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March 12, 2020 11:49 AM

Access Local Coronavirus Updates here:

624 Positive Cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico/12 Total Deaths Statewide (April 5, 2020, 4:50 p.m.)
New Mexico Department of Health 1-855-600-3453

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Latest Update:

April 5, 2020 7:36 PM

Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of New Mexico and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing.

Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of New Mexico impacted by COVID-19.

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named George A. Robinson as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further assessments.

Prior Updates

April 5, 2020 5:17 PM

President Donald J. Trump Approves New Mexico Disaster Declaration

Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of New Mexico and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing.

Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of New Mexico impacted by COVID-19.

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named George A. Robinson as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further assessments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT THE FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV.

April 5, 2020 4:50 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 81 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

April 5, 2020 4:50 PM

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 624
Update includes one additional death related to COVID-19​

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 81 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

21 new cases in Bernalillo County
2 new cases in Cibola County
6 new cases in Doña Ana County
1 new case in Los Alamos County
9 new cases in McKinley County
1 new case in Otero County
34 new cases in Sandoval County
4 new cases in Santa Fe County
1 new case in Socorro County
2 new cases in Valencia County
Today's announced cases include additional positive tests from the La Vida Llena long-term care facility in Albuquerque, where one additional resident and two additional staff members have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Health on Sunday also reported one additional death in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

That case is:

​A male in his 40s from McKinley County who died April 5. The individual had underlying chronic medical conditions.
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now 12.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 624 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 246
Catron County: 1
Chaves County: 13
Cibola County: 14
Curry County: 6
Doña Ana County: 29
Eddy County: 4
Grant County: 1
Lea County: 2
Lincoln County: 1
Los Alamos County: 2
McKinley County: 40
Otero County: 3
Rio Arriba County: 6
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 103
San Juan County: 58
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 62
Socorro County: 5
Taos County: 13
Torrance County: 6
Valencia County: 7
County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 45 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 130 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:

Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.
New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

April 4, 2020 5:03 PM

New Mexico small businesses in financial distress due to the coronavirus crisis are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for loans made available under the federal stimulus bill.

The stimulus bill, or Cares Act, allocates $349 billion for loans to small businesses. But businesses have until only June 30 to access the money, and loans will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“This money will go quickly, and New Mexico small businesses must act as soon as possible to obtain loans,” Economic Development Secretary Alicia Keyes said Saturday. “Many businesses struggling through this crisis need a financial bridge to help them survive and recover once this crisis eases.”

There are two loan programs for small businesses under the stimulus bill: the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, a small business can borrow up to $2 million, with an immediate grant advance up to $10,000 that can distributed in three days to a business.

Small businesses can apply for the loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

Applications also can be made through the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers. There are 19 centers in New Mexico, and they offer instruction and guidance on how to apply for the loans. The website for the centers is www.nmsbdc.org

Under the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business can borrow up to $10 million, with an interest rate of 1 percent. The loan is deferrable for six months.

The SBA will forgive Paycheck Protection Program loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. A small business must work through its lender to apply for a loan. For more information, go to www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection

In addition to the loans made available under the stimulus bill, the New Mexico Economic Development Department also has created loan-guarantee and no-interest loan programs for businesses. For more information, go to https://gonm.biz/

April 4, 2020 4:56 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 51 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

23 new cases in Bernalillo County
4 new cases in Cibola County
1 new case in Lincoln County
1 new case in Los Alamos County
1 new case in McKinley County
1 new case in Rio Arriba County
2 new cases in Sandoval County
9 new cases in San Juan County
6 new cases in Santa Fe County
3 new cases in Torrance County
Today’s announced cases include additional positive tests from the La Vida Llena long-term care facility in Albuquerque, where 5 additional residents and 8 additional staff members have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Health on Friday also reported one additional death in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The case is:

​A male in his 60s from McKinley County who died Saturday, April 4. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now 11.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 541 positive tests for COVID-19. The case numbers announced Friday, April 3, erroneously included three duplicates. Those numerical errors have now been corrected and are reflected in today’s total New Mexico COVID-19 case report, which currently stands at 543:

Bernalillo County: 225
Catron County: 1
Chaves County: 13
Cibola County: 12
Curry County: 6
Doña Ana County: 23
Eddy County: 4
Grant County: 1
Lea County: 2
Lincoln County: 1
Los Alamos County: 1
McKinley County: 31
Otero County: 2
Rio Arriba County: 6
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 69
San Juan County: 58
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 58
Socorro County: 4
Taos County: 13
Torrance County: 6
Valencia County: 5

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 37 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 54 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:

​Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
​Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
​Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
​Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.
New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

April 3, 2020 4:02 PM


New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 93 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

39 new cases in Bernalillo County
3 new case in Cibola County
1 new case in Doña Ana County
8 new cases in McKinley County
26 new cases in Sandoval County
9 new cases in San Juan County
4 new case in Socorro County
2 new cases counties not yet identified
The Department of Health on Friday also reported three additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The cases are:

A male in his 90s from Bernalillo County who died, April 2. The individual had underlying medical conditions.
A male in his 80s from Bernalillo County who died, today April 3. The individual had underlying medical conditions.
A male in his 70s from Sandoval County who died early this afternoon. The individual had underlying medical conditions.
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now ten.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 495 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 202
Catron County: 1
Chaves County: 13
Cibola County: 8
Curry County: 6
Doña Ana County: 22
Eddy County: 4
Grant County: 1
Lea County: 2
McKinley County: 32
Otero County: 2
Rio Arriba County: 5
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 66
San Juan County: 50
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 52
Socorro County: 4
Taos County: 13
Torrance County: 3
Valencia County: 5
Counties not identified: 2

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 41 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 34 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:

Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.
New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

April 3, 2020 3:36 PM

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the City of Albuquerque report today an outbreak of COVID-19 at the La Vida Llena long-term care facility in Albuquerque where two residents have died, and 19 residents and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 with additional test results still pending.

The resident deaths consist of a man in his 90s and a man in his 80s, both had underlying health conditions. The man in his 90s died yesterday, April 2nd; the other in his 80s died early this morning.

“We are collaborating with the facility to complete testing of the residents and staff,” NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “We are also working together on identifying their recent contacts to determine the need for additional testing.”

"We continue our vigilance with respect to nursing homes," said City of Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. "Our Environmental Health Department is working with the New Mexico Department of Health to make sure people are following self-isolation guidance and that all state health regulations are being followed in these high-risk facilities."

Older adults, ages 65 and older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This is includes people with:

Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
Serious heart conditions
Conditions that can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.
Severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
Diabetes
Chronic kidney disease and who are undergoing dialysis
Liver disease
Given the infectious nature of the virus, it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans continue to be instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

New Mexico residents are asked to continue to protect themselves and others from this virus by following the basics: wash hands often, clean and disinfect surfaces, avoid close contact – via social distancing of at least 6 feet and/or staying home as much as possible, cover coughs and sneezes and wear non-medial facemasks if you are sick.

Residents with health-related questions can call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visitnewmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The New Mexico Department of Health also updates its dedicated COVID-19 webpagedaily with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

April 3, 2020 1:12 PM

City Council Approves Emergency Financial Assistance

At a special meeting today, April 3, 2020, the Las Cruces City Council approved $1,072,500 in emergency assistance to assist with the impact to our community caused by the Public Health Order to address the Corona Virus. The money is from the City’s Telshor Fund, money the City receives for the lease of Memorial Medical Center that is jointly owned by the City and County.

Agency/Organization
• Families & Youth, Inc.: $200,000 for Mayors Meals/My Friends Place/El Crucero
• Las Cruces Public Schools: $150,000 for Las Cruces internet & virtual learning access.
• La Casa: $74,500 for housing & emergency shelter operations & supplies.
• La Pinon: $74,500 for SANE Program (medical & operating supplies, expanded staff hours.)
• Casa De Peregrinos: $74,500 for operating supplies (food/staff.)
• MVCH: $74,500 for rapid rehousing/homeless prevention.
• CAA: $74,500 for Thriving Families-COVID community assistance program.
• CSFP Loaves & Fishes: $2,500 for food boxes for the elderly.

City of Las Cruces
• Utilities: $125,000 to increase utility assistance fund.
• Quality of Life: $100,000 for the essential supply fund.
• Various: $75,000 for drivers for COVID-19 tests & meal delivery.
• Various: $40,000 for PPE for City staff (person-to-person contact.)
• Economic Development: $7,500 for economic crisis flash assessment.

Total $1,072,500.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima said today’s emergency assistance is an initial response to the COVID-19 situation locally and additional funding could follow.

City of Las Cruces news releases can be translated into Spanish and multiple other languages using the Select Language feature on the lower right side of the home page of the City website at las-cruces.org under News & Announcements.

April 3, 2020 1:07 PM

At a special meeting today, April 3, 2020, the Las Cruces City Council approved $1,072,500 in emergency assistance to assist with the impact to our community caused by the Public Health Order to address the Corona Virus. The money is from the City’s Telshor Fund, money the City receives for the lease of Memorial Medical Center that is jointly owned by the City and County.

Agency/Organization

Families & Youth, Inc.: $200,000 for Mayors Meals/My Friends Place/El Crucero
Las Cruces Public Schools: $150,000 for Las Cruces internet & virtual learning access.
La Casa: $74,500 for housing & emergency shelter operations & supplies.
La Pinon: $74,500 for SANE Program (medical & operating supplies, expanded staff hours.)
Casa De Peregrinos: $74,500 for operating supplies (food/staff.)
MVCH: $74,500 for rapid rehousing/homeless prevention.
CAA: $74,500 for Thriving Families-COVID community assistance program.
CSFP Loaves & Fishes: $2,500 for food boxes for the elderly.

City of Las Cruces

Utilities: $125,000 to increase utility assistance fund.
Quality of Life: $100,000 for the essential supply fund.
Various: $75,000 for drivers for COVID-19 tests & meal delivery.
Various: $40,000 for PPE for City staff (person-to-person contact.)
Economic Development: $7,500 for economic crisis flash assessment.

Total $1,072,500.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima said today’s emergency assistance is an initial response to the COVID-19 situation locally and additional funding could follow.

City of Las Cruces news releases can be translated into Spanish and multiple other languages using the Select Language feature on the lower right side of the home page of the City website at las-cruces.org under News & Announcements.

April 3, 2020 1:04 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center

April 3, 2020 10:00 a.m.

City of Anthony

Chief Lara: reported a crowd at Wells Fargo early Friday morning, sent an officer to mitigate any issues related to noncompliance of social distancing directive.

Nothing new from the City. Yesterday, city announced a declaration of emergency.

City of Sunland Park

Nothing new operationally to report.

City of Las Cruces

There was a request from Councilor Gandara to produce radio/video PSA on resources available to those affected by domestic violence and child abuse. Jennifer relayed to the group that the City communications team has video podcast capabilities, should anyone need to use that resource for messaging.

Jamie from Doña Ana County: spoke with the state EOC on resources for public education on domestic violence/child abuse.

Las Cruces Police Department

Dan can be available for radio/TV PSAs. City Codes is concerned about illegal dumping, since transfer stations are closed. Will be putting out news release on that. There was some discussion on amended schedules at transfer stations in the county, which was sent to the public from South Central Solid Waste Authority.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Dr. Trujillo will be making radio appearances to update parents on the remote learning plan. KGRT was today, and she will be featured on KRWG’s Voice of the Public next Tuesday from 2 to 3 p.m. for parents, students or teachers to call in. Bus routes have been finalized for meal distribution, will begin on Monday. Enrichment channel on YouTube is being updated with new content, and Mr.Owl link has been posted on www.lcps.net with additional resources.

Doña Ana County

County Treasurer Eric Rodriguez reminded residents that to avoid penalty and interest accruals, property second half taxes are due on Monday, May 11. Since in-person payment services are closed, the following payment options are available:

By phone: 575-647-7433, toll free 1-877-827-7200 ext. 7433

Online at: www.donaanacounty.org/treasurer/payments

By mail: P.O. Box 1179, Las Cruces, NM 88004

24-hour drop box: in front of the County Government Center

Bill pay: this is a service provided by most banks

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Nothing new to update Friday.

Reminders to check on those on the frontlines – medical staff, first responders.

Doña Ana County Detention Center

Nothing to report Friday.

Village of Hatch

No report.

Town of Mesilla

Will resume Planning & Zoning meetings via Zoom, Monday at 6 p.m. Check www.mesillanm.gov for updates and meeting invitation.

Memorial Medical Center (MMC)

Nothing to report Friday.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Nothing to report Friday.

New Mexico State University

Nothing to report Friday.

New Mexico State University Police

Nothing new to report on Friday.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Operations continue as usual.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

Nothing to report Friday.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Services - Ombudsman Program

Nothing new to report Friday.

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

Nothing new to report Friday. Passed along information to protect government agencies in Zoom meetings.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

Nothing to report Friday.

New Mexico Department of Health

Working with TriCorps on speedy results for tests. Increasing capacity in the coming weeks as technology comes online, will be able to process more tests. Will report more positive cases later today. DOH is also working on updating information on their website regarding testing capacity, PPE inventory and other dashboard-friendly links for people.

April 2, 2020 6:27 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center

April 2, 2020 10:00 a.m.

City of Anthony

Chief Lara: March 30 started testing in Anthony for symptomatic people. Yesterday, local post office reached out to PD for assistance with crowds who are not adhering to six-foot rule, other social distancing directives. Will respond with frequent patrols.

Nothing new from the City. Currently, next week’s council meeting is scheduled to move forward virtually.

City of Sunland Park

Content dropped on social media about park closures, along with the PSA. Residents advised to call central dispatch if people are seen violating order.

Test and Go site will start next Wednesday, at public helth office 8:30 to 11 by appointment only (on social media). Sunland Park is on Facebook and Twitter.

City of Las Cruces

Nothing new to report, will move forward with special City Council meeting tomorrow at 9:30. Residents are encouraged to channel questions through their city councilors. Below is additional information:

SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA
Friday, April 3, 2020 at 9:30 AM
Individuals may view meetings live at lascruces.civicweb.net
The health, safety and well-being of our residents and businesses are a top priority for City Council and the leadership in Las Cruces. As such, and consistent with and in support of the direction from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Department ofHealth public health order the Special Council Meeting will be held via video conference. In an effort to seek public input we ask that if you have comments/concerns/questions please e-mail your Councilor as follows:
District 1 –kgandara@las-cruces.org
District 2 –tstuve@las-cruces.org
District 3 –gvasquez@las-cruces.org
District 4 –jbencomo@las-cruces.org
District 5 –gsorg@las-cruces.org
District 6 –yflores@las-cruces.org
Mayor –mayor@las-cruces.org
If you need an accommodation for a disability to enable you to fully participate in this event please contact us 72 hours before this event at 541-2115/V.
1.CONFLICT OF INTEREST INQUIRY BY MAYOR AS REQUIRED BY LCMC SECTION 2-27 (E)(2)


2.RESOLUTION(S) AND/OR ORDINANCE(S) FOR DISCUSSION


Resolution No. 20-132: A Resolution Authorizing the City of Las Cruces (City) to Accept a Budget Adjustment for Emergency Assistance for the impact from COVID-19 to Various Programs from the Telshor Fund for $1,000,000 Through an Amendment to the City’s Adopted FY2020 Budget.

Las Cruces Police Department

Sent out a news release yesterday warning residents about scammers calling people for stimulus checks.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Students in all grade levels have access to the enrichment channel on YouTube, which will be updated.

A letter to parents has been drafted, outlining learning targets and plan for the next seven weeks of remote learning. Should be going out Friday in English and Spanish.

Doña Ana County

News release was sent out yesterday regarding new quarantine procedures at the detention center.

Would like to record the PSA on behalf of the promotoras

Yesterday, Central Dispatch reported a 21% increase in domestic disturbance and child abuse calls. Jamie will work with community partners on how to mitigate anger and frustration in the home.

Feedback from parents: resources that LCPS is pushing out are great, but parents are feeling overwhelmed. District officials have not received that message, but it will be passed along to the superintenent.

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Nothing new to update from the courts.

Operationally, Undersheriff Quezada confirmed that domestic violence calls are increasing, and Patrol is working on alternate strategies for follow-up, welfare checks in coordination with other resources in the department. Will work with Jamie and HHS on other ideas that will help reach out to the community.

Doña Ana County Detention Center

Capt. Bryan Baker has joined the JIC call, effective April 2. Had nothing additional to report outside of DAC report above.

Village of Hatch

No report Tuesday.

Town of Mesilla

Nothing new Thursday.

Memorial Medical Center (MMC)

Will host a blood drive next week, for staff only to address shortage. To limit large gatherings, the drive is not open to the public.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Nothing new to report Thursday.

New Mexico State University

President Floros will have a Town Hall every Thursday at 3 p.m. via Zoom. Last week, there were 940 people who joined, down slightly from the 999 who joined for the first Town Hall the week prior. Here’s more information for anyone who would like to join:

NMSU President and Leadership will take questions at Thursday’s Town Hall meeting



As part of an ongoing effort to keep the campus community and the public informed during the COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexico State University President John Floros and members of the NMSU leadership will hold will host a virtual town hall at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 2. President Floros will briefly address the Aggie community and then take questions. Questions can be submitted in advance here. For more information, please call (575) 646-2127 or email President.Floros@nmsu.edu

Connection Information

Zoom: https://nmsu.zoom.us/j/628236481

Panopto: https://nmsu.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=04db24d5-3683-4e15-82f8-ab8c01204e21

Frequently Asked Questions



An ASL Interpreter will be available.

Learn how to PIN a participant video to be the main speaker seen.



New Mexico State University Police

Nothing new to report on Thursday.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Operations continue as usual.

George Richards passed along a website resource for any agency that has questions about PPE requirements: www.osha.gov/respiratoryprotection

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

Had a question for Plan B housing – need portable showers or sinks. Looking for resources in the event they needed them. Lt. Reyes to reach out to OEM, who will channel that request to the state EOC.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Services - Ombudsman Program

Tablets are in all area nursing homes. Staff has been instrumental in connecting families. Tablets are also used for counseling sessions for those who need it.

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

Update on child abuse and domestic violence calls: for the month of March, first 2 weeks, there were 288 dispatches; in the last two weeks, there were 350 dispatches, an increase of 21%.

Dispatch reports there were 450 incidents that were flagged to use universal precautions, which was 6% of total dispatched calls.

Hugo passed along a funding opportunity for those who qualify through the Department of Justice

FY 2020 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program from the U.S. Department of Justice that just posted on March 30th.

https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/bja-2020-18553

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

All operations are ongoing, nothing JIC related to report.

New Mexico Department of Health

Unable to join Thursday.

April 2, 2020 4:13 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 40 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

15 new cases in Bernalillo County
3 new cases in Chaves County
1 new case in Cibola County
1 new case in Curry County
1 new case in Doña Ana County
4 new cases in McKinley County
1 new case in Rio Arriba County
8 new cases in Sandoval County
4 new cases in San Juan County
1 new case in Socorro County
1 new case in Taos County

The Department of Health on Tuesday also reported one additional death in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The case is:

A female in her 70s from Bernalillo County who died Wednesday, April 1 . The individual was hospitalized and had multiple underlying medical conditions.

The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now seven.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 403 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 163

Catron County: 1

Chaves County: 13

Cibola County: 5

Curry County: 6

Doña Ana County: 21

Eddy County: 4

Grant County: 1

Lea County: 2

McKinley County: 24

Otero County: 2

Rio Arriba County: 5

Roosevelt County: 1

Sandoval County: 40

San Juan County: 41

San Miguel County: 1

Santa Fe County: 48

Socorro County: 4

Taos County: 13

Torrance County: 3

Valencia County: 5

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 34 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 31 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:

Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

April 2, 2020 3:01 PM

RESPONSE TO CLOSURES OF SOLID WASTE TRANSFER STATIONS, GREEN WASTE AND
RECYCLING CENTERS

Upon the closure of essential businesses and the restrictions of mass gatherings, recycling, green waste, and transfer stations in Las Cruces and Dona Ana County experienced a significant increase in business which caused crowding and gathering at our facilities. To sustain long-term availability of our solid waste management services and protect our staff and the members of the public, the decision to close recycling and yard waste disposal to the general public ties directly to the Governor’s stay at home directive.

March 23rd NM Department of Health issued a Public Health Emergency Order
Part of that ordered advised: “New Mexico citizens should stay at home and undertake only those outings absolutely necessary for their health, safety, or welfare.”
Further statements made by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham: “The only way for us to stop the spread of this virus is for New Mexicans to stop interacting with each other. New Mexicans must be crystal-clear on this point: Right now, every time you leave your house, you are putting yourself, your family and your community at risk. Only by distancing from one another, by remaining home except for essential or emergency travel, can we limit the spread of this virus to the point that it does not overwhelm New Mexico.”
The decision to limit accessibility to the general public for recycling and yard waste disposal was in the best interest of the community as a whole. We do not feel that these services are necessary for the community’s health, safety, or welfare and individuals should stay at home, rather than trying to dispose of these items at this time.
March 31st – Covid 19 cases: 18 in DAC; 315 in NM – that we know of
The intent of the Governor’s order, people not working, businesses closed, is so people will stay at home. Limiting access to these services is an attempt to keep people at home and not out in the community where other members of the public and City staff are exposed to the threat of this virus.
Options that are available in lieu of these service centers are:

If you are a city residential solid waste customer – leave your green waste items out for the Green Grappler on your scheduled pick-up day
Schedule can be found here: https://externalforms.las-cruces.org/Grappler/Grappler
Place your recyclables in your blue bin for your scheduled pick-up day
Schedule can be found here: https://scswa.net/curbsiderecycling/
Las Cruces Public Schools Recycling Bins are still currently serviced on a weekly basis (no glass)
Locations can be found here: https://scswa.net/schoolrecycling/
County Collection Centers are still accepting recycling materials (no glass) during these hours:
Open Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Locations can be found here: https://scswa.net/countycollectioncenters/
Hold on to your items for a little while until services return to normal schedules/accessibility

The South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) can be reached at (575) 528-3800 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The SCSWA manages solid waste and recyclables for residents and businesses throughout Doña Ana County.

