KRQE Newsfeed: Full ICU beds, Ankle monitor, Weekend rain, UNM Moderna trial, Balloon Fiesta restrictions

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[1] Officials concerned about rise in unvaccinated COVID cases, full ICU beds – The situation for New Mexico hospitals is getting close to a crisis mode with ICUs filling up, a shortage of nurses, and COVID cases climbing. Officials say at last count, 50 people are on a waiting list for a bed in the ICU. COVID is partly to blame, but people are also seeking care they had delayed last year. State officials say unvaccinated people have made up 88 percent of hospitalizations and 85 percent of deaths this past month. The northwest and southeast are areas of concern. But officials say the southeast portion of the state is the biggest worry of all. They’re approaching 280 cases per 100,000 people per day.

[2] Police say murder suspect on the run after he cut off ankle monitor – A murder suspect is on the run after cutting off his ankle monitor. The suspect police are desperately trying to find is 19-year-old Trey Bausby. Police arrested him in February and is accused of stabbing and killing Jessica Benavidez in the parking lot of the Amberly Suites in January. District Attorney Raul Torrez says they had asked the courts three times to keep him locked up until trial, even presenting evidence prior to his arrest that he asked a friend for money to leave town, but Judge Richard Brown released him from jail with a GPS monitor instead.

[3] Recently dry areas to see rain today through weekend – Thursday is dry and a bit warmer than Wednesday in the northern and western mountains. Thursday will be hot with a better chance for showers and storms. A storm system crossing the Rockies will bring scattered showers and storms to western, northern, and central New Mexico.

[4] UNM launching vaccine clinical trial for young kids – Clinical trials for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on kids younger than 12 are set to begin with 60 New Mexican children taking part. The University of New Mexico is one of 88 sites in the US and Canada to participate. Children will either receive the first dose of the Moderna vaccine or a placebo and then after a month, go back for a second shot. The next two phases of the trial will enroll children ages two to six, and six months to two years old.

[5] Balloon Fiesta concerns as COVID cases rise and restrictions tighten – Despite more changes to the state’s health orders because of the rise in the delta variant, officials with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta say the event is still on. Balloon Fiesta officials say they have not reduced the number of people in attendance and they are not requiring masks on the field. There will be no indoor dining and they have moved the launch positions of some special shapes in hopes of spreading the crowd out across the 83-acre field.

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