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Local and State News

New Mexico ensures unemployment benefits to elderly

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico labor authorities are approving unemployment benefits automatically for people who don't return to work because of their advanced age or for a variety of serious medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Workforce Solutions Department Secretary Bill McCamley on Thursday said people 65 and older and other "high-risk workers" should consider not returning to work immediately because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Mexico increased by 255 on Thursday to 20,388 since the outbreak of the pandemic, with three new deaths. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she is gravely concerned about the expiration this week of a $600 weekly federal supplement to cash unemployment benefits.