Las Cruces Utilities can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.

April 2, 2020 1:58 PM

Attorney General Balderas Warns New Mexican Families About Stimulus Check Scams
Attorney General Balderas has issued a safety advisory to all New Mexicans about scams related to the federal economic stimulus package. The federal government will soon be sending money by check or direct deposit to most New Mexicans, but anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is likely operating a scam.
“Unfortunately our current state of emergency creates a ripe environment for scams and people trying to take advantage of vulnerable New Mexicans,” said Attorney General Balderas. “We must continue to protect and educate families, and my office will prosecute any person who tries to harm them.”
Attorney General Balderas provides the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of one of these unconscionable scams:

Never pay money to get money. Requests for payments to get your stimulus check are a sure sign that you’ve been contacted by a scammer;

Protect your financial accounts. Common scams claim you can get your money immediately if you provide credit card information, banking information, or other personal information. This claim is not true and the checks are not ready;

Be patient.
Some fraudsters are claiming they will give you an advance for a small fee while you wait for your check. Don’t fall for this. It’s a scam;

The government is not going to call you.
Scammers will also attempt to collect personal information by impersonating a government agency like the IRS. Never provide your personal information to someone you don't know;

Protect your identity.
Any request to confirm your identity or gather personal information in order to send your stimulus check is a scam. Do not give out your personal information, like birth dates and social security numbers, over the phone or online. The government will not ask you for this information via phone or email;

Do not pay a “fee.”
There is no “processing fee” to get your stimulus check;

Think before you click. Do not click on links sent to you by people you don't know. In the wake of disasters like the coronavirus outbreak, scammers will often email or text consumers to gather personal information by using phishing scams. Right now the only place consumers should check for information about the stimulus check is the IRS website, here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Attorney General Balderas also urges all New Mexicans to stop these criminals by being vigilant and well-informed. Please share this warning with your family, friends, and social media contacts.
Any New Mexican that is suspicious of scamming activity is urged to immediately file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at www.nmag.gov.

April 1, 2020 5:00 PM

KRWG to air at-home learning broadcasts for New Mexico’s K-5 students

DATE: 04/01/2020
WRITER: Faith Schifani, 575-646-6233, schifani@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Adrian Velarde, 575-646-2259, avelarde@nmsu.edu

The coronavirus crisis has resulted in the closures of all New Mexico public schools. In response, New Mexico State University’s KRWG Public Media is partnering with New Mexico PBS, Albuquerque Public Schools and KENW to air a broadcast initiative that will support and encourage at-home learning for K-5 students and their families. The broadcast lessons will be on KRWG channel 22 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning April 6.

The schedule will include kindergarten through first grade from 8 to 9 a.m., English Language Development from 9 to 10 a.m., second and third grade from 10 to 11 a.m. and fourth and fifth grade from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. More information is available at https://www.krwg.org/learning.

“Television is the most accessible resource to deliver this content to students in our region,” said Adrian Velarde, general manager of KRWG. “By providing these lessons, we hope to supplement the efforts of the various school districts in the communities we serve with the best educational opportunities for all students.”

These educational broadcasts will cover an array of subjects and give elementary-aged students the opportunity to access valuable learning tools even though they are unable to physically attend class for the remainder of the school year.

“This initiative will have a statewide impact thanks to the collective reach of KENW, KNME and KRWG,” Velarde said. “By joining forces, we reach 98 percent of the state’s population and we are the most accessible resource in this time of crisis. We are all extremely proud to be able to serve New Mexico students and teachers by delivering this critical content.”

The broadcasts will continue every week through the end of the regular school year schedule.

For additional information contact Velarde at 575-646-2259 or avelarde@nmsu.edu.

April 1, 2020 4:42 PM

KRWG to air at-home learning broadcasts for New Mexico’s K-5 students

DATE: 04/01/2020
WRITER: Faith Schifani, 575-646-6233, schifani@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Adrian Velarde, 575-646-2259, avelarde@nmsu.edu

The coronavirus crisis has resulted in the closures of all New Mexico public schools. In response, New Mexico State University’s KRWG Public Media is partnering with New Mexico PBS, Albuquerque Public Schools and KENW to air a broadcast initiative that will support and encourage at-home learning for K-5 students and their families. The broadcast lessons will be on KRWG channel 22 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning April 6.

The schedule will include kindergarten through first grade from 8 to 9 a.m., English Language Development from 9 to 10 a.m., second and third grade from 10 to 11 a.m. and fourth and fifth grade from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. More information is available at https://www.krwg.org/learning.

“Television is the most accessible resource to deliver this content to students in our region,” said Adrian Velarde, general manager of KRWG. “By providing these lessons, we hope to supplement the efforts of the various school districts in the communities we serve with the best educational opportunities for all students.”

These educational broadcasts will cover an array of subjects and give elementary-aged students the opportunity to access valuable learning tools even though they are unable to physically attend class for the remainder of the school year.

“This initiative will have a statewide impact thanks to the collective reach of KENW, KNME and KRWG,” Velarde said. “By joining forces, we reach 98 percent of the state’s population and we are the most accessible resource in this time of crisis. We are all extremely proud to be able to serve New Mexico students and teachers by delivering this critical content.”

The broadcasts will continue every week through the end of the regular school year schedule.

For additional information contact Velarde at 575-646-2259 or avelarde@nmsu.edu.

- 30 -
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April 1, 2020 4:09 PM

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 363
Update includes one additional death related to COVID-19​

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Wednesday announced 48 additional positive tests for COVID-19.
Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

19 new cases in Bernalillo County
1 new case in Catron County
2 new cases in Cibola County
2 new cases in Curry County
3 new cases in Doña Ana County
1 new case in Grant County
4 new cases in McKinley County
1 new case in Otero County
3 new cases in Sandoval County
5 new cases in San Juan County
6 new cases in Santa Fe County
1 new case in Taos County

The Department of Health on Tuesday also reported one additional death in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

That case is:

​A female in her 90s from Sandoval County who died Tuesday, March 31. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.

The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now six.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 363 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 148
Catron County: 1
Chaves County: 10
Cibola County: 4
Curry County: 5
Doña Ana County: 21
Eddy County: 4
Grant County: 1
Lea County: 2
McKinley County: 20
Otero County: 1
Rio Arriba County: 4
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 32
San Juan County: 37
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 48
Socorro County: 3
Taos County: 12
Torrance County: 3
Valencia County: 5

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 31 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:

​​Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
​Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
​Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
​Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

April 1, 2020 12:23 PM

City of Anthony

Nothing new on Administrative side – everyone is working from home. Local school reached out to PD to have a parade. Was advised it was not essential and would encourage crowds.

City of Sunland Park

Today, parks are officially closed. Signs were delayed. PD is fielding questions from businesses and have been educating more on public health order. What is essential business? Main question. Again, compliance...

City of Las Cruces

Nothing new Wednesday, operationally. Media coordinator did finish production of a community PSA that will be sent to all JIC members and local media. Here is a link for reference:

https://vimeo.com/402764393 The City is still on schedule to host a special meeting Friday at 9:30 to use a budget adjustment from the Telshor Fund that is used for various programs. Anyone can join the meeting by clicking www.youtube.com/clctv20!
Las Cruces Police Department

Business as usual Wednesday, nothing new to report.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Enrichment channel goes live today on YouTube. Children will be able to access enrichment materials according to grade. Students will also be able to watch their teachers on the channel – a schedule is available on www.lcps.net.

Doña Ana County

Nothing new on Wednesday.



Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

At District Court and Magistrate Court, all meetings/appearances are now done via video. Officers need to call in if they are scheduled to appear. Ann Marie at DA’s office has prelim information. No inmates are being transported to the court for mandated appearances.

Patrols are answering more calls related to domestic disturbances.
Village of Hatch

No report Tuesday.

Town of Mesilla

Nothing new Wednesday.

Memorial Medical Center (MMC)

Nothing to update Wednesday.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Blood drive has been going well. Today is the last day. Guidance was issued this week for providers to stay in the area.
The hospital is working with Vitalant to host a blood drive at the senior center Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In compliance with social distancing, the drive will be done by appointment only. Flyer is attached to the notes for anyone wanting to share this information. Kelly will send out to the media. 877-25VITAL

Here’s the link for anyone who would like to participate or share:


http://www.bloodhero.com/index.cfm?group=op&step=2&opid=929001&opidh=BA5A45D3A7B7915B71A2199D016D8B6D&idt=43917.3424421



New Mexico State University

Working through a virtual commencement and what that would look like, or if it’s feasible.

New Mexico State University Police

Nothing new today to report.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

All logistics requests are being sent to the state EOC. National Guard will be coordinating some of those details. Some MMC staff is working out of OEM to address preparedness surge expected in the next couple of weeks. Capabilities are being addressed, how to send requests to the state EOC.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

No changes, still enforcing medical screening.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Services - Ombudsman Program

Nothing new Wednesday.

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

City of LC mobile command vehicle is at MVRDA in the event they need to use it. DASO Communications vehicle is also at Central Dispatch.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

All operations are ongoing, nothing JIC related to report.

New Mexico Department of Health

Unable to join call Wednesday.

April 1, 2020 11:12 AM

Collaborative Emergency Donation Drive for Homebound Seniors & Disabled People

SANTA FE – Today the State Aging and Long-Term Services Department [ALTSD] announced a partnership with Bernalillo County’s Department of Behavioral Health Services [DBHS] to get much-needed supplies and food to homebound seniors and disabled people. Following the spread of Coronavirus to New Mexico, the ALTSD launched a hotline for seniors, people with a disability, or their family members to call in and request assistance with groceries, supplies or meals. To date more than 32,000 people from across the state have requested resources. The ALTSD estimates there are 104,000 seniors living at or below the poverty level in the state who could benefit from supplies.

Starting Monday (3/23/2020) at 8am, the first site will be operational. The South Valley Multi-Purpose Center, located at 2008 Larrazolo RD SW will be a hub for people to drop off donations. State employees as well as volunteers will collect the drive-through donations, sanitize the supplies/ packaged, non-perishable food items, and then distribute them across Bernalillo County for individuals who are homebound and have called the hotline. An overwhelming number of individuals have contacted ALTSD (through the email below) offering to volunteer in their region. Donate supplies, will be accepted at the South Valley Multi-Purpose Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

ALTSD is in the process of creating donation hubs, like this one, across the state to provide food and supplies.

“We are literally creating an entire operation from scratch,” said ALTSD Cabinet Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez. “I’m incredibly impressed by my team and the numerous volunteers across New Mexico who have stepped-up to help us launch this important program. We are working vigilantly to create hubs across the state, and while we’ve run into quite a few challenges we are not going to stop until we have a viable solution in place for New Mexicans who need our help.”

“It is really heartwarming, in the midst of this emergency, to see neighbors helping neighbors,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada. “We’re honored to help facilitate this donation site and assist some of the most vulnerable in our community.”

ALTSD is also working with Roadrunner Foodbank to buy supplemental supplies that can be sent to hubs across the state. Additional donation sites will be added in the coming days. The attached flyer contains information about needed supplies.

If you would like to volunteer, please email ALTSD-Volunteers@state.nm.us, Subject Line: Ready to Help, identify your city/town, and your phone number. The department will be in touch if/when volunteers are needed to mobilize a donation drop-off center.

April 1, 2020 11:01 AM

LAS CRUCES MUNICIPAL COURT POLICY ON COURT ACCESS DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
EFFECTIVE MARCH 30, 2019
The Las Cruces Municipal Court is instituting a temporary policy to reduce the possible risk of COVID-19 exposure to the public and Court employees. The New Mexico Department of Public Health issued emergency public health orders to include mandatory closures and guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico. Courts are exempt from the public health orders, as they are an independent branch of the government, and are responsible for providing essential public safety services, maintaining the rule of law, and ensuring that the constitutional rights of defendants are protected.
The court access policy is based on New Mexico Supreme Court Order No. 20-8500-002 (March 17, 2020), which states that it is a priority that all courts in New Mexico remain open to provide essential public safety services and maintain the rule of law in a safe environment for all New Mexicans. The Order recognizes the constitutional rights of all New Mexican, which are necessarily balanced with the emergent public health and safety needs of our residents at a time of public crises.
This policy also considers the Supreme Court directives under Order 20-8500-002 to provide the public with alternative means of presenting their matters to the court by use of electronic or facsimile transmission to minimize the travel and physical contact required to file documents in person at the Court. Likewise, the policy is consistent with the same Supreme Court Order that gives discretion to the District Court to control access by screening individuals seeking to enter the Court who may be infected by the COVID-19 virus. Municipal Court is subject to supervisory control by the Chief Judge of the District Court of the Third Judicial District, Judge Manuel I. Arrieta.
In summary, this policy does not bar access to the Court, but rather, it provides access in different forms consistent with the need to protect the public health and safety at a time of need.
Beginning March 30, 2020:
The public seeking access to Las Cruces Municipal Court will be screened at the main entrance to the Court. Personnel will be stationed at the entrance to screen and assess each individual’s physical condition by observation and inquiry. Everyone seeking entry to the Court will be asked the following questions to determine whether they meet the New Mexico Department of Health criteria to establish whether a COVID-19 high-risk contagion exists:
1. Whether the individual reports a fever, cough, or shortness of breath that has developed in the past 14 days;
2. Whether the individual has travelled within the last 14 days to a high-risk COVID-19 affected area as defined by the New Mexico Department of Health; or
3. Whether the individual reports a diagnosis, or close contact with anyone who has a diagnosis of a COVID-19 infection, or has been in contact with someone who has been in a defined high-risk area within the last 14 days.
Persons answering affirmatively to any of these questions will be asked to leave the Court’s campus and return to their own residence, and contact medical personnel for further direction.
Once an individual has been admitted to the Court, other Court staff may also ask that person the above questions at any time while assisting them.
Filing Pleadings: Court users are requested to file all pleadings either by facsimile (fax) at 575-541-2184, email at mcourt@las-cruces.org, or by mail to P.O. Box 20000, Las Cruces, NM 88004. If none of these options are possible, the individual may still file at the window inside the Court, but must maintain the recommended 6-foot distance from staff and other members of the public.
Inquiries about Cases: Contact the Court at 575-541-2224 during regular Court hours (7:30 – 4:30); email the question to mcourt@las-cruces.org; fax the Court at 575-541-2184; or, as a last resort, come to the Court during regular business hours.
Paying Fines/Fees: Individuals are encouraged to either make payments on-line at www.municipalonlinepayment.com/lascrucesnm with a credit card or debit card (there is $1.95 charge per transaction)or by mail to P.O. Box 20000, Las Cruces, NM, 88004. As a last resort, payments are still accepted at the Court. NOTE: The New Mexico Supreme Court has granted automatic 30-day extensions on all payments of fines/fees.
Hearings: Pursuant to Supreme Court Order No. 20-8500-006 (March 23, 2020), The Municipal Court will use remote methods (video, telephonic, etc. ) to conduct hearings whenever possible. If remote methods can’t be utilized, the Court may reset the hearing at a later date. As a last resort, the Court may require personal attendance at the hearing. Attorneys, litigants, witnesses, legal staff , law enforcement, the press and families attending hearings will all be subject to screening. However, pursuant to Supreme Court Order No. 20-8500-006, no more than 15 individuals should congregate in one area. The New Mexico Health Department has recommended that no more than five people congregate in one area. Depending on the nature of the proceeding, the Judge and staff may need to have individuals removed from the courtroom to wait elsewhere when necessary. Every effort will be made to keep necessary parties in the courtroom. Additional seating may be offered at the discretion of the Judge and her staff. No legal proceedings will occur without the core or necessary participants. In the Courtroom everyone is advised to maintain a 6-foot distance from everyone else present.
This policy is subject to amendment at any time, depending on how conditions change. The goal of the Municipal Court is to keep the court “open,” while providing a degree of safety for the health of the public and Court staff.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult and confusing time.

Presiding Judge Joy Goldbaum
Las Cruces Municipal Court

April 1, 2020 9:54 AM

The New Mexico Statewide Complete Count Commission is celebrating national Census Day today (Wednesday, April 1) with a virtual fiesta to encourage all New Mexicans to participate in the 2020 count without leaving home. Because of the social distancing requirements to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the fiesta will be held on social media, with messages reaching all 33 counties, tribal governments and universities. The campaign on Facebook and other social media channels will include content showing how to fill out the Census form – online, by phone or by mail -- and explaining why it’s important to do so. It also includes badges any New Mexican can add to their own social media profiles to show support for Census 2020. “We are urging every New Mexicans to participate in the 2020 Census in order to protect resources for all of our communities,” said Olivia Padilla Jackson, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration and chair of New Mexico’s Complete Count Commission. “We are committed to educating every New Mexican about why the 2020 Census is so important and are working every day with Complete Count Committees to ensure they have adequate resources, share best practices, both physical and virtual, and provide toolkits, to empower our partners to accomplish our shared goal of a complete and accurate count”. For more information or to participate in the fiesta, visit ICountNM on Facebook. New Mexicans can also sign-up for important census updates and have Census questions answered by texting CENSUS to 505-560-8848 (CENSO for Spanish). The decennial Census helps determine allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding. Research suggests that each New Mexico resident not counted results in a loss of $3,700 per resident, per year. The opportunity to respond to the 2020 Census began March 12 and is currently scheduled to continue until Aug 14. In rural areas and homes with Post Office boxes, U.S. Census Bureau workers go door to door delivering an official Census, including a unique ID number people can use to complete the Census online or over the phone. Because of COVID-19, that door-to-door work has been delayed until mid-April, which means nearly 20 percent of New Mexico homes have yet to receive their official Census invitation. Until they do, response rates in New Mexico will be artificially low.

April 1, 2020 9:54 AM

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is providing today revised testing criteria announced by Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel during Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:

Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.
Previous testing criteria consisted of those symptomatic or a recent out of state or country travel history.

“Studies are suggesting that asymptomatic people may be driving the spread of COVID-19, making it more difficult for containment,” said Secretary Kunkel. “If we can keep more asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients at home and not out in public, the more effective we will be at flattening the curve.”

New Mexicans with health-related questions can call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health updates its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

April 1, 2020 9:54 AM

NMSU College of ACES provides COVID-19 resource website
DATE: 04/01/2020
WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, jmoorman@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Sonja Koukel, 575-646-3006, sdkoukel@nmsu.edu
During the COVID-19 pandemic there are many sources of information for self and family care and safety.

New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences has established a website, http://aces.nmsu.edu/covid19/, where NMSU Cooperative Extension Service is providing relevant and reliable information regarding issues associated with the pandemic that impact individuals, families and communities.

“The ACES College is totally committed to be a fundamental part in fighting Coronavirus and supporting of New Mexicans in these challenging times,” said Rolando Flores, dean of the College of ACES. “Therefore, we have been working extensively to provide New Mexicans with all available tools and information possible.”

With this in mind, the Extension specialists are developing materials that the county Extension agents may share with their communities.

“As New Mexico’s land-grant university, our task is to provide research-based information to the citizens of the state,” said Jon Boren, College of ACES associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “Our agents and specialists are being very innovative with the technology available to us to accomplish this goal during this unique and challenging time.”

The website provides links to resources about health and wellness, family life, personal finances, nutrition and food, food safety and handwashing, and farming and farmers’ markets.

“We organized the website for easy access to information in these areas of a person’s life,” said Sonja Koukel, NMSU Extension health specialist. “We will be adding presentations and more relevant information in the coming days.”

Through the “Family Life,” and “Health and Wellness” pages, viewers may access the NM Crisis and Access Line and resources for supporting children’s emotional well-being during the pandemic. There are also links to information in Spanish.

The health and wellness page includes information on preparing for self-isolation, handmade do-it-yourself face masks, emergency preparedness of sheltering at home, and how you can tell the difference between allergies, cold, flu and COVID-19.

For kids, there is a link to a game that encourages kids to not share germs titled “Don’t Be Gross,” created by NMSU’s Innovative Media Research and Extension department.

On the “Protecting your Money” page, links are available on how to protect finances during the pandemic, including steps to take if having trouble paying bills or meeting other financial obligations.

Through the “Nutrition and Food” page, viewers may learn tips for shopping, food selection and getting kids involved in cooking. It also includes links to tasty and low-cost recipes provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as recipes in Spanish.

Tips for handwashing and surface cleaning, including videos in English and Spanish, are available through the Food Safety page.

