State epidemiologist departs as New Mexico reopens economy

New Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham removes her face mask at the start of an update on the COVID-19 outbreak in New Mexico and the State’s effort to limit the impact of the disease on residents, during a news conference at the State Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M., Wednesday May 27, 2020. (Eddie Moore/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s lead specialist for tracking and combating infectious disease has resigned amid the coronavirus pandemic to take a job with the Virginia Department of Health.

A Health Department spokesman on Monday confirmed the departure of epidemiologist Michael Landen’s from the agency.

He was appointed state epidemiologist in 2012 under Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and was a leading figure in the state’s response to the opioid epidemic.

It was unclear whether a successor had been named.

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