5] State preparing plan to help with chile worker shortage – Help is on the way for New Mexico’s chile farmers dealing with a worker shortage. The state is funneling $5 million in federal relief money to boost wages for picking chile and other crops. It comes as farmers report a dire shortage of chile pickers as the harvest season gets underway. Officials say immigration issues have also played a big role in the farmworker crisis.

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