The “Farming and Farmers’ Markets” page includes information about washing fresh produce once it is purchased and what the growers have done to prevent contamination. There is also access to information for New Mexico agriculture industry related to COVID-19.
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April 1, 2020 9:31 AM

Department of Health announces revised
testing criteria for COVID-19
Guidelines relaxed to allow more New Mexicans to be tested.

SANTA FE –The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is providing today revised testing criteria announced by Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel during Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:

Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath.

Previous testing criteria consisted of those symptomatic or a recent out of state or country travel history.

“Studies are suggesting that asymptomatic people may be driving the spread of COVID-19, making it more difficult for containment,” said Secretary Kunkel. “If we can keep more asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients at home and not out in public, the more effective we will be at flattening the curve.”

New Mexicans with health-related questions can call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health updates its dedicated COVID-19 webpage​ with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 31, 2020 4:44 PM

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

12 new cases in Bernalillo County
4 new cases in McKinley County
1 new case in Rio Arriba County
6 new cases in San Juan County
7 new cases in Sandoval County
4 new cases in Santa Fe County
1 new case in Taos County
The Department of Health on Tuesday also reported one additional death in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The case is:

A male in his 40s in Bernalillo County who died Wednesday, March 29. The individual was found unresponsive at home, test results for COVID-19 came back positive today. He had an underlying medical condition.
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now five.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 315 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 129
Chaves County: 10
Cibola County: 2
Curry County: 3
Doña Ana County: 18
Eddy County: 4
Lea County: 2
McKinley County: 16
Rio Arriba County: 4
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 29
San Juan County: 32
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 42
Socorro County: 3
Taos County: 11
Torrance County: 3
Valencia County: 5

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 24 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, testing must be prioritized for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose orthroat do not indicate a need for testing.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results

March 31, 2020 1:57 PM

The health, safety and well being of residents and businesses in Las Cruces are the top priority of the Las Cruces City Council and the leadership of Las Cruces.

As such, and consistent with and in support of the direction from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state’s most recent public health order, a special City Council meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 3, 2020, via video conference to consider a resolution authorizing the City of Las Cruces to accept a budget adjustment for emergency assistance for the impact from COVID-19 to various programs from the Telshor Fund for $1,000,000 through an amendment to the City’s adopted FY2020 budget.

In an effort to receive public input, residents are encouraged to submit comments, questions or concerns by email to their City Councilor as follows:

Kasandra A. Gandara, Mayor Pro Tem, District 1 – kgandara@las-cruces.org

Tessa Abeyta-Stuve, District 2 – tstuve@las-cruces.org

Gabriel Vasquez, District 3 – gvasquez@las-cruces.org

Johana Bencomo, District 4 – jbencomo@las-cruces.org

Gill M. Sorg, District 5 – gsorg@las-cruces.org

Yvonne M. Flores, District 6 – yflores@las-cruces.org

Ken Miyagishima, Mayor – mayor@las-cruces.org

The video conference will be streamed live at YouTube.com/CLCTV20, clctv.com and Comcast channel 20.

March 31, 2020 1:52 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center

March 31, 2020 10:00 a.m.

City of Anthony

Nothing new to report from Anthony PD, aside from official announcement that all public parks are closed. Police have answered a few calls related to large parties that were addressed with public education and compliance.

City of Sunland Park

Launched PSA on both city website and Sunland Park social media. Anticipate signage at all city parks todayreinforcing the closure.

City of Las Cruces

City had special meeting yesterday from 2 to 6 p.m. via Zoom. There was a lot of discussion, and a decision to meet again Friday at 9:30 to use a budget adjustment from the Telshor Fund that is used for various programs. Anyone can join the meeting by clicking www.youtube.com/clctv20!

Las Cruces Police Department

Had a busy evening and morning – nothing specific to the JIC. Answering internal calls to city council related to public health order.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Working on updating the original website to support remote learning. Teachers are working on lesson plans for the next seven weeks – will continue contacting and engaging with students and families during the shutdown. Priority is still the meal distribution efforts.



Doña Ana County

Set up a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 news.

Health and Human Services: had a question directed to MMC related to the city council presentation from yesterday. Is MMC putting together media messaging? The concern is to stay consistent with those messages. Ryan is working through JIC for that. Discussion on doing something like what was done awhile back when we had a flu epidemic locally. Suggestion was made to produce a PSA with John Harris for the second phase of PSAs.
Kelly will coordinate a sidebar conference with city/county/JIC to facilitate speaking circuit among local trusted voices at area radio stations.


Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff relayed information that a county facility was broken into over the weekend. DASO has been trying to get a plan together that addresses all county property and outbuildings so enforcement/patrol can be aware.

Few visitors are coming to the main lobby on Wednesdays but will continue to keep it open one day a week for records. A reminder was made to all agencies to request frequent patrols during the public health order of vulnerable properties. LCPD is currently conducting frequent patrols of all school campuses.
Village of Hatch

No report Tuesday.

Town of Mesilla

Nothing new to report Tuesday.

Memorial Medical Center (MMC)

Nothing to report Tuesday.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

The hospital is working with Vitalant to host a blood drive at the senior center Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In compliance with social distancing, the drive will be done by appointment only. Flyer is attached to the notes for anyone wanting to share this information. Kelly will send out to the media. 877-25VITAL

Here’s the link for anyone who would like to participate or share:


http://www.bloodhero.com/index.cfm?group=op&step=2&opid=929001&opidh=BA5A45D3A7B7915B71A2199D016D8B6D&idt=43917.3424421



New Mexico State University

Nothing to report Tuesday.

New Mexico State University Police

Records section will not be open on Mondays; will fill requests by appointment only. Anyone who would like to make an appointment can call 575-646-3311.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Nothing to report Tuesday.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

No changes, still enforcing medical screening.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Services - Ombudsman Program

Nothing new to report Tuesday.

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

Nothing to report Tuesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

Nothing new operationally, Officer Barron reported they are functioning at full capacity and zero agents are symptomatic.

New Mexico Department of Health

The governor will host a teleconference at 4 p.m. today that will be livestreamed. Also, this afternoon DOH will send out revised numbers sometime after 3 p.m. Public Health Office is now the place to go for testing. Once the self-screening tool is used and you are flagged for testing, you can go to the Public Health Office in Las Cruces for testing. David Morgan will send additional information to the JIC. To summarize, there are two ways to get tested: with a doctor’s referral, or via the self-screen over the phone with DOH.

There was a question from Sunland Park about first-responder priority testing. David Morgan: still no clear direction from the state on protocol for priority testing but Jamie, via Cullen, advised there is a process to self-screen: Once a first responder is flagged for testing, they are prioritized. Process is elevated if a first responder has encountered a positive person.

March 31, 2020 1:48 PM

Essential Businesses Only! Governor’s Mandate requires

SCSWA to Restrict Public Access

In order to comply with the New Mexico Governor’s Stay at Home Public Health Emergency Order at https://cv.nmhealth.org/stay-at-home-essential-businesses/ the general public will see restricted hours and closures at solid waste/recycling facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County.

Until further notice, only essential businesses are allowed to dispose of trash at the

• Amador Avenue Transfer Station - 2865 Amador Ave., Las Cruces

• Chaparral Collection and Recycling Center – 180 McCombs Road, Chaparral

Businesses wanting to dispose of trash at the above locations must provide a letter documenting that they are an essential business – with the name of business, the type of business, name of employee, contact information (address and phone numbers) for the business and the employee.

Adhering to the guidelines set forth by the New Mexico Governor’s Office, some collections sites are currently CLOSED to the public, including both recycling centers:

· Las Cruces Recycling Center Dropoff – 2855 Amador Ave.
· Sonoma Ranch Recycling Drop Off Center – 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd.

Please seek out more information at the governor’s COVID-19 website at: https://cv.nmhealth.org/

The South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) can be reached at (575) 528-3800 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The SCSWA manages solid waste and recyclables for residents and businesses throughout Las Cruces and Doña Ana County.

March 31, 2020 1:47 PM

Are you ready to let your inner filmmaker out and shine? Film Las Cruces is excited to invite you to participate in the “At Home! Movie Contest” to have some fun and create some entertainment for your city and state. We have created three categories: best short film, best family video, and best public service announcement (PSA) on the benefits of social distancing in helping to stop the Coronavirus. Because we know that some of our most talented future filmmakers are young, we have also created an award for the best film from someone under 18 years old. While this contest is largely limited to residents of Dona Ana County, we have created a 2nd Best PSA winner for a resident of New Mexico outside of Dona Ana County.

The contest will start on Wednesday April 1 and run through April 20. Online public voting for finalists will happen from April 17th to April 20th at 5 PM.

If you have any questions about the contest, please give us a call or email: 575-805-3456 // info@filmlascruces.com

Rules & Regulations
Participants must create their video between April 1st-15th and not before the contest start date.
Submissions will be accepted starting April 1st and end on April 15th.
You may collaborate with other creatives, but it must be done remotely.
Physical interactions can only be with team members that live in the same household.
Team members must adhere to all federal/state government protocols regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.coronavirus.gov // https://cv.nmhealth.org
Family members of Film Las Cruces staff or Board of Directors will not be considered for cash prizes.
Participants can submit multiple projects for consideration, but only one per category.
Each person can only vote once for film finalists.
Family members of Film Las Cruces staff or Board of Directors will not be considered for cash prizes.
All projects must be submitted through FilmFreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/At-Home-Movie-Contest
Categories
SHORT FILM:

Create a 3-5 minute short film. The film may be about any fiction or non fiction subject matter that is suitable for a wide audience including children. We encourage participants to get creative with their storytelling.
FAMILY FILM:

Create a 3-5 minute short film about any subject matter that is suitable for a wide audience including children. The film must involve all members of a family living in the same household, either as a cast member or crew.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA):

The importance of social distancing – Participants in this category will create a 2-3 minute public service announcement about the importance of social distancing to lessen the impact of the Coronavirus.
Prizes & Judging
A $50 cash prize will be awarded to each category winner. All initial entries will be judged by a panel of industry professionals to determine the winners. The winners from each category will then go on to an audience vote for “Best of Show.” The prize for “Best of Show” will be $50 cash.

Winning Categories Include:
Best Short Film
Best Family Film
Best PSA (Doña Ana County)
Best PSA (New Mexico)
Best of Under 18
Best of Show

Contestants will have 2 weeks to create their projects beginning April 1 through April 15. Submissions will open on April 1 and will close on April 15. The winners for each category will notified on April 17. Online voting for “Best of Show” will begin April 17 and end on April 20 at 5pm.

All projects must be submitted through FilmFreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/At-Home-Movie-Contest

Film Freeway
March 31, 2020 1:46 PM

350 Tablets Distributed to Nursing Facilities Across the State to Improve Communications for Residents and their Loved Ones

Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities, the NM Behavioral Health Institute, and Intermediate Care Facilities now have tablets for residents to share

NEW MEXICO- In an effort to ensure people living in nursing facilities remain connected with their loved ones, New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) has purchased and distributed 350 tablets across the state to licensed facilities.

On March 14, 2020 the Department of Health took steps to protect nursing home residents by limiting visitation to the facilities and providing guidelines for visitors. In conjunction with this announcement, the ALTSD’s Ombudsman Program started accepting requests for the tablets from facilities, residents and family members. The ALTSD worked with Verizon Wireless to purchase the Samsung tablets and leveraged the “Microsoft Teams” video conferencing and chat solutions to facilitate enhanced communications between residents and their loved ones during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We are living in unprecedented times. Not only is it critical that we support our neighbors through these challenging days and weeks, but also that we make sure we are fostering relationships and staying connected. Using virtual communication like video chats is a simple step we can take to boost our spirits, maintain safe interactions, and engage with those we love,” said ALTSD Cabinet Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez. “We are all in this together and must support one another, which is particularly true for those who may feel disconnected. I encourage everyone to check in with their elderly friends and family members to ensure they are receiving the care they require as well as helping them overcome loneliness that can be the natural result of limited person-to-person interactions.”

Many family members and residents have expressed their appreciation for the ability to stay connected during this pandemic. In one facility, staff members were providing their own personal phones to residents so they could contact family. Recognizing how significant those regular interactions are for the wellbeing and quality of life of the elderly residents, caretakers are grateful to offer this option in order to allow families to maintain these critical communications.

In addition to the 350 tablets purchased by ALTSD, the New Mexico Health Care Association purchased 140 more tablets for distribution to nursing home facilities.

The tablets can also be used for monitoring purposes, helping to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.

March 31, 2020 9:30 AM

Information For Individuals Experiencing Financial Hardship

Link
March 30, 2020 4:25 PM

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 281
Update includes two additional deaths related to COVID-19​

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 44 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:
16 new cases in Bernalillo County
2 new cases in Chaves County
1 new case in Doña Ana County
3 new cases in McKinley County
1 new case in Rio Arriba County
5 new cases in Sandoval County
5 new cases in San Juan County
3 new cases in Santa Fe County
1 new case in Socorro County
1 new case in Taos County
3 new cases in Torrance County
3 new cases in Valencia County
The Department of Health on Monday also reported two additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

Those cases are:
​A female in her 90s in Bernalillo County who died today, Monday, March 30th. The individual had been hospitalized and had an underlying medical condition.
​A female in her 70s in Bernalillo County who died today, Monday, March 30th. The individual had been hospitalized and had an underlying medical condition.
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now four.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 281 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 117
Chaves County: 10
Cibola County: 2
Curry County: 3
Doña Ana County: 18
Eddy County: 4
Lea County: 2
McKinley County: 12
Rio Arriba County: 3
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 22
San Juan County: 27
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 38
​​Socorro County: 3
Taos County: 10
Torrance County: 3
Valencia County: 5

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 24 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, testing must be prioritized for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or​ throat do not indicate a need for testing.​

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 30, 2020 4:19 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center

March 30, 2020 10:00 a.m.


City of Anthony

Nothing new to report from Mr. Dominguez; Chief Lara reports operations on patrol are going well and noted an increase in CYFD referrals and domestic disturbance calls since the public health order went into effect. She also advised her department has adopted a new protocol on subjects taken into custody during the COVID-19 crisis that monitors for symptomatic conditions. There was a question from the City regarding public park closures, which was addressed by Capt. Shoen in Sunland Park; the mechanism to affect closures of public spaces is the state public health order, which supersedes the local ordinance. Anthony is seeing a lot of calls related to large public gatherings prohibited by the public health order.

City of Sunland Park

Police have been educating the public on prohibited large gatherings, and continue to ask for compliance. Finance WFH three days/week. Closed all parks (11 total). After today, they will be closed to the public in compliance with PHO. SP Sports Complex will be closed; signage going up. Officers will be enforcing no trespass order.

City of Las Cruces

The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and businesses are a top priority for City Council and the leadership in Las Cruces. As such, and consistent with and in support of the direction from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Department of Health public health order the Special Council Meeting on Monday’s March 30th will be held via video conference. To seek public input, we ask that if you have comments/concerns/questions please e-mail your Councilor as follows:

District 1 – kgandara@las-cruces.org District 2 – tstuve@las-cruces.org District 3 – gvasquez@las-cruces.org District 4 – jbencomo@las-cruces.org District 5 – gsorg@las-cruces.org District 6 – yflores@las-cruces.org Mayor – mayor@las-cruces.org If you need an accommodation for a disability to enable you to fully participate in this event please contact us 72 hours before this event at 541-2115/V. To view the meeting, visit Lascruces.civicweb.net DISCUSSION ITEM(S) COMMUNITY RESPONSE PLANS
Las Cruces Police Department

Patrol has been proactively keeping an eye on school campuses; have seen large number of people congregating at parks. Will continue to seek compliance.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Website is back up; static page will continue to host COVID-19 information.

Principals will allow teachers to enter school one at a time to retrieve belongings, will pack up students’ belongings. Will rollout remote learning model toward the end of the week. YouTube channel is operational and is gaining subscribers.
Doña Ana County

Working with schools to deliver meals at Radium Springs.

Last week, 200 meals were distributed at that site alone. Shows we are meeting that need.
Ramping up senior meals, and will work with a provider for additional funding to address that need. Food continues to be the top need in the county.
State Office of Peer Support has some services available in partnership with area hotels for homeless community.
Opportunity for coordination/collaboration with senior community? Jamie and Andrea discussed briefly.
Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Nothing new to report other than an increase in the number of calls for service related to large gatherings, also seeing pop-up entrepreneurs attempting to operate around the public health order. Some enforcement will be necessary – sheriff will call BLM for activity in desert areas outside the city limits.

Village of Hatch

No report Monday.

Town of Mesilla

Fire department is working with the court to assess temperatures prior to people entering the courtroom Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 to 5; court continues to be closed Tuesday and Thursday.

Memorial Medical Center

Will be part of 2:00 meeting with the City of Las Cruces. No other updates to report.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

The hospital is working with Vitalant to host a blood drive at the senior center Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In compliance with social distancing, the drive will be done by appointment only. Flyer is attached to the notes for anyone wanting to share this information. Kelly will send out to the media. 877-25VITAL

Here’s the link for anyone who would like to participate or share:


http://www.bloodhero.com/index.cfm?group=op&step=2&opid=929001&opidh=BA5A45D3A7B7915B71A2199D016D8B6D&idt=43917.3424421

New Mexico State University

Classes start today online across the entire university system. NMSU is boosting wifi signals across campus to support those without an internet connection. Students are able to pull up to academic buildings or coop extension service to connect from the parking lot.

New Mexico State University Police

Needed assistance with a protective custody directive on screening detainees prior to transport. Chief Lara was helpful in providing guidance.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Working on a report for the city’s meeting today at 2:00.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

No changes, still enforcing medical screening. Video visitation plans are still in progress.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Illness

For all nursing homes and assisted living residents that may be showing signs or symptoms of having the virus

1. Nursing staff will contact the Covid-19 hotline and follow procedures and, 2. Contact Mr. Chris Burmeister who is the DOH Director of Improvement and Licensing for Skilled Nursing, and Assisted Living Facilities All facilities are following CMS/CDC guidelines.
Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

Have received a lot of calls regarding large gatherings. Those calls were being dispatched to Codes, but will not be doing that any longer. MVRDA is locked down, law enforcement is asked to do business through drive-through.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

No report on Monday.

New Mexico Department of Health

No report Monday, but there was a query from Sunland Park on how we can identify on a map where current number of COVID-19 cases are in the community (not to include any sensitive or protected information). El Paso County has a map on www.kvia.com that has general areas indicted for positive cases.

*Please note that David Morgan, the PIO for the local DOH office, is working between Santa Fe and Las Cruces, coordinating media and PR for the state DOH and the Office of the Governor. Because of those priorities, he is not always available to be on the call.

March 30, 2020 4:16 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 44 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

16 new cases in Bernalillo County
2 new cases in Chaves County
1 new case in Doña Ana County
3 new cases in McKinley County
1 new case in Rio Arriba County
5 new cases in Sandoval County
5 new cases in San Juan County
3 new cases in Santa Fe County
1 new case in Socorro County
1 new case in Taos County
3 new cases in Torrance County
3 new cases in Valencia County
The Department of Health on Monday also reported two additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

Those cases are:

A female in her 90s in Bernalillo County who died today, Monday, March 30th. The individual had been hospitalized and had an underlying medical condition.
A female in her 70s in Bernalillo County who died today, Monday, March 30th. The individual had been hospitalized and had an underlying medical condition.
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now four.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 281 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 117

Chaves County: 10

Cibola County: 2

Curry County: 3

Doña Ana County: 18

Eddy County: 4

Lea County: 2

McKinley County: 12

Rio Arriba County: 3

Roosevelt County: 1

Sandoval County: 22

San Juan County: 27

San Miguel County: 1

Santa Fe County: 38

Socorro County: 3

Taos County: 10

Torrance County: 3

Valencia County: 5

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 24 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, testing must be prioritized for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 30, 2020 3:06 PM

BREAK THE CHAIN OF INFECTION!
During a virtual city council meeting ton March 30, 2020, health professionals with Memorial Medical Center (MMC) again stressed the importance of taking the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
1. Wash hands often with soap and water.
2. Don't touch your face with your hands.
3. Stay home if you can.
4. Practice social distancing. Stay at least six-feet from the nearest person.
5. Avoid large groups - only congregate in groups of 5 or less.
6. Shopping. Only one person should go, not the entire family.
7. Pickup Service. Order ahead of time at stores and
restaurants and use pickup service.
MMC also reiterated that COVID-19 is not airborne. It is spread by droplets. MMC recommends that instead of wearing masks, the public should practice 1-7 above.

More COVID-19 information from MMC
March 29, 2020 4:30 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced 29 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

9 new cases in Bernalillo County
1 new case in Chaves County
2 new cases in Curry County
1 new case in Eddy County
4 new cases in McKinley County
4 new cases in San Juan County
3 new cases in Sandoval County
4 new cases in Santa Fe County
1 new case in Valencia County
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains at two.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 237 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 101
Chaves County: 8
Cibola County: 2
Curry County: 3
Doña Ana County: 17
Eddy County: 4
Lea County: 2
McKinley County: 9
Rio Arriba County: 2
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 18
San Juan County: 22
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 34
Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 9
Valencia County: 2

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

As of today, there are 22 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, testing must be prioritized for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 28, 2020 10:27 PM

Department of Health launches online tools for
COVID-19 test results and advising who needs testing

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) on Saturday announced the launch of two online tools for the public regarding COVID-19: a portal for receiving COVID-19 test results and a self-screening tool to aid in determining if one needs to be tested for COVID-19.

