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Latest Coronavirus figures; Dining and cooking while hunkering down

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: The below information is current as of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31. As we know, the news regarding Coronavirus and responses is changing by the minute. We will work to update as needed.)

Daily statistics

According to the Centers of Disease Control, www.cdc.gov, the national confirmed COVID-19 cases increased from 140,904 March 30, to 163.539 March 30. There have been 2,860 deaths.

In New Mexico, confirmed cases rose from 237 March 29 to 281 March 30 (with four deaths) and 18 cases in Doña Ana County. While testing is still sporadic, it is notable New Mexico’s positive test rate has hovered just above or just below the 2 percent mark. Texas, by contrast, has been anywhere from 7 to 10 percent the past week.

In Texas, cases increased from 2,877 March 30 to 3,266 March 31, with 41 deaths. El Paso County has confirmed 46 cases. Information from Mexico is more difficult to track, but Ciudad Juarez confirmed two new cases March 31, bringing its total to at least seven. Nationwide, Mexico reported 1.094 cases as of March 30, with 28 deaths, and the country is urging business closures and social distancing.

Regional Statistics

NEW MEXICO (info from March 30)

12,527 people tested

281 positive (2.2%)

4 deaths

18 cases in Doña Ana County

Source: NM Dept of Health (https://cv.nmhealth.org/), updated daily approx. 4 p.m.

TEXAS

42,992 people tested

3,266 positive (7.6%)

41 deaths

46 cases in El Paso County

Source: Texas Dept of Health (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates.shtm#coronavirus)

The food conundrum during the Time of Coronavirus

In the year 2016, Americans for the first time spent more money on food from restaurants than at grocery stores.

So, when Coronavirus hit and restaurants had to close to inside dining, it changed things not only for the restaurants, but the diners themselves. You mean we have to cook?

In Las Cruces, many of our local restaurants are doing a fantastic job of curbside pickup and delivery services.

But as many people are stuck at home and self-quarantining, they are looking through their shelves and refrigerators and freezers to see what they can do with the items there.

I love to cook, and always find it a challenge to see what I can create from seemingly non-complementary foods.

Among the things I’ve created recently are: Texas chili from four semi-random ingredients and a roast, sausage burritos, sweet potato/white potato fritters and kitchen-sink pizza.

In an ongoing effort to support local businesses, I’ve also picked up from local restaurants. Sometimes I’ve gotten the whole meal there, sometimes I’ve cooked the main dish and gotten the sides from restaurants and sometimes I’ve gotten the main dish from a restaurant and made the sides myself.

Do what works for you, and find new ways to be efficient with your food.

Check out these other food-related ideas during this stressful time.

Here are some recipes from Bon Appetit: https://www.bonappetit.com/gallery/cooking-at-home-coronavirus

And if you’re trying to clear out the pantry and are unsure about the expiration date, here is some info from the FDA: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/confused-date-labels-packaged-foods

Call before you drop by, because things are changing constantly, but here – created by the NMSU alumni relations group – is a partial list of Las Cruces restaurants offering pickup or delivery: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ttKCWD8YObxrcNEKo96AdQRK3kbmn8rHFALq_jExi3I/htmlview?fbclid=IwAR1FQ1wjlguV-sxkVQ4knapIspa0zYY8psmIxy-czT9DZuTQM8tV_TYE0nQ

And don’t forget we live in one of the poorest counties in America, where food insecurity is an issue even in the best of times. Consider donating food, time or money to Las Cruces’ local food pantry: https://www.casadeperegrinos.org/

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