The test result portal can be found at https://cvresults.nmhealth.org/. A person in New Mexico who has been swabbed in order to be tested for COVID-19 will need to provide their name, date of birth and the date of sample collection. If test results are not yet available, the portal will indicate that they are pending. If test results are available, a person will be required to provide an email address and contact information and to create a password in order to access their information.

All persons who test positive for COVID-19 will be informed via phone call by their provider or the New Mexico Department of Health, and the portal will list their results as pending until they are notified. Upon notification, the Department of Health will begin working with the patient on a contact investigation to determine those around the patient who might also require testing. Negative test results will be displayed on the portal.

The self-screening tool can be found at https://cv.nmhealth.org/should-i-get-tested/. There New Mexicans will be provided with a list of questions designed to determine the extent of their symptoms and their chances of exposure to COVID-19 to provide recommendations as to whether they should be tested.

“These online tools will go a long way toward giving New Mexicans the health information they need as soon as possible,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “Regardless of any test results, however, residents need to continue to stay home, avoid all unnecessary travel and protect themselves to avoid COVID-19 transmission. It’s the best way to keep people healthy and stop the spread of this potentially deadly virus.”

New Mexicans with health-related questions can continue to call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. In addition, non-health-related questions or concerns can be shared at 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The Department of Health also updates daily its dedicated COVID-19 webpage​ with testing statistics and news and information for residents, clinicians and other medical personnel.

March 28, 2020 4:58 PM



Update includes one additional death related to COVID-19
SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 17 additional positive tests for COVID-19.
Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:
11 new cases in Bernalillo County
3 new cases in Chaves County
1 new case in Doña Ana County
1 new case in Eddy County
1 new case in San Juan County
The Department of Health on Thursday also reported one additional death in New Mexico related to COVID-19.
That case is:
A male in his 80s in Bernalillo County. The individual died on Friday, March 27; the individual had been hospitalized. The individual had multiple chronic underlying health conditions.
The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now two.
Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 208 positive tests for COVID-19:
Bernalillo County: 92
Chaves County: 7
Cibola County: 2
Curry County: 1
Doña Ana County: 17
Eddy County: 3
Lea County: 2
McKinley County: 5
Rio Arriba County: 2
Roosevelt County: 1
Sandoval County: 15
San Juan County: 18
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 30
Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 9
Valencia County: 1

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.
As of today, there are 19 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.
Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).
While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, testing must be prioritized for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 27, 2020 4:00 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 55 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

27 new cases in Bernalillo County
1 new case in Cibola County
1 new case in Eddy County
1 new case in Lea County
2 new cases in McKinley County
1 new case in Rio Arriba County
1 new case in Roosevelt County
5 new cases in Sandoval County
3 new cases in San Juan County
7 new cases in Santa Fe County
5 new cases in Taos County
1 new case in Valencia County
The Department of Health on Thursday reported no additional deaths in the state related to COVID-19. The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains at one.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 191 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 82

Cibola County: 2

Chaves County: 4

Curry County: 1

Doña Ana County: 16

Eddy County: 2

Lea County: 2

McKinley County: 5

Rio Arriba County: 3

Roosevelt County: 1

Sandoval County: 15

San Juan County: 17

San Miguel County: 1

Santa Fe County: 29

Socorro County: 2

Taos County: 8

Valencia County: 1

As of today, there are 17 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 27, 2020 3:26 PM

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an executive order requiring air travelers to New Mexico to self-isolate for at least 14 days to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Air travelers who fail to voluntarily self-isolate will be subject to forced isolation or quarantine by the New Mexico Health Department, Lujan Grisham says in the order.

The majority of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico have resulted from interstate and international travel into the state.

“Because some individuals infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, travelers may be unaware they are carrying the virus,” Lujan Grisham says in the order. “For this reason, persons arriving in New Mexico’s airports must self-isolate for a period of time sufficient to ensure that the public health and safety is not jeopardized.”

The self-isolation order for air travelers follows other steps by the Lujan Grisham administration to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the closing of non-essential businesses, a ban on gatherings of more than 5 people and stay-at-home instructions for New Mexicans.

“Despite the best efforts of our state and local governments and the citizens of New Mexico, COVID-19 has continued to spread and ongoing efforts are still necessary to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19,” the governor says in the air travel order.

Other U.S. states and some countries also have implemented isolation orders for air travelers. President Donald Trump has restricted travel to the United States from Europe and China.

Lujan Grisham on March 11 declared a statewide public health emergency due to COVID-19 and invoked gubernatorial powers under the All Hazard Emergency Management Act to protect public health, safety and welfare.

Under the governor’s order, air travelers to New Mexico are required to self-isolate for at least 14 days or for the duration of their stay in the state, whichever is shorter.

People who are self-isolating may leave their place of lodging only to receive medical care, according to the order. Family or household members may visit an isolated person, but those visitors would then need to self-isolate for at least two weeks.

Lujan Grisham directed the Department of Health to take all steps needed to ensure the screening and isolation of air travelers to the state, including executing temporary holds of individuals or groups, obtaining court orders to require isolation and imposing civil and/or criminal penalties.

The governor’s executive order doesn’t apply to airline employees and those performing public safety or public health functions, such as military personnel, federal employees, employees of national defense contractors, emergency first responders, health care workers or employees of shipping and freight companies.

March 27, 2020 1:09 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center

March 27, 2020 10:00 a.m.

City of Anthony

Police chief: had calls related to the public health order, violating. Designated one officer ro answer those calls. City operations continue to be shut down.

City of Sunland Park

Operations are same as yesterday. Prior to legal vetting, will be pushing out Vulnerable Population Registry, so citizens can self-register and be identified for priority service in the event of an emergency. Form was developed to assist citizens who need emergency power, other assistance. Will continue to use this system moving forward. Implementing GIS mapping for long-term response to emergencies. Hugo: Smart911 system also asks similar questions and information creates profile for at-risk population that is shared with OEM. Jamie (Doña Ana County): reminded everyone of the Smart911 system, and how helpful both systems can be in an emergency. There’s an app also to create a profile. ALERTME911 to 99411.

City of Las Cruces

The City Council met for a special meeting at 9:30 this morning.

As of this call they are currently meeting and in discussion to give the city council the authority to declare an emergency, thus giving them the ability to dedicate resources to respond to that emergency. Those resources could include financial, personnel, curfews, etc. video link is: https://www.youtube.com/user/CLCTV20
2.1. COUNCIL BILL NO. 20-029; ORDINANCE NO. 2921: AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE AMENDING THE LAS CRUCES MUNICIPAL CODE 1997, CHAPTER 9, “EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT,” TO INCLUDE ARTICLE III, “DECLARATION OF AN EMERGENCY; POWERS OF MAYOR DURING AN EMERGENCY,” SECTIONS 9-35 THROUGH 9- 41, “EMERGENCY DECLARATION ORDINANCE.”
Las Cruces Police Department

No update today.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Today, governor will announce extended closure. Pushing through remote learning, will begin ramping up how teachers will balance new directive from PED and how to make learning accessible for all.



Doña Ana County

Working with Mr. Macias to record PSA. Will also be addressing gaps in funding for emergency situations and where to allocate money for that – senior meals, or other over-burdened areas.



Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Operations remain the same as yesterday. Emphasizing that law enforcement is not affecting traffic stops for the sole purpose of enforcement of Public Health Order. There seems to be some misinformation about that on social media. Any effort to reduce that misconception is appreciated.

NM Supreme Court issued a directive that law enforcement can now call-in on Google Meet and are longer required to make in-person appearances at Magistrate Court in compliance with health directive. The documents are attached for reference, with corresponding numbers. For District Court: all officers are screened prior to entry. Hearings are now done via video, limiting public access. The courts are asking that the public stay home and only those with business at the court be inside the building.
Village of Hatch

The following was sent via email from David Sment:

The Village of Hatch offices are closed until further notice. The same for the library, dmv and museum. Planning and Zoning dept. Is also closed. The police dept. is working their regular hours. I have been out for two weeks now, but I check in with the Clerk on a weekly basis.
Town of Mesilla

Nothing new to report, staying safe under order.

Memorial Medical Center

Had a busy week, but today they are holding their own.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

The hospital is working with Vitalant to host a blood drive at the senior center Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In compliance with social distancing, the drive will be done by appointment only. Flyer is attached to the notes for anyone wanting to share this information. Kelly will send out to the media.

Here’s the link for anyone who would like to participate or share:
http://www.bloodhero.com/index.cfm?group=op&step=2&opid=929001&opidh=BA5A45D3A7B7915B71A2199D016D8B6D&idt=43917.3424421
New Mexico State University

Classes start Monday, all online. Campus has been busy getting prepared for that.

New Mexico State University Police

Question for OEM: was there an update on the priority for LE testing? Jamie (DAC) asked if facilities are still available for self-quarantine. Electronic Caregiver is an available resource to install remote health monitoring. Service assists with basic health monitoring.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Will be connecting elected officials to JIC notes to keep them informed through JIC process. City is looking into other resources to help the homeless population. There was also a correction on the number to report non-compliance with public health order. To report violations, please call 1-833-551-0518, option 9.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

As of Friday, nothing new other than screening is taking place for all persons coming into the facility (deliveries).

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Illness

Nursing Home Association is now helping to get more tablets into facilities to assist in communications with family members. Working on procedures for residents to get tested – more info on Monday.

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

There is a contingency plan in place to use mobile communication vehicles in the event of a quarantine, or worst-case scenario. Example: if someone on a current shift as symptomatic, that shift would quarantine at MVRDA. Would have the ability to operate dispatchers from those vehicles.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

Border Patrol is operating normally. Discussing adding personnel. No staff reporting symptoms or detainees.

New Mexico Department of Health

No report Thursday.

*Please note that David Morgan, the PIO for the local DOH office, is working between Santa Fe and Las Cruces, coordinating media and PR for the state DOH and the Office of the Governor. Because of those priorities, he is not always available to be on the call.

March 27, 2020 12:30 PM

At a special meeting this morning, March 27, 2020, the Las Cruces City Council unanimously approved an emergency declaration ordinance that allows the mayor and City Council to take immediate action in the event of a declared emergency. The action stated in the ordinance is for the protection of life and property, and for the preservation of public peace, safety, health, welfare, and for the continuity of efficient government operations.

The ordinance allows the council to exercise its emergency powers through a proclamation. The term of a proclamation is three days, but the council can extend the term for up to 14 days, at which time an extension orrenewal would be required. The ordinance will expire at the end of the current mayor’s term.

The proclamation becomes effective immediately upon its signing by the mayor, but the mayor shall give public notice of its contents through public and private media

The ordinance includes the following sections:

Sec. 9-36 – Proclamation of emergency; regulations.

When the mayor, or in the event of the mayor’s inability to act, the mayor pro tem, determines in consultation with the emergency manager, chief of police, and/or fire chief that a civil emergency, disaster or emergency exists in themunicipality, the mayor may proclaim a state of emergency in the area affected and may also request that the governor proclaim a state of emergency. During the existence of the state of emergency, the mayor may, byproclamation:

A. Prohibit any person being on the public streets, in the public parks, or at any other public place during the hours proclaimed by the mayor to be a period of curfew;

B. Prohibit any designated number of persons from assembling or gathering on the public streets, public parks, or other open areas, either public or private, or in any public building;

C. Prohibit the manufacture, transfer, use, possession, or transportation of any device or object designed to explode or produce uncontained combustion;

D. Prohibit the transportation, possession or use of combustible, flammable or explosive materials in a glass or uncapped container of any kind, except in connection with the normal operation of motor vehicles, normal home use, or legitimate commercial use;

E. Prohibit the use of certain streets or highways by the public;

F. Control routes related to ingress and egress throughout the city based on the needs of emergency services responding to the emergency or disaster;

G. Require evacuation of residents in the area affected by the emergency or disaster;

Sec. 9- 37 – Proclamation of emergency; additional regulations; approval by governing body. When the mayor or the mayor pro tem determines that a disaster or emergency exists, in accordance with section 9-36 of this Article,during the existence of the state of emergency, the mayor or mayor pro tem may by proclamation:

A. Prohibit other activities the mayor reasonably believes necessary to help maintain life, property, health, welfare, safety or public peace;

B. Require the city manager to direct city employees, as applicable to perform emergency functions;

C. Require the use of available resources of the city as reasonably necessary;

D. Utilize the services of non-city personnel and resources necessary to adequately respond to the declared emergency;

E. Utilize the services of non-city personnel and resources necessary to assist in the relocation or return of non-United States citizens to their country of citizenship or assist in the relocation of those seeking asylum inthe United States; and

F. Designate a substitute signatory for emergency obligation of funds during the pendency of the declared emergency.

G. When the mayor exercises authority in accordance with this section 9-37, the governing body shall approve such action by resolution at their next available properly noticed meeting.

March 27, 2020 11:55 AM

New Mexico public education will shift to a learn-at-home model as schools remain closed for the rest of the academic year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state education and child care officials announced Friday.

The decision is part of a two-pronged plan to protect New Mexicans from COVID-19 and ensure that children are protected, fed and educated and that families are supported through this crisis.

The governor previously ordered all public schools closed for three weeks, March 16-April 3, but warned at the time that an extension could be needed. It came Friday with a new executive order that extends the closing through the end of the school year.

New Mexico had 136 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases as of Thursday afternoon, including some that are being investigated as community spread, the state Health Department said. School closings are designed to minimize community spread.

“We’re working very hard to contain the virus, and we have to continue to take aggressive steps to mitigate spread and protect New Mexicans of every age all across the state. It is more important than ever that we make sure all New Mexicans are heeding the imperative to stay home,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Keeping schools closed is one of the most important tools we have to support the social distancing that can help us reduce and mitigate the spread of the virus.”

“Schools will not be required to make up the missed instructional days between March 16 and April 3, but for the remaining weeks of the school year to be waived, districts must develop both technology-based and non-technology-based continuous learning plans,” Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said.

“We know that this decision will have tremendous implications for our families, but we must act to keep our communities safe and healthy,” Stewart said. “We also know that we have extraordinary teachers, support staff and school administrators in New Mexico. If the temporary closure period has shown us anything, it’s that our creative educators and school support staff are committed to meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of our students in challenging circumstances.”

High school credits will be awarded based on flexible approaches, including completion of work, demonstration of competency for course completion and expanded equivalency like work experience. The Public Education Department also recommends schools move to pass/no credit rather than grades during this period.

“While it can be difficult to view the current situation with anything beyond anxiety and apprehension, we believe the wide-reaching consequences of this moment present a tremendous opportunity to transform education to serve all students, especially students who have traditionally been furthest from opportunity,” said Deputy Secretary Kara Bobroff.

“The decisions we make today are made with all of our students in mind. During this unprecedented time, we will continue to build into the public education system healing opportunities for students, families, communities and all New Mexicans,” she said.

Public colleges and universities are not included in the closure order, but most have either extended their spring breaks, moved classes online or both.

School-based health centers, educational programming for youth in facilities, and licensed child care facilities (centers and homes) serving workers whose jobs have been deemed essential will continue operating.

The closing plan includes these provisions:

SPECIAL NEEDS

Students with special needs will receive all feasible supports and accommodations that can be delivered while maintaining safe social-distancing. School districts must continue to support the transition of children from early intervention into preschool special education. Schools offering behavioral health services will remain open for that purpose.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS

Individual districts will design measures by which seniors can demonstrate eligibility for graduation. Those measures could include testing, completing a series of assignments, achieving a set score on a college entrance exam or demonstrating applied work experience. Schools will be required to identify and support students in danger of not being able to graduate.

High school seniors will have until June 19 to demonstrate eligibility, and those who fail to do so will be offered credit recovery in the summer; they can also appeal to their local school board or to the secretary. No student will be denied graduation for lack of access to demonstrate competency.

Actual graduation ceremonies will be postponed or held virtually, depending on the prevailing public health order at the time

Many high school seniors will have completed a college entrance exam already; additionally, many higher education institutions are expected to waive that requirement, and both the ACT and College Board are considering offering those exams in the summer.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT

Advanced placement exams will be offered online and will be limited to material students should have covered up to March. Accommodations will be made for those students who need access to technology to take the tests.

SCHOOL PERSONNEL

School personnel and contractors will remain on call and continue being paid as usual. Districts have already received guidance on activities employees can continue performing during the closure. Bus contractors are encouraged to continue operating bus routes to deliver food and hard-copy lessons. Special education and other service contractors are encouraged to provide virtual services, collaborate with general education teachers and maintain documentation.

SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS

Every New Mexico school district has a plan to continue providing childhood nutrition during this period. You can see those plans here.

The Public Education Department is also seeking permission to distribute Electronic Benefits Transfer cards that would allow qualifying families to purchase meals with their free breakfast/lunch allotment.

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

With schools closed, some children may be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect in their homes. In addition, teachers, school administrators and other school staff are often the first to notice changes in behavior and appearance that may indicate abuse or neglect. New Mexicans must fill this void and be extra aware of the safety and well-being of children they know and those in their neighborhoods. Any citizen can report suspected child abuse or neglect by dialing #SAFE from their cell phone or by calling 1-855-333-SAFE from a landline.

SUPPORTING FAMILIES

The Behavioral Health Division of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department is working with the New Mexico Human Services Department and managed care organizations to help providers and families create digital access to mental health services for children and youth.

COLLABORATING WITH NATIONS, TRIBES AND PUEBLOS

Tribes, pueblos and nations are located in some of the most rural parts of New Mexico and often experience extreme health care provider shortages. The governor and state agencies are collaborating with tribal leaders to support their needs in these times.

These state agencies will continue working with the tribes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Indian Education to support students who attend BIE and tribally run schools: Indian Affairs Department, Public Education Department, Children, Youth and Families Department and Early Childhood Education and Care Department.

March 27, 2020 11:40 AM

Governor: K-12 school closings must continue
to prevent potential spread of COVID-19

SANTA FE – New Mexico public education will shift to a learn-at-home model as schools remain closed for the rest of the academic year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state education and child care officials announced Friday.​

The decision is part of a two-pronged plan to protect New Mexicans from COVID-19 and ensure that children are protected, fed and educated and that families are supported through this crisis.

The governor previously ordered all public schools closed for three weeks, March 16-April 3, but warned at the time that an extension could be needed. It came Friday with a new executive order that extends the closing through the end of the school year.

New Mexico had 136 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases as of Thursday afternoon, including some that are being investigated as community spread, the state Health Department said. School closings are designed to minimize community spread.

“We’re working very hard to contain the virus, and we have to continue to take aggressive steps to mitigate spread and protect New Mexicans of every age all across the state. It is more important than ever that we make sure all New Mexicans are heeding the imperative to stay home,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Keeping schools closed is one of the most important tools we have to support the social distancing that can help us reduce and mitigate the spread of the virus.”

“Schools will not be required to make up the missed instructional days between March 16 and April 3, but for the remaining weeks of the school year to be waived, districts must develop both technology-based and non-technology-based continuous learning plans,” Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said.

“We know that this decision will have tremendous implications for our families, but we must act to keep our communities safe and healthy,” Stewart said. “We also know that we have extraordinary teachers, support staff and school administrators in New Mexico. If the temporary closure period has shown us anything, it’s that our creative educators and school support staff are committed to meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of our students in challenging circumstances.”

High school credits will be awarded based on flexible approaches, including completion of work, demonstration of competency for course completion and expanded equivalency like work experience. The Public Education Department also recommends schools move to pass/no credit rather than grades during this period.

“While it can be difficult to view the current situation with anything beyond anxiety and apprehension, we believe the wide-reaching consequences of this moment present a tremendous opportunity to transform education to serve all students, especially students who have traditionally been furthest from opportunity,” said Deputy Secretary Kara Bobroff.

“The decisions we make today are made with all of our students in mind. During this unprecedented time, we will continue to build into the public education system healing opportunities for students, families, communities and all New Mexicans,” she said.

Public colleges and universities are not included in the closure order, but most have either extended their spring breaks, moved classes online or both.

School-based health centers, educational programming for youth in facilities, and licensed child care facilities (centers and homes) serving workers whose jobs have been deemed essential will continue operating.

The closing plan includes these provisions:

SPECIAL NEEDS
Students with special needs will receive all feasible supports and accommodations that can be delivered while maintaining safe social-distancing. School districts must continue to support the transition of children from early intervention into preschool special education. Schools offering behavioral health services will remain open for that purpose.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS
Individual districts will design measures by which seniors can demonstrate eligibility for graduation. Those measures could include testing, completing a series of assignments, achieving a set score on a college entrance exam or demonstrating applied work experience. Schools will be required to identify and support students in danger of not being able to graduate.

High school seniors will have until June 19 to demonstrate eligibility, and those who fail to do so will be offered credit recovery in the summer; they can also appeal to their local school board or to the secretary. No student will be denied graduation for lack of access to demonstrate competency.

Actual graduation ceremonies will be postponed or held virtually, depending on the prevailing public health order at the time.

Many high school seniors will have completed a college entrance exam already; additionally, many higher education institutions are expected to waive that requirement, and both the ACT and College Board are considering offering those exams in the summer.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT
Advanced placement exams will be offered online and will be limited to material students should have covered up to March. Accommodations will be made for those students who need access to technology to take the tests.

SCHOOL PERSONNEL
School personnel and contractors will remain on call and continue being paid as usual. Districts have already received guidance on activities employees can continue performing during the closure. Bus contractors are encouraged to continue operating bus routes to deliver food and hard-copy lessons. Special education and other service contractors are encouraged to provide virtual services, collaborate with general education teachers and maintain documentation.

SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS
Every New Mexico school district has a plan to continue providing childhood nutrition during this period. You can see those plans here.

The Public Education Department is also seeking permission to distribute Electronic Benefits Transfer cards that would allow qualifying families to purchase meals with their free breakfast/lunch allotment.

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
With schools closed, some children may be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect in their homes. In addition, teachers, school administrators and other school staff are often the first to notice changes in behavior and appearance that may indicate abuse or neglect. New Mexicans must fill this void and be extra aware of the safety and well-being of children they know and those in their neighborhoods. Any citizen can report suspected child abuse or neglect by dialing #SAFE from their cell phone or by calling 1-855-333-SAFE from a landline.

SUPPORTING FAMILIES
The Behavioral Health Division of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department is working with the New Mexico Human Services Department and managed care organizations to help providers and families create digital access to mental health services for children and youth.

COLLABORATING WITH NATIONS, TRIBES AND PUEBLOS
Tribes, pueblos and nations are located in some of the most rural parts of New Mexico and often experience extreme health care provider shortages. The governor and state agencies are collaborating with tribal leaders to support their needs in these times.

These state agencies will continue working with the tribes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Indian Education to support students who attend BIE and tribally run schools: Indian Affairs Department, Public Education Department, Children, Youth and Families Department and Early Childhood Education and Care Department.

March 27, 2020 9:47 AM

Watch the March 27th Special City Council Meeting on the City’s YouTube page.

City YouTube
March 27, 2020 9:01 AM

The City of Las Cruces will stream this morning’s special city council meeting at YouTube.com/clctv20, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

There is one item on the meeting agenda:

COUNCIL BILL NO. 20-029; ORDINANCE NO. 2921: AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE AMENDING THE LAS CRUCES MUNICIPAL CODE 1997, CHAPTER 9, “EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT,” TO INCLUDE ARTICLE III, “DECLARATION OF AN EMERGENCY; POWERS OF MAYOR DURING AN EMERGENCY,” SECTIONS 9-35 THROUGH 9-41, “EMERGENCY DECLARATION ORDINANCE.”

March 26, 2020 4:29 PM

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has formally requested that the U.S. Defense Department deploy a staffed 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital (CSH) to Albuquerque as a proactive measure intended to enhance the state’s treatment capacity.

“This CSH is urgently needed to support the State of New Mexico’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to overwhelm our existing medical treatment facilities and resources,” Lujan Grisham wrote Wednesday in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The governor made the request under a federal law that authorizes the U.S. government to provide states with emergency medical assistance.

Lujan Grisham asked that the hospital be placed under the operational control of Brigadier General Michele K. LaMontagne of the New Mexico National Guard.

The governor’s request that the hospital be deployed to Albuquerque is part of a comprehensive state response to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. That response has included stay-at-home instructions and other efforts to prevent spread of the disease, as well as assistance for unemployed workers and distressed businesses.

March 26, 2020 4:07 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Thursday announced 24 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

Seven new cases in Bernalillo County:

A female in her 20s
A female in her 30s
A male in his 40s
A male in his 50s
Three males in their 60s
One new case in Chaves County:

A female in her 50s
Three new cases in Doña Ana County:

Three males in their 20s
Two new cases in Sandoval County:

A female in her 60s
A male in his 70s
Six new cases in San Juan County:

A female in her teens
A female in her 30s
A male in his 30s
A female in her 40s
A female in her 50s
A male in his 60s
Five new cases in Santa Fe County:

A male in his 30s
Two females in their 40s
A male in his 40s
A female in her 60s
The Department of Health on Thursday reported no additional deaths in the state related to COVID-19. The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 remains at one.

Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 136 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 55

Cibola County: 1

Chaves County: 4

Curry County: 1

Doña Ana County: 16

Eddy County: 1

Lea County: 1

McKinley County: 3

Rio Arriba County: 2

Sandoval County: 10

San Juan County: 14

San Miguel County: 1

Santa Fe County: 22

Socorro County: 2

Taos County: 3

As of today, there are 13 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 26, 2020 4:05 PM

New statewide fund to respond to COVID-19
launches with over $1.1 million

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced a new fund established by the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations to help New Mexico respond to and eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The All Together NM Fund will be used to address immediate needs and offer long-term support for the recovery work that lies ahead.

Pledges of more than $1.1 million from Ian and Sonnet McKinnon; Intel; Pattern Energy; Blattner Energy; and Tri State Generation and Transmission Association will seed the fund, which will be administered by the Santa Fe Community Foundation.

Donations to the fund will be tax-deductible and can be made through the website, http://www.AllTogetherNM.org.

“I encourage everyone who can give to do so – individuals, businesses and all those who care deeply about our great state. We need your help in the face of this threat,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.

“The All Together NM Fund represents an unparalleled collaboration between the public and philanthropic sectors in New Mexico and at a time where working together is an absolute must. By aligning our efforts and coordinating resources in a way that listens and responds to the needs of communities, we are optimally equipped to meet the challenges before us,” she said.

The New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations spearheaded the idea and will coordinate the fund. Its member organizations – the Albuquerque Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, the Santa Fe Community Foundation and the Taos Community Foundation -- will work with the larger philanthropic community across New Mexico; they will also consult with the State of New Mexico to determine the most urgent needs to be addressed through grantmaking.

The All Together NM Fund will provide a phased response to the pandemic. First, it will address immediate needs in New Mexico communities, including:
Procurement of food and medical and cleaning supplies for at-risk communities
Support for childcare workers who are supporting our front-line employees
Grants to address income insecurity among smaller businesses and employees affected by COVID-19 disruptions
Later, the grantmaking process will shift to address income insecurity among affected workers and businesses and to fill gaps left by the government response. Finally, when the time comes, the fund will support recovery efforts.

Donors may contribute gifts of stock, property and electronic fund transfers by calling the Santa Fe Community Foundation at 505-988-9715. Gifts by check can be mailed to the Santa Fe Community Foundation, 501 Halona St., Santa Fe, NM 87505. (Please note “All Together NM Fund” on the check itself.) Text “together” to (505) 333-4714 to give or visit http://www.AllTogtherNM.org?​

March 26, 2020 1:40 PM

In an effort to ensure the continued functionality of the Solid Waste System, the following restrictions will be instituted at Solid Waste facilities in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County beginning 12:00 p.m. Noon on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Amador Ave. Transfer Station - 2865 Amador Ave. – essential businesses only/closed to the general public. The Amador Avenue Transfer Station will be closed on Sundays for cleaning and disinfection.
Las Cruces Recycling Center Dropoff - 2855 Amador Ave. – closed to the general public.
Sonoma Ranch Recycling Drop Off Center – 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd. – closed to the general public.
Corralitos Regional Landfill – 14535 Robert Larson Blvd. (Corralitos Exit off I-10) – closed to the general public.
County Collection Centers – punch card system is being suspended, hours for the general public are limited to Saturdays and Sundays 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Only 4 bags of waste allowed per vehicle. No yard waste or construction and demolition waste (C & D waste) accepted at this time.
Chaparral Collection and Recycling Center – 180 McCombs Rd. – remains open to essential businesses only; residential fees are suspended. The general public is restricted to dropping off 4 bags of trash per vehicle on weekends only (Saturdays and Sundays).
Old Foothills Landfill Clean Fill, Green Waste, and Compost – 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd. – essential businesses only/closed to the general public. Open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday:
Residential green waste can be picked up at your curb by the Green Grappler on your scheduled pick-up date. Your schedule may be accessed on-line at: https://externalforms.las-cruces.org/Grappler/Grappler
Essential businesses should supply written documentation of their “essential” status. This may be required for access to local Solid Waste facilities.

All facilities remain open to regional commercial trash haulers to drop off solid waste during normal business hours.

Through Emergency Alerts, the State of New Mexico is urging residents to stay at home. The SCSWA and LCU appreciates public support at this time and will reopen to normal business as soon as possible.

The South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) can be reached at (575) 528-3800 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The SCSWA manages solid waste and recyclables for residents and businesses throughout Doña Ana County.

Las Cruces Utilities can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.

March 26, 2020 1:39 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center

March 26, 2020 10:00 a.m.



City of Anthony

Except for police department, the city has been closed since Tuesday until further notice, including the MVD.

City of Sunland Park

Operations are same as yesterday. Looking at city’s website to add a link to COVID-19 information. Social media will be updated also. Currently dealing with an earthquake that happened just after 9 a.m. Magnitude is 4.7 about 200 miles away.

City of Las Cruces

Nothing new to report, updated website with solid waste restrictions related to landfill hours. Mayor is working on his segment of the PSA. Considering closing Foothills site. Residents are encouraged to check the city’s website for updates.

Las Cruces Police Department

No update.

Las Cruces Public Schools

New: Teachers, counselors and staff working out a plan for graduating seniors and working closely with PED, awaiting guidance.

Finalized a PSA script for city/county/LCPS trusted voices to reassure the public amid the pandemic, encouraging residents about what they can do to help.

Getting Census 2020 pushed out and advertised.

And getting educational resources online.

Doña Ana County

The South Central Solid Waste System is restricting access to their facilities throughout Doña Ana County starting at noon Friday, March 27. A full list is listed under the News tab, on the Doña Ana County website.

Doña Ana County’s Animal Control and Codes Enforcement will prioritize emergency calls such as animal cruelty or neglect, bites to humans, dangerous dog complaints and significant clean-up operations that present a safety risk to the community. Call 911 for emergencies. If unsure or to report other concerns, please call (575) 526-0795 and choose option 6,

County Commission met, livestreamed, but physically closed to public access. Video will be available soon at www.donaanacounty.org.

The Community Development Department continues to provide services to the public, including building permits, inspections, planning, zoning enforcement, building inspections and GIS mapping. All development applications and building plans may be submitted either electronically or by mail. Payments can be made via phone or mail.

Zoning and subdivision applications are still being received for processing and review, though P&Z hearings are suspended.

For inquiries, please call 575-647-7350, or Christina Ainsworth at 575-339-8575, christinaa@donaanacounty.org .

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Nothing new operationally. Still working on a process for priority testing to symptomatic first responders.

Village of Hatch

No report.

Town of Mesilla

Nothing new for Thursday.

Memorial Medical Center

Nothing new to report.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Nothing new to report.

New Mexico State University

NMSU is looking at food insecurity issues on campus. Aggie Cupboard is the food bank on campus and has seen double the demand, but fewer donations. Typically work with outside donations, Casa de Peregrinos, and Roadrunner Food Bank.

New Mexico State University Police

Nothing new to report on Thursday.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Pushing out information on processes available for symptomatic first responders to get testing.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

No report Wednesday.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Illness

In phase 2 of handling out tablets to nursing homes and assistant livings so they can keep in touch with family members.

Making sure that facility is not doing any unsafe discharges.

Families have been wanting to move loved ones.

Nursing homes are working with DOH to make sure everyone is cared for.

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

Nothing new to report.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

No report Thursday.

New Mexico Department of Health

No report Thursday.

March 26, 2020 11:04 AM

scswa/lcu restrict public access to
solid waste facilities
to halt spread of coronavirus

In an effort to ensure the continued functionality of the Solid Waste System, the following restrictions will be instituted at Solid Waste facilities in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County beginning 12:00 p.m. Noon on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Amador Ave. Transfer Station - 2865 Amador Ave. – essential businesses only/closed to the general public. The Amador Avenue Transfer Station will be closed on Sundays for cleaning and disinfection.
Las Cruces Recycling Center Dropoff - 2855 Amador Ave. – closed to the general public.
Sonoma Ranch Recycling Drop Off Center – 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd. – closed to the general public.
Corralitos Regional Landfill – 14535 Robert Larson Blvd. (Corralitos Exit off I-10) – closed to the general public.
County Collection Centers – punch card system is being suspended, hours for the general public are limited to Saturdays and Sundays 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Only 4 bags of waste allowed per vehicle. No yard waste or construction and demolition waste (C & D waste) accepted at this time.
Chaparral Collection and Recycling Center – 180 McCombs Rd. – remains open to essential businesses only; residential fees are suspended. The general public is restricted to dropping off 4 bags of trash per vehicle on weekends only (Saturdays and Sundays).
Old Foothills Landfill Clean Fill, Green Waste, and Compost – 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd. – essential businesses only/closed to the general public. Open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday:
Residential green waste can be picked up at your curb by the Green Grappler on your scheduled pick-up date. Your schedule may be accessed on-line at: https://externalforms.las-cruces.org/Grappler/Grappler

Essential businesses should supply written documentation of their “essential” status. This may be required for access to local Solid Waste facilities.

All facilities remain open to regional commercial trash haulers to drop off solid waste during normal business hours.

Through Emergency Alerts, the State of New Mexico is urging residents to stay at home. The SCSWA and LCU appreciates public support at this time and will reopen to normal business as soon as possible.

The South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) can be reached at (575) 528-3800from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The SCSWA manages solid waste and recyclables for residents and businesses throughout Doña Ana County.

Las Cruces Utilities can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.

March 25, 2020 5:34 PM

JIC Notes
March 25, 2020

City of Anthony

No update Wednesday.

City of Sunland Park

Maintaining same conditions; asked for assistance from other agencies on addressing needs of vulnerable populations. Amanda from OEM will get with Capt. Schoen offline and offer assistance.

City of Las Cruces
Reminds the public that the City of Las Cruces continually updates it’s COVID-19 Alert Center on its website, www.las-cruces.org. Other reminders:

Senior Programs - information on meals is available at the city website CODID 19 alert section. http://www.las-cruces.org/2124/Resources-for-Senior-Citizens You can sign up for alerts in a variety of sections of the website.. Want all news releases? Covid 19 alerts? Parks and Rec info? Calendars? http://www.las-cruces.org/list.aspx?Mode=Subscribe#newsFlash
Parks & Rec is partnering with the National Fitness Campaign - 7 minute workouts. Helps reduce stress and keeps people active while at home. https://www.facebook.com/CLCParksandRec/
Las Cruces Police Department

One update: fielding several non-compliance complaints, some of which are going to the Mayor and then Codes. Complaints should be routed to the appropriate state agency: 833-551-0518.



Las Cruces Public Schools

Working on Census 2020 promotions, in spite of shutdown. Videos are an option now, as well as using administration to pass along vital hygiene tips. Also working on resourcing online resources for students and addressing credit recovery options for graduating seniors.



Doña Ana County

Sought feedback on doing a press conference with city/county elected officials Ideas: short, one-minute message that is vetted through JIC. Examples: Mayor, County Manager, DOH. Needs to be a unified message to community

Update on BOCC meeting Tuesday: went on as scheduled with limited public in attendance. Meeting was streamed online.
Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Tracking inventory on PPE, working through fielding calls related to the Public Health Order. Reminder to the group on how to dispose of PPE properly. Asked about including Gadsden School District and Hatch in JIC.

On resources and supplies related to children in the area: Crayons are available to any agency that needs them.
Village of Hatch

No report.

Town of Mesilla

In compliance with new order, Town is rotating shifts to accommodate 5-person rule.

Memorial Medical Center

Now at zero visitor protocol, wound care center is still open and seeing emergent cases without negatively affecting other patients. Emergency Operations is open, ready for surge should it happen.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Nothing new to report.

New Mexico State University

NMSU President John Floros hosting a virtual Town Hall Thursday, March 26 at 3 p.m. via Zoom. Video conferencing is their new option to communicate with public. Zoom is licensed for all NMSU employees, which can send out invites to use the service. Can hold up to 5,000 people at one time. Primary function is to answer questions using email address and then questions are answered via Zoom.

New Mexico State University Police

Nothing new to report.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

County attorney is crafting a declaration of disaster, will provide it to other agencies if needed. Scheduled to be presented at BOCC on April 14. Outside municipalities can tailor for their own needs. DOH is now sending news releases to the City for media distribution on COVID-19 matters. Chuck McMahon will coordinate a call moving forward to present information NEED CLARIFICATION ON THIS FROM CULLEN
Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility
No report Wednesday.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Illness

Nothing new to report Wednesday; Rosa continues to connect with seniors who have their own phones.

A reminder for those who need it: Seniors needing meal delivery or other services can call the Senior Resource Center: 800-432-2080

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

Most of admin staff is now working from home. Starting Tuesday, dispatchers are adding address flags into CAD with symptomatic information when appropriate. Dispatchers will then get a pop-up screen to advise first responders.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

No report Wednesday.

New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico reported its first COVID-19 related death in Eddy County.

Working out screening and sample collection sites state-wide. As of today, there is nothing definitively scheduled in the Doña Ana County area, but David Morgan that they are constantly updating that directive and he will pass on that information when it becomes available.

March 25, 2020 4:21 PM

Preserving personal protection equipment
is goal of two new health orders

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday announced two public health orders that will protect New Mexico’s supply of the personal protective equipment health care workers need to stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

One order prohibits non-essential health services, defined as services that can be delayed for three months without undue risk to the patient’s health. Eliminating non-essential medical procedures will slow the use of personal protective gear. Read it here.

The second order prohibits health care providers and wholesale medical suppliers from selling or otherwise distributing personal protective equipment without prior approval from the New Mexico Department of Health. Read it here.

Health care providers and wholesale medical suppliers must provide the Health Department with an inventory of their personal protective gear within three days.

“We’re going to do everything we can – everything – to protect those on the front line of this war against COVID-19,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “The doctors, nurses and others who are testing and treating these patients must be properly equipped; we owe them that. I have to make sure that if you need hospital care, we’re ready. And as we work to get more equipment from the federal government we’re going to take steps to protect and judiciously use the resources we have now.”

Both orders were issued by New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel; both take effect Wednesday, March 25, and both continue until the governor rescinds them.

The order banning non-essential health services applies to hospitals and other health care facilities, including ambulatory surgical centers, and dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices. It does not include emergency care, surgery or other treatments that would result in a serious condition getting worse, or the full suite of family planning services.

Each health care provider has three days to submit to the Health Department a policy addressing how it will comply and identifying procedures deemed essential and non-essential.

Both orders include civil administrative penalties, including fines up to $5,000 per violation, for willful violation, in addition to other civil or criminal penalties that may be available.

Rapid growth of the COVID-19 pandemic exhausted the supply of personal protective gear at many health care facilities and depleted state stockpiles as well. The federal government maintains the Strategic National Stockpile, a federal repository of drugs and medical supplies that can be tapped if a public health emergency could exhaust local supplies, but when New Mexico recently requested its full allotment, the state initially received only 25 percent, and the equipment that arrived was in poor condition.

March 25, 2020 4:13 PM

New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 13 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

Five new cases in Bernalillo County:

A male in his 20s
A female in her 40s
A male in his 40s
A female in her 70s
A female in her 80s
One new case in Eddy County:

A male in his 70s – deceased. As previously reported Wednesday by the Department of Health, this individual died Sunday, March 22. The state laboratory confirmed a positive COVID-19 test late Tuesday, March 24, after receiving it the same day.
Two new cases in Rio Arriba County:

A male in his 60s
A female in her 70s
One new case in Sandoval County:

A female in her 30s
One new case in San Juan County:

A male in his 30s
Three new cases in Santa Fe County:

A female in her 40s
A female in her 50s
A male in his 70s
Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 112 positive tests for COVID-19. A previously reported positive case in Chaves County was determined to be a clerical error; the patient has been informed, and the state count has been amended to reflect that fact:

Bernalillo County: 48
Doña Ana County: 13
Cibola County: 1
Chaves County: 3
Curry County: 1
Eddy County: 1
Lea County: 1
McKinley County: 3
Rio Arriba County: 2
Sandoval County: 8
San Juan County: 8
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 17
Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 3
As of today, there are nine individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

The Department of Health has detected community spread. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.



New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.



The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 25, 2020 12:14 PM

The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the state’s first death related to COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, a male in his late 70s in Eddy County died Sunday, March 22, at Artesia General Hospital.

On March 22, he went to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated rapidly. He died the same day.

A COVID-19 test was performed locally and sent to the state laboratory, which received the test Tuesday, March 24. The lab confirmed the positive test late the same day.

The individual had multiple chronic underlying health issues.

“This is a tragic day,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “Across our state, across the country, we are all reeling from the effects of this virus. For anyone in our state who had not yet acknowledged this virus as the urgent public health crisis that it is, who has not accepted the extremely compelling need to stay home, today lays bare the very real, very life-or-death consequences of this disease. My prayers are with the family of this New Mexican. I ask all New Mexicans to include the sick and their families in their prayers – as well as the health care workers and those others on the front lines helping protect us from this disease.”

“In light of this news, I want to further emphasize: As we test more people in the state, we will see the number of infections rise. And as we see the number of infections rise, we are likely to see more death. This is why it is absolutely imperative that New Mexicans remain home except for only those most essential or emergent outings. Social distancing and isolation is the best tool we have right now for mitigating the spread of this virus and avoiding capacity issues within our state’s health care system. All of us must undertake these steps in order to save more lives and prevent more deaths.”

New Mexico residents have been instructed to stay home except for outings essential to health, safety and welfare in order to minimize person-to-person contact. All non-essential businesses in the state have been ordered to cease in-person operations.

New Mexicans who are symptomatic – fever, shortness of breath, cough – for COVID-19 may call 855-600-3453 to learn about testing sites across the state. There is more information updated regularly on cv.nmhealth.org.

March 25, 2020 11:37 AM

Given the current public health crisis and the need to communicate critical information directly to as many New Mexicans as possible, the state of New Mexico will use an emergency alert system, disseminated from the state’s Emergency Operations Center, when conditions warrant.

This system is similar to Amber Alerts which are used to notify the public about missing children. Alerts will be sent through text messages, television, and radio.

The system is intended to disseminate important information widely and as quickly as possible and is not a cause for alarm.

The first alert will be sent at roughly 12:30 P.M. Wednesday, March 25.

Messages will state essential public information from the Department of Health, Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Governor’s Office regarding important public health guidance and instruction, such as the recent instruction to remain at home except for outings essential to health, safety and welfare.

More information about the state of New Mexico’s response to COVID-19 is available at newmexico.gov and cv.nmhealth.org.

March 25, 2020 10:26 AM

Attorney General Balderas Warns Amazon,
Facebook, Ebay, Craigslist, Walmart: Online Marketplaces Aren’t Exempt from Price Gouging Laws
Attorney
General Balderas led a coalition of 32 attorneys general, urging Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, Walmart, and Craigslist to more rigorously monitor price gouging practices by online sellers using their services.
“Increasing
prices on necessities like medical supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, and other items because people are in fear of the coronavirus is simply unconscionable,” Balderas said. “Businesses must exercise more thorough oversight to stop anyone using their platforms
from price gouging, and anyone increasing prices in order to illegally profit from this emergency will be prosecuted.”
In
the letter, the attorneys general emphasize: “We want the business community and American consumers to know that we endeavor to balance the twin imperatives of commerce and consumer protection in the marketplace,” said the Attorneys General in their letter.
“And, while we appreciate reports of the efforts made by platforms and online retailers to crack down on price gouging as the American community faces an unprecedented public health crisis, we are calling on you to do more at a time that requires national
unity.”
The
letter lists several examples of price-gouging on these marketplace platforms, all of which took place only in March: on Craigslist, a two-liter bottle of hand sanitizer was being sold for $250; on Facebook Marketplace, an eight-ounce bottle was being sold
for $40; and on Ebay, packs of face masks were being sold for $40 and $50.
The
attorneys general recommend several changes to protect consumers from price gouging:

Set
policies and enforce restrictions on unconscionable price gouging during emergencies:
Online retail platforms should prevent unconscionable price increases from occurring
by creating and enforcing strong policies that prevent sellers from deviating in any significant way from the product’s price before an emergency. Such policies should examine historical seller prices, and the price offered by other sellers of the same or
similar products, to identify and eliminate price gouging.

Trigger
price gouging protections prior to an emergency declaration, such as when your systems
detect conditions like pending weather events or future possible health risks.

Implement
a complaint portal for consumers to report potential price gouging.

Attorney
General Balderas was joined by attorneys general in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico.

March 25, 2020 10:24 AM

New Mexico COVID-19 update: One death

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the state’s first death related to COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, a male in his late 70s in Eddy County died Sunday, March 22, at Artesia General Hospital.

On March 22, he went to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated rapidly. He died the same day.

A COVID-19 test was performed locally and sent to the state laboratory, which received the test Tuesday, March 24. The lab confirmed the positive test late the same day.

The individual had multiple chronic underlying health issues.

“This is a tragic day,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “Across our state, across the country, we are all reeling from the effects of this virus. For anyone in our state who had not yet acknowledged this virus as the urgent public health crisis that it is, who has not accepted the extremely compelling need to stay home, today lays bare the very real, very life-or-death consequences of this disease. My prayers are with the family of this New Mexican. I ask all New Mexicans to include the sick and their families in their prayers – as well as the health care workers and those others on the front lines helping protect us from this disease.”

“In light of this news, I want to further emphasize: As we test more people in the state, we will see the number of infections rise. And as we see the number of infections rise, we are likely to see more death. This is why it is absolutely imperative that New Mexicans remain home except for only those most essential or emergent outings. Social distancing and isolation is the best tool we have right now for mitigating the spread of this virus and avoiding capacity issues within our state’s health care system. All of us must undertake these steps in order to save more lives and prevent more deaths.”

New Mexico residents have been instructed to stay home except for outings essential to health, safety and welfare in order to minimize person-to-person contact. All non-essential businesses in the state have been ordered to cease in-person operations.

New Mexicans who are symptomatic – fever, shortness of breath, cough – for COVID-19 may call 855-600-3453 to learn about testing sites across the state. There is more information updated regularly on cv.nmhealth.org.

New Mexico Department of Health
March 24, 2020 9:19 PM

New Mexico suspends home evictions, offers business loans

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court halted all housing evictions for failure to pay rent on Tuesday as health authorities began enforcing an order for people to stay home with few exceptions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Confirmed infections for COVID-19 reached 100, with new positive tests spread across seven counties, from the southern Las Cruces area to the counties along the Arizona state line that are home to large Native American populations.

At the same time, state investment authorities approved a credit line of up to $100 million to help businesses with 50 employees or more meet payroll obligations and avoid layoffs amid the economic turmoil from the contagion.

The actions took place as the state prohibited most gatherings of more than five people and shut down a variety of nonessential businesses where personnel cannot otherwise work from home.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura said in a statement that temporary relief is needed to prevent evictions due to economic hardship as workplaces close down. Tenants hoping to avoid eviction must present evidence of their inability to pay rent to a judge.

New Mexico’s congressional delegation announced the release of $1.7 million in federal grant money to 16 community health centers across the state from an emergency spending package approved in early March.

The State Investment Council overseen by overseen by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham voted unanimously to channel assets from the state’s Severance Tax Permanent Fund toward economic recovery loans for medium sized and large businesses.

The investment council oversees two multibillion-dollar endowments that support public education, other government services and infrastructure projects. The state already channels endowment funds toward small business loans through the Small Business Investment Corporation.

Lujan Grisham emphasized the importance of providing financial support to the hospitality industry and others companies in “dire straits,” as business revenues plummet ahead of the summer tourism season. The investment council met by teleconference as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

Some council members objected to offering emergency loans to employers who are headquartered outside the state and worried that interest rates may be pegged too high — or that $100 million might not satisfy demands. Many details of the program will be voted on separately in coming weeks.

Larger diversions from the Severance Tax Permanent Fund or Land Grant Permanent Fund require a state constitutional amendment that involves approval by the Legislature and a statewide vote.

“I don’t think it’s enough, I think it’s a start,” said State Treasurer and commission member Tim Eichenberg, who argued for low rates of interest on recovery loans. “If we just break even, we’ve done a service to the people of New Mexico.”

In another sign of strained public finances, total assets overseen by the State Investment Council fell to just under $24 billion this week from about $28 billion in January as financial markets reeled from the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 24, 2020 4:05 PM

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 100

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 17 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

Five new cases in Bernalillo County:
A female in her 40s
A male in his 40s
A female in her 50s
A male in his 70s
A male in his 80s
Three new cases in Doña Ana County:
A male in his 20s
A male in his 30s
A male in his 60s
One new case in Cibola County:
​A female in her 50s​
One new case in Curry County:
​A female in her 50s
One new case in McKinley County:
A female in her teens
Four new cases in San Juan County:
Two males in their 30s
A male in his 40s
A female in her 30s
Two new cases in Santa Fe County:
A male in his 50s
A male in his 70s
Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 100 positive tests for COVID-19:
Bernalillo County: 43
Doña Ana County: 13
Cibola County: 1
Curry County: 1
Lea County: 1
McKinley County: 3
Sandoval County: 7
San Juan County: 7
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 14
​​Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 3
Chaves County: 4
The Department of Health has detected community spread. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 24, 2020 3:58 PM

2020 Spaceport America Cup Cancelled
March 24, 2020

Spaceport America, NM – Spaceport America and the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) have made the difficult decision to cancel the fourth annual Spaceport America Cup that was scheduled for June 16 – 20, 2020 at Spaceport America. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for canceling large events in order to keep the students, spectators and sponsors safe and healthy. The event was set to engage over 1,700 college students from 17 countries on a weeklong rocket design and launch competition.

“Having groups of students working together to build their team’s rocket is contrary to the COVID-19 protocol released by the CDC, and the State of New Mexico’s proactive leadership on this issue,” explained Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America. “As much as we looked forward to having 154 universities participate, it is not the appropriate course of action at this time.”

“We are aware that this is incredibly disappointing news for the students, the universities, the communities of Sierra and Dona Ana Counties and our sponsors,” Hicks added. “It is important that the students respect and abide by their state and country guidelines for the health and safety of all,” Hicks said.

Last year, the 2019 Spaceport America Cup had 124 teams, 1,500 students, and representatives from 14 countries. The University of Washington took first place in the Spaceport America Cup and the University of New Mexico won the inaugural Spaceport America Chile Cup. Information on the 2021 Spaceport America Cup and possible actions with the 2020 Cup will be available at

SA Cup Website
March 24, 2020 3:48 PM

Consistent with and in support of the latest directive from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Department of Health, all sections of the City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department are now closed.

All services, which include medians, right of ways (ROW), alleys, parks, trails, restrooms and fountains are suspended until further notice. Recreation facilities, pools, and the administrative office are closed as well.

City-owned parks, which are technically closed, should not be used for large group gatherings. The Parks and Recreation Department asks that the public please practice social distancing and stay in groups of five or smaller.

To receive the latest news and updates, sign up for timely email notifications through Notify Me at www.las-cruces.org/list.aspx. Submit your email and click on topics of your choice to subscribe.

City of Las Cruces news releases are available on the home page of the City website at las-cruces.org under News & Announcements and can be translated into Spanish and multiple other languages using the Select Language feature on the lower right side of the page.

March 24, 2020 1:12 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center

March 24, 2020 10:00 a.m.



City of Anthony

No report Tuesday.

City of Sunland Park

Police department is now conducting medical surveillance of staff for self-tracking purposes.

City of Las Cruces

No Planning and Zoning Meeting this evening, Yes ASCMV meeting Thursday morning.

The City of Las Cruces requires all non-essential work take place from home effective at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24.

Below is a list of the exceptions pertaining to essential services for the preservation of health, safety and wellbeing.

All should be alternated amongst employees:

Construction management

Building/permitting (limited staff)

Legal - only as necessary

Utilities- limited to essential operations and on call

Traffic engineering- basic crew can be rotated/on call

Facilities maintenance/essential functions

Limited animal control

Risk management/calls out

Fleet/public safety/utilities/streets

Senior programs/ food delivery only

IT- on call for public safety

Transit

Finance - payroll, disbursement, purchasing manager as needed

All Departments - Payroll support staff for payroll purposes

This will take place until at least April 10 or until further notice.



Las Cruces Police Department

Also following governor’s orders. To the greatest extent possible, staff is working from home. There is a contingency plan to answer calls for service from people not following public health order. Three-prong approach: will reach out to ask for compliance, then face-to-face, then forward to NM State Police who will enforce state order using citations and fines. Codes enforcement is leading this effort. To date, there have been a couple of calls for service related to the order.



Las Cruces Public Schools

Closed all playgrounds, public spaces and sports fields. Student activities will feature resources.

Instruction continues to work with principals and teachers to provide enrichment resources to students. Administration is working to post videos on social media with book narration.



Doña Ana County

Aligned with Gov. Lujan Grisham’s direction Monday, Mar. 23, the Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners meeting was livestreamed today. Presenters connected remotely and input from the public is welcome by email or phone calls to the Commissioners.

The Detention Center has been working closely with area law enforcement agencies and the judicial system to reduce the number of detainees in custody, to further help decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19 within the facility.



Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Regarding enforcement of the public health order, DASO will support state police using their community policing model.

Village of Hatch

No report.

Town of Mesilla

Nothing new to report.

Memorial Medical Center

Now at zero visitor protocol, with limited exceptions. There is one entry point from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for staff; still screening everyone for medical history. Gift shop, café and chapel closed until further notice. Food service continues for patients.

Elective surgeries/procedures are being postponed until April.

Media was on site Tuesday morning, gathering video following governor’s orders.



Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Have similar restrictive policies to MMC that will be released later today via news release.

New Mexico State University

No report.

New Mexico State University Police

Nothing new to report.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Looking for guidance from the state on emergency declaration.

In contact with El Paso emergency operations; they will be self-initiating move to mirror the public health order in New Mexico to limit contact and allow travel only for essential services.

DOH: working to establish priority process for certain essential workforce, to include first responders.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

No report Tuesday.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Illness

Their regional ombudsman coordinator, Rosa Torres, ensures residents are not being exploited or abused. Reports that several residents are struggling without family contact, now that we’re under a new public helth order. Agency is working to get tablets into facilities to keep communication open with loved ones. Agenc is asking for donations of puzzles, magazines, games or movies now that they’re under restricted visitor protocol. Meals are being delivered to their room. Little movement within facilities to limit contact.

Seniors needing meal delivery or other services can call the Senior Resource Center: 800-432-2080

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

Administration is trying to pull data from CAD to see how often information is coming in for universal precautions. Currently there is no category for this criteria.

Asked DOH about COVID-19 health directive and privacy rules that are waived during a declaration of emergency to protect first responders so that information on the general area of positive cases can be known. *That document is attached to today’s email.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

No report Tuesday.

New Mexico Department of Health

George Richards, operational liaison: Currently looking for potential test sites in rural areas of the county, possibly at fire stations. Following new public health order.

George reminded JIC members to follow CDC protocol; treat every call as if they are COVID-19 cases. First responders indicated this could drain resources and PPE quickly. George indicated that for local agencies not funded through state or federal sources could request supplies through OEM. The threshold recommended, as an example, was having less than 30 N95 masks on hand.

March 24, 2020 1:09 PM

MountainView Regional Medical Center Strengthens Restrictions to Visitation Policy

Las Cruces, NM – March 24, 2020 – We’re asking for the community’s help in maintaining the safety of our patients, visitors and our healthcare team members. When in the hospital for treatment, the best interest of our patients and healthcare providers is to minimize unnecessary exposure to infectious or communicable diseases.
In further response to the COVID-19 outbreak MountainView Regional Medical Center is implementing tighter restrictions on hospital visitation effective at 0800 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. This action is necessary to reduce the risk of Coronavirus being spread to patients and staff.
Beginning at that time, MountainView Regional Medical Center will eliminate all visitors, vendors and contractors unless specifically allowed under the exceptions below. Please note that we are eliminating all visitors for patients who are in isolation. We are continuing our elimination of visitors into our Oncology Infusion, and Dialysis Areas.
The only visitors allowed are as follows:
- Delivery of critical mission essential supplies or services
- One designated visitor for patients requiring surgery or other emergency or trauma related
medical procedures
- One designated visitor for patients in Labor and Delivery as well as Post-Partum
- One designated visitor for patients in NICU
- *The designated visitor shall be named at the time the patient is admitted
Designated visitors will not be allowed in the hospital lobby or waiting rooms.
Exceptions based upon end of life, or special circumstance, will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the clinical leadership team.
Designated visitors must be well and over the age of 18. If someone has traveled from a high-risk area for COVID-19, had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19, or has a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, they will not be allowed to enter the hospital unless seeking medical care themselves.
Visitation hours are now from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm. Weekday entry will be thru the Main Entry lobby. Weekend entry will be thru the Emergency Department.
All designated visitors are expected to practice infection prevention.
 Sanitize hands when entering the hospital and when entering or exiting patient rooms.
 Cover coughs or sneezes with elbow or a tissue and dispose of used tissues in the trash.
 Sanitize hands after coughing or sneezing.
Staying in touch with family members is important and we encourage you to use phone, email, text, Skype and Facebook.
This is an extraordinary time and we appreciate your understanding and compliance.

March 24, 2020 12:39 PM

Mesilla Valley MPO Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) Mobility 2045, Open House Meeting Cancellations

Following the guidance from the Governor's Office and the City of Las Cruces City Manager's Office limiting Public gatherings, the Mesilla Valley MPO has cancelled all March and April Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), Mobility 2045 Open House Public Meetings. Please see the list of cancelled meetings below:

March 17, 2020: Sage Cafe, 6121 Reynolds Dr., Las Cruces, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CANCELLED
March 23, 2020: Doña Ana Community Center, 5745 Ledesma Dr., Doña Ana, 5p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CANCELLED
March 24, 2020: Vado/Del Cerro Community Center, 180 La Fe Ave, Mesquite/Vado, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. CANCELLED
March 30, 2020: Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite St., Las Cruces, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CANCELLED
April 2, 2020: Radium Springs Community Center, 12060 Lindbeck Rd., Radium Springs, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CANCELLED
April 7, 2020: Mesilla Community Center, 2251 Calle De Santiago, Mesilla, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. CANCELLED
The Mesilla Valley MPO intends to have public engagement meetings before the adoption of Mobility 2045 and we will announce the meetings dates when we have them.

MPO Website
March 23, 2020 8:42 PM

On March 23, 2020, New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel announced a new public health emergency order effective at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, closing all businesses and nonprofit entities except for those deemed essential, and further restricting mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All New Mexicans must immediately heed the directive to stay home except to maintain continuity of functions critical to public health and safety.

BASICS

Q: When should I leave my house?
A: You may leave your home for these reasons:

​If you work for an “essential business”
If your job is part of essential government services that cannot be conducted through telework (the latest order does not change this)
To conduct “necessary activities” - obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor, purchasing necessary supplies such as groceries and personal hygiene products, picking up educational supplies from your child’s school or providing necessary care and supplies to family members in another household.
You may leave your house to take a walk, or jog, or to walk the dog. But you may not do these things in groups. And you should limit your time outside to only what is essential.
Q: What’s open?
A: Essential businesses and nonprofits, as defined in the order, will remain open. These include:

Gas stations
Pharmacies
Food providers: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, school meal distribution sites and restaurants (but only for delivery and take-out).
Banks
Laundromats/laundry services
Farms, ranches and other food cultivation operations
Essential state and local government functions, including law enforcement and emergency management services
Homeless shelters
Health care operations
Child care facilities necessary to provide services to workers employed by essential businesses and essential non-profit entities.
Utilities
Essential state and local government functions, including law enforcement and emergency management services
U.S. government and military installations
The full list is available here.

Q: Are there additional closings because of this order?
A: Yes. If a business does not fall under one of the “essential” categories, employees must either telework or it must suspend operations.

Q: The new order revises what’s considered a prohibited mass gathering. What’s the new rule?
A: This order defines a mass gathering as any public or private gathering that brings together five or more individuals in a single room or connected space or an outdoor space where people are within 6 feet of each other.

Q: Are there any exemptions to the 5-or-more rule?
A: Yes. If five or more people live together, they are exempt inside their residence. Also exempt are churches, synagogues, mosques or other places of worship.



Q: What’s closed?
A:

Entertainment venues
Gyms and fitness studios
Public events and gatherings
Convention centers
Hair and nail salons
Casinos and horse-racing facilities
And more

Q: How long will this order be in place?
A: This order is in place through 8 a.m. April 10, 2020, unless otherwise amended.

Q: What about government services?
A: This order does not change the status of state and local government operations. Previous orders exempted all persons necessary to maintain the operations of state and local governments. State government has already moved to a largely telework system; local government agencies are strongly encouraged to do the same.

Q: Is there a curfew associated with the order?
A: No.

Q: My employer has asked me to come to work at a non-essential business – what do I do?
A: The main line at newmexico.gov, 833-551-0518, will soon have a reporting mechanism to report non-compliance to the state.

SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE

Q: My school is providing free grab-and-go meals, instructional materials and supplies, and child care. Are those still open?
A: Yes.

Q: Are child care services still open? Can my babysitter still come to the house?
A: Yes. Child care facilities necessary to provide services to workers employed by essential businesses and nonprofit entities may continue to operate. Child care services are also available to serve families with young children when the parents are involved with protective services, behavioral health and/or juvenile justice services.

Child care facilities that remain open must employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements; guidance will be released shortly.

Babysitters may travel to homes to care for the children of parents working in essential sectors.

OTHER SERVICES

Q: Can I go to the park?
A: No, you should not.

Q: Will public roads be closed?
A: No. All streets, roads and highways will remain open.

Q: What about public transportation?
A: Public transportation is considered an essential service; it will continue to operate.

Q: How does the order affect people who are homeless?
A: Previous orders exempted those who are homeless, and that has not changed. Like everyone, they are encouraged to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet.

Services that provide for the homeless, like shelters, may remain open.

Q: Can I still get my mail and deliveries?
A: Yes. You will still be able to get mail and other deliveries at your home. Mail is considered an essential government function, and businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are considered essential businesses.

HEALTH CARE AND HELPING SICK RELATIVES

Q: Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
A: The Department of Health’s March 13, 2020, public health order states that visitors are only allowed at nursing homes and other facilities that care for seniors if they are receiving end-of-life care and the visitor meets certain conditions (i.e. temperature taken at the entrance).

Many hospitals are implementing modified visitation policies at this time. Check with the specific hospital location about what the policy is at this time.

Q: Since health care is a necessary activity, may I keep my appointment for an eye exam or a dental cleaning?
A: Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning and elective procedures should be postponed. If possible, health care visits should be done remotely.

Q: May I still go out to get my prescriptions?
A: Yes. Pharmacies remain open, as do medical marijuana dispensaries.

Q: Can I leave home to care for family members or friends who have disabilities, or who require assistance to care for themselves?
A: Yes. Be sure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue and then washing your hands. If you have any symptoms of a cold, however, please stay away.

OUTDOOR RECREATION/EXERCISE

Q: Can I still go outside for a hike or walk?

Yes, but you must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet with those outside of your family unit.

Gyms, fitness centers, recreational centers, golf courses, swimming pools and skating rinks are all closed.

New Mexico State Parks have been temporarily closed to protect public health.

PETS

Q: Can I walk my dog? Take my pet to the vet?
A: You may walk your dog. You may also take your pet to the vet; emergency veterinary services are exempt from the orders.

OTHER

Q: Have any other states done this?
A: Yes. As of Sunday, March 22, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois had issued similar orders.

Executive Order
March 23, 2020 4:33 PM

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday announced additional restrictions to disrupt the spread of the COVID-19 virus in New Mexico and instructed New Mexicans to remain in their homes or places of residence except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare.
The order — to be issued by Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel and effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24 — closes all non-essential businesses, requiring 100 percent of the state’s non-essential workforce to work from home. As in other states that have enacted similar measures, there are exceptions pertaining to essential services for the preservation of health, safety and well-being.
“The only way for us to stop the spread of this virus is for New Mexicans to stop interacting with each other,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “New Mexicans must be crystal-clear on this point: Right now, every time you leave your house, you are putting yourself, your family and your community at risk. Only by distancing from one another, by remaining home except for essential or emergency travel, can we limit the spread of this virus to the point that it does not overwhelm New Mexico.
“This clearly exempts people who are part of the essential functions that must continue: The individuals providing meals for kids at our schools; the individuals working at health care facilities, child care facilities, public safety entities and many more. Those individuals are helping keep us operating — in a new and limited way. They deserve our profound gratitude.
“As we wait for the federal government to get states the help we need in expanding capacity and testing materials and financial assistance, staying home is the one action all of us, individually and as a group, can control,” the governor added. “Please stay home. Help protect New Mexico.”
Intended to aggressively limit person-to-person contact in the state, the amended emergency public health order closes all non-essential businesses except for remote work.
The order advises that New Mexicans “must stay at home and undertake only those outings absolutely necessary for their health, safety or welfare” and further restricts “mass gatherings” of five or more individuals in outdoor spaces.
“Does this order mean you cannot walk your dog? No. Does it mean you can’t go for a jog? No. But you should not do those things in a group — and you should be home as soon as possible,” the governor said. “This social isolation strategy will only work if we all undertake it to the greatest extent we can. That boils down to one thing: Stay home.”
The amended public health emergency order is attached to this news release.
Businesses deemed essential that may remain open are:
Health care operations including hospitals, walk-in-care health facilities, emergency veterinary and livestock services, pharmacies, medical wholesale and distribution, home health care workers or aides for the elderly, emergency dental facilities, nursing homes, residential health care facilities, research facilities, congregate care facilities, intermediate care facilities for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, supportive living homes, home health care providers, and medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers;
Homeless shelters, food banks, and other services providing care to indigent or needy populations;
Childcare facilities necessary to provide services to those workers employed by essential businesses and essential non-profit entities;
Grocery stores, all food and beverage stores, supermarkets, food banks, farmers’ markets and vendors who sell food, convenience stores, and other businesses that generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food, feed, and other animal supply stores, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products;
Farms, ranches, and other food cultivation, processing, or packaging operations;
All facilities used by law enforcement personnel, first responders, firefighters, emergency management personnel, dispatch operators, and court personnel.
Infrastructure operations including, but not limited to, public works construction; commercial and residential facility construction and maintenance; airport operations; public transportation; airlines; taxis; private transportation providers; water, sewer, trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal; gas; electrical; oil drilling; oil refining; natural resources extraction or mining operations; nuclear material research and enrichment; those attendant to the repair and construction of roads and highways; solid waste collection and removal; processing and disposal; data and internet providers; data centers; and telecommunications systems;
Manufacturing operations involved in food processing, manufacturing agents, chemicals, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, household paper products, telecommunications, microelectronics/semi-conductor, primary metals manufacturers, machinery manufacturers, electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturers, and transportation equipment manufacturers;
Services necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences or essential businesses including security services, custodial services, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled trades;
Media services including television, radio, and newspaper operations;
Gas stations, automobile repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile repair products;
Hardware stores;
Laundromats and dry cleaner services;
Utilities, including their contractors and suppliers, engaged in power generation, fuel supply and transmission, water and wastewater supply;
Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries;
Banks, credit unions, insurance providers, payroll services, brokerage services, and investment management firms;
Real estate services including brokers, title companies, and related services.
Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
Laboratories and defense and national security-related operations supporting the United States government or a contractor to the United States government;
Restaurants, but only for delivery or carry out and local breweries or distilleries but only for carry out;
Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, but only where necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities; and
Logistics and businesses that store, ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences or retailers.
The order is in effect until April 10.
ON ENFORCEMENT: The state has ramped up surveillance of businesses to ensure compliance. Violators of the public health order could lose their licenses to operate and face civil or criminal penalties. New Mexicans wishing to report a violation will soon be able to call the non-emergency COVID-19 state hotline, 1-833-551-0518.
ON HOARDING: In a previously issued public health order, the state, in an effort to limit hoarding, directed grocery stores and other retailers to limit the sale of over-the-counter medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products and hygiene products to three packaged items per individual. Individual New Mexicans are further urged to limit hoarding in order to ensure community members have the supplies they need.
ON ILLNESSES AND TESTING: New Mexicans who develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection — fever, cough or shortness of breath — should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).
Testing is presently prioritized for those with symptoms. New Mexicans are asked to widely distribute this information about testing and travel guidelines: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/2020/03/18/public-health-advisory-testing-and-travel-guidelines-for-new-mexico/
FOR MORE INFORMATION: New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated as a one-stop source for information.

March 23, 2020 3:09 PM

House and Senate Coronavirus Bills Include Desperately Needed Funding for Essential Public Transit Services

APTA just sent out the attached statement from President and CEO Paul Skoutelas:
“On behalf of public transportation organizations throughout the United States, we are extremely appreciative that Congressional leaders in both the House and the Senate have proposed Coronavirus bills that include desperately needed funds for essential public transportation services. We thank leaders on both sides of the aisle and the Trump Administration and strongly urge them to swiftly approve the highest possible funding level for public transit and distribute these funds to transit systems as quickly as possible. The time to act is now."

Full Statement
March 23, 2020 2:57 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center
March 23, 2020 10:30 a.m.



City of Anthony

Report from Oscar Dominguez: All business with the Motor Vehicle Department will be done by appointment only to try and control crowds. Lines out the door were becoming hard to manage. Other windows – police records, business licenses – remain open, but the lobby is limited to no more than 10 people at one time.

The municipal court remains open Monday and Wednesdays only for limited hours, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is encouraged to check the City of Anthony’s website for current updates: www.cityofanthonynm.org

City of Sunland Park

The city is moving to telework as much as possible. Sunland Park Police, City Hall, and Public Works are still operational. The fire department has implemented a new self-screening protocol to self-screen staff. A spreadsheet is tracking that information and can be made available as a template if any other agency would find that helpful. Additionally, there is a protocol for staff to get medical attention related to COVID-19 symptoms, should they need to.

City of Las Cruces

City Hall remains open – most doors are propped open to reduce the need to touch surfaces

Customers can pay utility bills in the Customer Service area – though they are still encouraged to do so online, through auto-draft or pay by phone.

Community Development, however, has made some operational changes,

Building permits/Business Registration Lobby has closed to the public limiting exposure.

Permits and business registrations are operational and available online at: https://aca.accela.con/lascruces/Default.aspx.

The Community Development Department continues to offer online services for: Application submittal for Commercial and Residential permits and Business Registrations, Pre-application meetings conducted via “Go to Meeting” or conference call, Issuance of building permits, Checking the status of your project permits, Inspection requests, Interactive video inspection (when an inspector is requested), and Payment submittal.

In-person visits with Community Development Department staff will be conducted by appointment in City Hall Conference Room 1158.

A sign-in sheet is at the entrance. Visitors are asked to provide: name and cell phone number, then asked to wait either in their cars or the entry patio to city hall for their cell phone number to be called on at a time.

For information, send an email to: inspectorrequest@las-cruces.org, or call 575/528-3059.

Las Cruces Police Department

Still open for business. Today (Monday) is the only day the Records window is open. Crash reports available online, other records incident reports can be collected up until 4 p.m.

Concerned, like most other first-responders, on how to avoid being exposed. We will work internally on developing best practices to keep everyone healthy.

Las Cruces Public Schools

The staff continues to provide breakfast and lunch. Working closely with Instruction to get resources online for students. Hosting a district-wide Spirit Week this week. Dr. Trujillo posted links online of her reading her favorite book to students.

Intense cleanup continues at all LCPS campuses and buildings.

Doña Ana County

As of today, Government Center is closed but all critical services continue. Drop boxes available to those who need to leave payments or plans with county personnel. Most everyone is now working from home. Clerk’s office move to telework on Thursday; things are running smoothly so far. The regularly-scheduled Board of County Commissioners meeting is still on track for Tuesday, March 24 at 9 a.m. Staff is working to make that more accessible to anyone who wants to join and have input.



Food distribution continues, and there is meal delivery in Radium Springs. The county had its first food distribution in partnership with Casa de Peregrinos in Vado with about 200 in attendance. Promotoras continue to field calls, helping seniors to get meals. The county continues to work with the State Aging and Long-Term Care department on efforts to deliver senior meals in most rural parts of the county. According to county officials, this is a very grassroots effort, with neighbors helping each other. Health and Human Services are currently exploring opportunities with Las Cruces Taxi to see if its possible to expand that contract and assist with meal delivery options. A question was posed to DOH officials to see about identifying opportunities to have coronavirus sample collection sites in the southern part of Doña Ana County. From DOH: That is a question for staff currently at Burrell, and will be relayed to them. Could they be tested in El Paso? That’s a question for El Paso authorities, but local DOH officials report that Las Cruces screening sites have had people from El Paso coming through the line.



The county’s Planning and Zoning meetings are still moving forward as scheduled, with efforts made to reduce personnel and deploy digital resources where possible.



Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Moving forward, DASO continues to re-evaluate some internal systems and will look at pre-screening employees for symptoms. Still looking at Wednesday to open the lobby for records. Many are working from home, skeleton crew at the office.

Village of Hatch

No report.

Town of Mesilla

The municipal court will be closed Tuesdays and Thursdays; will continue normal operations on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays until further notice.

Memorial Medical Center

Over the weekend, MMC hosted a community testing site and thanked LCPD for their help in keeping traffic moving orderly and without incident. MMC has expressed a need to implement any procedure that would alert hospital staff of anyone coming into the facility who might have been exposed to coronavirus. Currently, law enforcement is working with central dispatch personnel to finalize that practice.

Additionally, the outpouring of support from the community has been phenomenal.

In response to queries about adequate supplies of PPE, ventilators and available ICU beds, both hospitals are confident that current supply levels are acceptable, but should we see a spike in the number of positive cases requiring hospitalization, those supplies and resources could become critically low. In response to alternate care locations, both hospitals have identified such locations in the event they were needed.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

There was a question regarding the functionality of the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and when it would open. According to OEM, as of right now, local resources have not been overwhelmed. Jurisdictional authorities have not requested the EOC to stand up. Requests from MMC and Mountain View have been relayed to the state and are being addressed. There has been a Costs Unit established for tracking purposes. In summary, there are daily discussions on if or when to stand up the EOC, and that will come from a local authority to do so. The resources supporting the EOC are currently allocated to the DOH and the JIC; long-term sustainability is the question.

New Mexico State University

Late Friday, NMSU notified students that if they left town for Spring Break, there is no reason for them to come back. All classes are online as of March 30. If students need to collect items, those logistics are being worked out on a case-by-case basis. Will likely push out more info today about library access.

New Mexico State University Police

No updates Monday, aside from the fire department is using an on-campus quarantine unit for travel-related self-isolation.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Tomorrow at BOCC, OEM will present what they’ve been doing so far. Efforts are underway to loop in the City of LC (David Maestas) so the council can also join. Over the weekend, the emergency manager observed many people in our community are not following protocols advised by DOH. Questioned need for local authorities to host a joint news conference to remind the public and stress the importance of what those urgent needs are: stop hoarding, practice social distancing, and other ways we can stop the communal spread. As testing continues, we are likely to see more positive cases. Cullen advised he now has an 1100 conference call with state authorities, asked if we could hold the local JIC call at 10:00 a.m. Unless otherwise directed, calls will now be at 10:00 a.m.

Dan from LCPD advised the joint news conference should observe the six-foot rule and could possibly be held at the City of Las Cruces where it could be televised. Jennifer Martinez, also on the call, will look into feasibility of hosting conference possibly Tuesday, March 24 following Governor Lujan Grisham’s press conference today.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

Lt. Reyes – no other change from the last update. The staff is currently working on a program to provide video visits for inmates with immediate family members.

State of NM Aging & Long-Term Illness

No contact on Monday; will try again Tuesday.

Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA)

From Hugo Costa: when dispatchers do interrogation on calls, they have started asking if the caller has traveled outside of NM. Also checking for fever, cough, other symptoms related to coronavirus and asking if they are under self-quarantine. Have developed a protocol to identify persons exhibiting symptoms. Hugo has also met with the City of LC fire chief, who has mandated that only one person enters a residence on a call for service to mitigate exposure. Staff-wise at MVRDA: Five individuals have opted to self-quarantine who had traveled out of state. Quarantine is over, and they are fully staffed.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, El Paso Sector

Business as usual in El Paso Sector; Personnel have been pulled away from projects at Sector office and have been moved to the field. Travel at ports of entry (POE) has been restricted to essential crossings only. There has been an increase in turning people away who do not fit criteria which can affect crossings at locations other than the POE. They have stepped up manpower in response to that. Implemented protocol for agents who might have been exposed – no matter where the apprehension takes place, isolation will take place in El Paso. Aside from that, BP is working with state and local agencies and remains available as needed during the crisis.

New Mexico Department of Health

Anticipating a news conference with the governor at 3 p.m. Monday, where she is expected to clarify which businesses are to stay open, and which ones aren’t. Additional social distancing directives could come from that conference but specifics are not known at this time. DOH will continue to provide updates on the weekend sample collection sites.

Turnaround on testing takes three to four days. All samples are sent to two labs in Albuquerque – one state scientific lab and TriCorps. TriCorps is reportedly purchasing additional equipment to aid in response.

This week, Burrell is underway for sample collection. Wednesday, DOH will host screenings in Taos, NM. Nothing else scheduled in Las Cruces as of right now.

March 23, 2020 1:38 PM

TODAY: Governor, state officials to give public COVID-19 update

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will be joined by state officials at 3 PM today, Monday, to give a public update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and to make an announcement regarding a statewide stay-at-home instruction.

The address will be broadcast live on Facebook at facebook.com/GovMLG. The Legislative Council Service will livestream the update on its website, nmlegis.gov, under the “Webcast” tab.

Due to the need for social isolation and the imperative to avoid gatherings and face-to-face contact to the greatest extent possible, state officials last week strongly encouraged state media associations to arrange for a pool-style rotation of reporters who will attend the update and share information among outlets. The need to disseminate information is as great as the need to keep our distance; cooperation between outlets is greatly, greatly appreciated.

News outlets are permitted one credentialed reporter each inside the Capitol. Camera personnel will be limited to one per outlet as well. Again, media outlets are strongly encouraged to cooperate and share resources in order to minimize physical attendance.

March 22, 2020 2:55 PM

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Sunday announced eight additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

Two new cases in Bernalillo County:

A female in her 60s.
A male in his 30s.
Two new cases in Doña Ana County:

A female in her 50s.
A female in her 20s.
One new case in McKinley County:

A male 9 years old.
One new case in San Juan County:

A male in his 50s.
Two new cases in Santa Fe County:

A male in his 30s.
A male in his 40s.
Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 65 positive tests for COVID-19:

Bernalillo County: 34
Doña Ana County: 4
Lea County: 1
McKinley County: 2
Sandoval County: 7
San Juan County: 1
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 10
Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 3
The Department of Health has detected community spread. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, additional restrictions enacted by order of the secretary of health Thursday are intended to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated by social distancing and isolation. Certain businesses are mandated closed; others have been instructed to limit operations. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

State officials have vigorously encouraged all New Mexicans to practice social distancing procedures: stay home, particularly if you are sick.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 22, 2020 1:03 PM

Eateries Services

Many Las Cruces restaurants are operating within a state health department order that limits restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries, an other food service establishments to providing take-out services and home delivery only. Please access the link for a list of those establishments. (Disclaimer: This list was not compiled, nor is endorsed by the City of Las Cruces. We are merely providing it to you as a public service.)

Eateries Services
March 21, 2020 2:33 PM

From Comcast

Good Afternoon,

I am writing today to share the attached important letter regarding Comcast’s continuation of communications services during the COVID-19 national emergency. I know these are troubling times and your attention is necessarily split among competing priorities, but it is important for me to communicate directly with you considering the critical nature of our business.

In addition, Comcast has made several recent announcements regarding our comprehensive response to the crisis, which I’ve included for you below. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything I can do for you.

Comcast Announces Comprehensive COVID-19 Response to Help Keep Americans Connected to the Internet:
Internet Essentials for low-income households:
We’ve increased speeds to 25/3 Mbps for all Internet Essentials customers.
New customers who apply by April 30 will receive two months of free service with no obligation to continue the service after that.
Opened up all of our public WiFi hotspots—free for everyone
Pausing our data plan—no data limits for 60 days
No disconnects or late fees
Internet Essentials speed increase and two months free for new customers
Educational content on X1 – just say “education” into the voice remote
News on X1 – just say “Coronavirus” into the voice remote
Continued 24/7 network monitoring – we already do this, but our teams are laser-focused on ensuring reliability and capacity at this critical time.
Making Current Movies Available In-home: Universal Pictures will be making its movies available in the home the same day they’ve available in theaters.

Erin Muffoletto
Manager, External Affairs
Comcast
8440 Washington St. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
505.271.3626 (office) | 505.206.4712 (mobile)
Connect with us on Social: Twitter | Facebook | Blog

March 21, 2020 2:32 PM

Collaborative Emergency Donation Drive for Homebound Seniors & Disabled People

SANTA FE – Today the State Aging and Long-Term Services Department [ALTSD] announced a partnership with Bernalillo County’s Department of Behavioral Health Services [DBHS] to get much-needed supplies and food to homebound seniors and disabled people. Following the spread of Coronavirus to New Mexico, the ALTSD launched a hotline for seniors, people with a disability, or their family members to call in and request assistance with groceries, supplies or meals. To date more than 32,000 people from across the state have requested resources. The ALTSD estimates there are 104,000 seniors living at or below the poverty level in the state who could benefit from supplies.

Starting Monday (3/23/2020) at 8am, the first site will be operational. The South Valley Multi-Purpose Center, located at 2008 Larrazolo RD SW will be a hub for people to drop off donations. State employees as well as volunteers will collect the drive-through donations, sanitize the supplies/ packaged, non-perishable food items, and then distribute them across Bernalillo County for individuals who are homebound and have called the hotline. An overwhelming number of individuals have contacted ALTSD (through the email below) offering to volunteer in their region. Donate supplies, will be accepted at the South Valley Multi-Purpose Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

ALTSD is in the process of creating donation hubs, like this one, across the state to provide food and supplies.

“We are literally creating an entire operation from scratch,” said ALTSD Cabinet Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez. “I’m incredibly impressed by my team and the numerous volunteers across New Mexico who have stepped-up to help us launch this important program. We are working vigilantly to create hubs across the state, and while we’ve run into quite a few challenges we are not going to stop until we have a viable solution in place for New Mexicans who need our help.”

“It is really heartwarming, in the midst of this emergency, to see neighbors helping neighbors,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada. “We’re honored to help facilitate this donation site and assist some of the most vulnerable in our community.”

ALTSD is also working with Roadrunner Foodbank to buy supplemental supplies that can be sent to hubs across the state. Additional donation sites will be added in the coming days. The attached flyer contains information about needed supplies.

If you would like to volunteer, please email ALTSD-Volunteers@state.nm.us, Subject Line: Ready to Help, identify your city/town, and your phone number. The department will be in touch if/when volunteers are needed to mobilize a donation drop-off center.

March 21, 2020 2:30 PM

White Sands National Park Is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – White Sands National Park is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of Sunday, March 22, 2020, White Sands National Park, is closed until further notice.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at White Sands National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public on our website (www.nps.gov/whsa) and social media channel (www.facebook.com/WhiteSandsNPS) when we resume full operations.

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.

March 21, 2020 2:29 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nora Meyers SackettPress Secretary,
Office of the Governornora.sackett@state.nm.us


(505) 690-7313
March 21, 2020
Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 57
SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced fourteen additional positive tests for COVID-19. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are: 9 new cases in Bernalillo County:
A female in her 70s
A female in her 60s
Two males in their 40s
Two males in their 30s
A female in her 30s
A female in her 20s
A male infant
1 new case in Doña Ana County:
A female in her 20s
1 new case in Lea County:
A male in his 70s
1 new case in Sandoval County:
A female in her 40s
1 new case in Santa Fe County:
A male in his 50s
1 new case in Taos County:
A female in her 50s
Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 57 positive tests for COVID-19:
Bernalillo County: 32
Doña Ana County: 2
Lea County: 1
McKinley County: 1
Sandoval County: 7
San Miguel County: 1
Santa Fe County: 8
Socorro County: 2
Taos County: 3
The Department of Health has detected community spread. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, additional restrictions enacted by order of the secretary of health Thursday are intended to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated by social distancing and isolation. Certain businesses are mandated closed; others have been instructed to limit operations. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare. The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases. State officials have vigorously encouraged all New Mexicans to practice social distancing procedures: stay home, particularly if you are sick. Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453). People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.
The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 21, 2020 1:03 PM

Continuation of Communications Services During COVID-19 National Emergency

As communities and households continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Declaration of National Emergency, first and foremost, the health and safety of our customers, employees, and communities is our top priority and concern. Comcast will continue to ensure that our communications facilities and services are operating and maintained during this period of National Emergency. These steps may include deploying technicians and other employees, fueling vehicles and other equipment, and maintaining fulfillment and customer service centers, in order to operate, access, repair, or construct such facilities to prevent loss of service or to restore service.

Please email erin_muffoletto@comcast.com with questions.

March 20, 2020 8:10 PM

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s reports three COVID-19 screenings will be available over the next three days at the following locations:

Saturday, March 21st

Las Cruces Public Health Office parking lot

1170 N. Solano (corner of Solano and Spruce)

10am – 2pm (or until supplies last)

Sunday, March 22nd

Memorial Medical Center

2450 S. Telshor Blvd

9am-1pm (or until supplies last)

(Enter to enter the parking lot from Terrace Drive for the start of the line.)

Monday, March 23rd

Burrell College of Medicine parking lot

3501 Arrowhead Dr.

9am – 1pm (or until supplies last)

Priority testing will be provided for the following:

People experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, or shortness of breath;

People who have traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Portland

It is critical to know before attending these screenings that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection do not need testing for COVID-19. We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.

Please try to limit two people per vehicle to avoid unnecessary risk for viral spread. No insurance is required for screening.

New Mexicans with health-related questions can call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 20, 2020 8:08 PM

Department of Health announces three COVID-19
screenings in Las Cruces in three days
Testing people sick (not needing immediate medical attention) or who have recently traveled

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s reports three COVID-19 screenings will be available over the next three days at the following locations:

Saturday, March 21st
Las Cruces Public Health Office parking lot
1170 N. Solano (corner of Solano and Spruce)
10am – 2pm (or until supplies last)

Sunday, March 22nd
Memorial Medical Center
2450 S. Telshor Blvd
9am-1pm (or until supplies last)
(Enter to enter the parking lot from Terrace Drive for the start of the line.)

Monday, March 23rd
Burrell College of Medicine parking lot
3501 Arrowhead Dr.
9am – 1pm (or until supplies last)

Priority testing will be provided for the following:
• People experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, or shortness of breath;
• People who have traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Portland

It is critical to know before attending these screenings that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection do not need testing for COVID-19. We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.

Please try to limit two people per vehicle to avoid unnecessary risk for viral spread. No insurance is required for screening.

New Mexicans with health-related questions can call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 20, 2020 4:18 PM

City Water vs. Bottled Water

Las Cruces Tap Water
First, is the rigorous monitoring right up to what is coming out of the tap. As a public municipality Las Cruces’ drinking water is under strict water quality monitoring standards year round with a summary annual Consumer Confidence Report that is released to customers. Sampling and analysis are conducted independently by the State of New Mexico Environmental Department Drinking Water Bureau and contract analytical laboratories. Final assembly of the report must be certified by the State and the EPA Region 6 prior to publication. There are no such monitoring standards or reporting required by the bottled water suppliers. Current and past copies of the LCU CCRs can be found on the City of Las Cruces Utilities Water Resources Pages: http://www.las-cruces.org/1294/Water-Quality-Resources

Deep groundwater reservoirs are protected from surface pollution and risks found in communities served by lakes, reservoirs and rivers. The natural geology of the Southwest provides our groundwater with naturally occurring minerals that are beneficial to consume such as calcium, iron, manganese at levels which many people take as supplements.


Bottled Water
The bottling process usually begins with municipal water, which is then passed through a reverse osmosis system that removes all minerals. Then, chemical forms of the minerals are added back into the water so that it has some “taste” and so that it doesn’t dehydrate the consumer from drinking reverse osmosis treated water. City drinking water is regulated by the EPA. The bottled water industry is provided “oversight” by the FDA. If there is any sensitivity or taste preferences to our supplied water a simple charcoal filter on the faucet or on pitchers is very effective in taste improvement and removal of any trace chlorine.

March 20, 2020 3:28 PM

NMSU economist addresses economic impact of COVID-19

DATE: 03/20/2020
WRITER: Carlos Andres Lopez, 575-646-1955, carlopez@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Christopher Erickson, chrerick@nmsu.edu

As the new virus that causes COVID-19 continues to sow economic chaos across the world, longtime New Mexico State University economics professor Chris Erickson warns of an upcoming recession as the pandemic takes hold in the United States. But Erickson, interim head of the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business in NMSU’s College of Business, predicts a short-lived recession with a speedy recovery.

In the following questions, Erickson further explains how the new virus is affecting economies across the globe, U.S. and New Mexico.

What affect is COVID-19 having on economies?

The problem is that the coronavirus is disrupting supply chains; it’s doing this by restricting the availability of labor. People are being forced to stay in their homes to quarantine and self-isolate. The consequence is a rapid drop in production. In China, which seems to have seen its way through the worst of the virus, the result – and we don’t have all the data yet – will probably be that for the first time ever, they’ll measure a decline in economic activity, quarter over quarter. That gives you an example of the impact of the virus.

But China also indicates another factor – one that’s often true with natural disasters. And that is once the natural disaster passes, the economy can recover quickly. Many observers believe – again, we don’t have complete data – that the Chinese economy and manufacturing are going to come back very strong in the next quarter. This is based on data we have about exports and also on-the-ground observations.

What can the U.S. expect?

We’re preparing for the pandemic to sweep over the United States. It’s like a huge tidal wave still out to sea that you can see coming. We’re going to see dramatic increases in coronavirus cases. As that washes over our economy, it’s going to cause a dramatic decline in production. It’s really unprecedented in modern times. But when the virus passes, and economic recovery begins, people will start to consume again by going to the movies, eating at restaurants, buying cars and shopping for clothes, etc.

What does the falling stock market mean?

The stock market is the single best indicator of the future of the U.S. economy, and the stock market decline we’re seeing is a measure of the seriousness of the virus for economic activity in the U.S. It is signaling a very sharp recession over the next few months.

Is a recession likely?

A recession is inevitable. I’ve been an economist at NMSU for 33 years, and I don’t think I’ve used the word “inevitable” in a prediction before. But my anticipation is that the recession will be short-lived. I’m not going to predict that the market is going to go back up to where it was in January or February, and I’m not going to predict we’re going to get new highs this year, but I predict there’ll be a substantial recovery in the market once we know the true extent of the virus.

How long will economic recovery take?

It depends a little bit on how far south we go. We could have a very dramatic drop off in economic activity. But I’m thinking we might have two or three quarters of recession, then recovery after that. The typical recession lasts more than a year. One reason for a quick recovery is the aggressive monetary policy and fiscal policy that is being proposed, which could dramatically decrease the impact of the virus on the economy.

How will this impact New Mexico’s oil industry?

New Mexico has another factor that is negatively affecting our economy, which is a dramatic drop in oil prices. The U.S. is neither a net oil importer nor exporter. We import and export oil, but they come very close to balancing each other. This means the U.S., as a whole, will neither benefit nor be harmed by the fluctuation in oil prices.

But New Mexico is a large oil exporter. As a state, we have a lot of oil production, and the energy market downturn is going to devastate our oil industry. Most of the employment in the oil industry is involved with drilling – and drilling may come to a halt given the declines in oil prices. Employment in the oil industry is going to be very hard hit by this.

The state of New Mexico also depends on oil revenue for more than a third of its budget. The oil industry and fracking boom have resulted in a large increase in revenues for the state, and that’s going to come to a sudden end. I don’t think oil production is going to fall much below the typical levels from 10 years ago because our fracking wells are very high producing. So, the wells that have already been drilled are still going to be producing and will generate revenue for the state, but we’re not going to see new wells come online.

How will New Mexico’s recovery compare to the rest of the country?

New Mexico’s recovery is likely to follow a different path from the rest of the country. Because we are an oil-exporting state, our recovery will depend on oil prices. If the sharp drop in oil prices persists after the COVID-19 pandemic has receded, then New Mexico’s economy will struggle. Low oil prices also mean a big hit to state government revenues, and that will be a problem. Of course, not everyone works in the oil patch. Restaurants, hotels and other services that are now hard hit by COVID-19 could well recover quickly, both in New Mexico and elsewhere, once the current crisis passes.

March 20, 2020 2:52 PM

Great Community Partners and Local Stores Offering

Special Hours to Accommodate Seniors and Those Most Vulnerable During COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW MEXICO- New Mexico’s Aging and Long Term Services Department (ALTSD) leadership acknowledged the wonderful community partners throughout the state who have stepped up to assist our senior and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including many corporate and local grocery stores that are offering special shopping hours. Many have adjusted their hours, typically opening early, to allow these individuals to beat the crowds and reduce their risk of exposure, as the virus is more dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised, and many essential items have been difficult for seniors to find. The early hours have the additional benefit of allowing seniors to shop while shelves are well stocked.

Participating stores include:
Smith’s locations – throughout New Mexico – Opening early on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, for 60 years of age and older, including waiving pick up fees for seniors.

Walmart locations – throughout New Mexico – Beginning on March 24 through April 28, Tuesdays (only) stores will open one hour early, for those 60 years of age or older.

Target locations – throughout New Mexico – Wednesdays (only) stores will open one hour early, for those individuals who are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

Farmers Country Market – Roswell and Portales -- Opening early, from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM every day (except Sundays for Roswell locations), for seniors ages 60 years of age and older.

La Tienda Thriftway – Carlsbad – Opening early, from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM every day, for seniors.

Fenn’s Country Market – Artesia – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (only), opening from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM, for seniors.

John Brooks Supermarkets – various locations throughout New Mexico – varies by store, but many including Albuquerque Candelaria location and Santa Fe market to open early on Sundays to serve seniors. Call your local market for details.

Dollar General – various New Mexico locations -- Opening one hour early every day, for seniors.

Whole Foods locations – throughout New Mexico – Opening one hour early every day, for those 60 years of age and older.

Albertson’s and Safeway Markets – throughout New Mexico – Tuesdays and Thursdays (only), opening from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM, for seniors and at-risk populations.

Big Lots – throughout New Mexico – Reserving first hour of every day for seniors and those most vulnerable to COVID-19 virus.

“Many older adults already face obstacles in day-to-day activities that many of us take for granted. In these particularly challenging times, we are grateful to our wonderful private sector community partners who are working extra hours to accommodate these more vulnerable populations for the good of our communities. They are a bright light and amazing resource as we navigate these unique circumstances,” said Katrina Hotrum-Lopez, Cabinet Secretary for New Mexico ALTSD.

March 20, 2020 2:29 PM

Great Community Partners and Local Stores Offering
Special Hours to Accommodate Seniors and Those Most Vulnerable During COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW MEXICO- New Mexico’s Aging and Long Term Services Department (ALTSD) leadership acknowledged the wonderful community partners throughout the state who have stepped up to assist our senior and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including many corporate and local grocery stores that are offering special shopping hours. Many have adjusted their hours, typically opening early, to allow these individuals to beat the crowds and reduce their risk of exposure, as the virus is more dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised, and many essential items have been difficult for seniors to find. The early hours have the additional benefit of allowing seniors to shop while shelves are well stocked.

Participating stores include:
Smith’s locations – throughout New Mexico – Opening early on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, for 60 years of age and older, including waiving pick up fees for seniors.

Walmart locations – throughout New Mexico – Beginning on March 24 through April 28, Tuesdays (only) stores will open one hour early, for those 60 years of age or older.

Target locations – throughout New Mexico – Wednesdays (only) stores will open one hour early, for those individuals who are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

Farmers Country Market – Roswell and Portales -- Opening early, from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM every day (except Sundays for Roswell locations), for seniors ages 60 years of age and older.

La Tienda Thriftway – Carlsbad – Opening early, from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM every day, for seniors.

Fenn’s Country Market – Artesia – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (only), opening from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM, for seniors.

John Brooks Supermarkets – various locations throughout New Mexico – varies by store, but many including Albuquerque Candelaria location and Santa Fe market to open early on Sundays to serve seniors. Call your local market for details.

Dollar General – various New Mexico locations -- Opening one hour early every day, for seniors.

Whole Foods locations – throughout New Mexico – Opening one hour early every day, for those 60 years of age and older.

Albertson’s and Safeway Markets – throughout New Mexico – Tuesdays and Thursdays (only), opening from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM, for seniors and at-risk populations.
Big Lots – throughout New Mexico – Reserving first hour of every day for seniors and those most vulnerable to COVID-19 virus.

“Many older adults already face obstacles in day-to-day activities that many of us take for granted. In these particularly challenging times, we are grateful to our wonderful private sector community partners who are working extra hours to accommodate these more vulnerable populations for the good of our communities. They are a bright light and amazing resource as we navigate these unique circumstances,” said Katrina Hotrum-Lopez, Cabinet Secretary for New Mexico ALTSD.

For more information about Coronavirus and its impact in New Mexico, go to https://cv.nmhealth.org.

Information about COVID-19 in New Mexico
March 20, 2020 2:12 PM

Statement from Mayor Miyagishima on 1st COVID-19 Case in Dona Ana County

A Dona Ana County resident, a male in his 20s, has tested positive for COVID-19 according to information provided by the governor’s office. This is the first reported case to date in this area.

The following is a statement from Mayor Ken Miyagishima:

“Our best wishes go out to our neighbor and we wish a speedy recovery.

First and foremost, I ask everyone to be calm and considerate to one another and the needs of our community. While this news is unwelcome, it is not unexpected. And many residents have been preparing for this moment by stocking up on essential items. Please remember to courteous of others who cannot buy in bulk or need additional assistance in obtaining essential items.

We, at the City of Las Cruces, have ourselves been preparing. We initiated an Alert Center that can be accessed on the home page of the City of Las Cruces website at covid19clc.com where we are posting all the latest COVID-19 related news impacting our community. People can even sign up to receive automatic notifications.

Staff under direction of Public Works Building Services, are diligent in sanitizing ‘high-touch’ surfaces at City Hall and other facilities such as door handles, elevator buttons, water fountains, counter tops and handrails.

In following the lead of the governor’s office, we have cancelled all unnecessary out-of-state travel, are helping reduce large gatherings by cancelling certain athletic and entertainment activities. We have closed some facilities, reduced hours at others and suspended certain programs. We ask community members to conduct bill pay and permit submittal through our online services.

In addition, we are prioritizing essential functions and essential staff to continue providing those functions. We are looking at work-from-home options and various leave and pay options for employees. Be assured, essential functions that will not be impacted are police, fire, utilities and street and traffic operations.”

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 related illness, the City asks residents to limit person to person contact, to wash their hands often especially if they have been in public areas, or after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. Residents are also encouraged to use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in their work areas, avoid touching their faces, and to stay home if they feel sick and to get medical care if needed to help prevent any illnesses from passing to others.

All information about City of Las Cruces actions related to COVID-19 is available at the Alert Center. The Alert Center icon is located at the top of the City homepage at COVID19LasCruces.com

March 20, 2020 12:38 PM

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced eight additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:
• A female in Bernalillo County in her teens
• Two males in Bernalillo County in their 40s
• A male in Doña Ana County in his 20s
• A male in McKinley County in his 30s
• A female in Sandoval County in her teens
• A male in Sandoval County in his 80s
• A female in Taos County in her 70s
Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 43 positive tests for COVID-19:
• Bernalillo County: 23
• Doña Ana County: 1
• McKinley County: 1
• Sandoval County: 6
• San Miguel County: 1
• Santa Fe County: 7
• Socorro County: 2
• Taos County: 2
The Department of Health has detected community spread. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, additional restrictions enacted by order of the secretary of health Thursday are intended to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated by social distancing and isolation. Certain businesses are mandated closed; others have been instructed to limit operations. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

State officials have vigorously encouraged all New Mexicans to practice social distancing procedures: stay home, particularly if you are sick.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 20, 2020 11:40 AM

NMSU Extension agents offer tips for stocking up during COVID-19 pandemic

DATE: 03/20/2020
WRITER: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu
CONTACT: Sonja Koukel, 575-646-3006, sdkoukel@nmsu.edu

A specialist with the New Mexico State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences is offering useful tips on how to properly plan for self-isolation during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Sonja Koukel, Family Health and Wellness specialist for the NMSU Department of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, cautioned that while there is no cause for panic, people should still prepare for the unexpected.

“While many people are stocking up on toilet paper, a better use of your household income is to focus on food, household supplies and medical essentials,” Koukel said.

Koukel recommends having enough supplies on hand for a 14-day quarantine. Among the items to stock up on are:

– Dry goods such as rice, pasta, beans, oats and ready-to-eat cereals
– Canned foods that contain liquid, such as tomatoes, beans and tuna. The excess liquid can be used to cook the dried goods, if necessary.
– Canned fruits
– Canned meats
– Comfort foods such as chocolate, coffee, ice cream and other foods that bring you pleasure. These foods can help with positive mental health and morale during a home quarantine.
– Pet food
– Household hygienic products such as hand soap, dishwashing liquid, laundry soap, hand sanitizer (made with at least 60 percent alcohol), toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, feminine care products and diapers
– Prescription medications (if possible, get a 30-day supply)
– Other medical supplies like contact lenses and solution, hearing aid batteries, and over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers and cough and cold medicines.
– Entertainment items such as books, board games, card games, puzzles and movies.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the NMSU Coronavirus webpage, https://nmsu.edu/coronavirus.

March 20, 2020 10:12 AM

State Medicaid Program and Superintendent of Insurance
issue new requirements to promote telemedicine
during COVID-19 emergency

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s Medicaid Program is now requiring managed care organizations to reimburse doctors, behavioral health providers and other health care professionals for telephone and video patient visits until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Health care providers who consult with patients via telephone or computer video must be paid the same rate as if they’d seen the patient in person, according to a Letter of Direction from Medicaid Director Nicole Comeaux to the state’s managed care organizations, which cover about 680,000 New Mexicans in the state’s Medicaid program.

Telemedicine is another way to prevent social contact and reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.

“It’s vitally important that Medicaid members – who make up almost half of all New Mexicans – have safe access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Comeaux said. “We are working closely with our provider networks to ensure they’re adequately supported, and we are also pursuing every federal option to secure reimbursements for providers who are delivering needed health care to New Mexicans in unconventional settings.”

Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal informed insurance companies that cover New Mexicans with private health insurance that they, too, are expected to cover telehealth services at the same rate they pay for in-person services and comply with mental health parity laws during this public health emergency.

Mental health parity law requires health plans to cover mental health and addiction treatment services the same way they treat other medical services.

“All New Mexicans should receive the same protections under their health insurance plans, regardless of the source of their health coverage,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

The Medicaid program and the Office of the Superintendent have worked closely to align strategies to protect New Mexicans and their health care providers and to maximize access to needed health care services while practicing social distancing.

Toal said behavioral health services are critically important during the public health emergency.

“Our office has received complaints from patients who need behavioral health services, and we will enforce regulatory requirements that require mental health parity and access to telemedicine,” he said.

The Medicaid Letter of Direction also requires managed care organizations to:
​Waive all prior authorizations for members to obtain COVID-19 testing and treatment services (including inpatient and outpatient), and to alert providers of this provision;
Expand nurse advice lines to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the emergency if such functionality does not already exist;
Coordinate with home care providers to ensure continued in-person services for those who need them while using telephone visits to the extent possible;
Allow for replacement of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies when they are lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable without the face-to-face requirement for obtaining a new physician’s order and new medical necessity documentation;
Reimburse for prescriptions dispensed in amounts up to a 90-day supply (excluding controlled substances).
The New Mexico Human Services Department is also waiving the maximum-supply requirement for maintenance drugs and relaxing restrictions on early medication refills as follows:
​30-day prescriptions may be refilled when the member has two weeks of medication on-hand, or what is allowed by the managed-care organization if less restrictive;
90-day prescriptions may be refilled when the member has three weeks of medication on-hand, or what is allowed by the managed-care organization if less restrictive.

March 20, 2020 9:31 AM

New Mexico extends income and payroll tax deadlines

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke announced Friday that New Mexicans will have an extra 90 days to file and pay their 2019 personal income taxes in recognition of the economic hardships many are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taxpayers will have until July 15 to file and pay any taxes due.

The deadline for 2019 corporate income taxes also will be extended until July 15. In addition, the state is extending deadlines for employers to remit withholding taxes. Taken together, these actions comprise hundreds of millions of dollars of immediate fiscal support to New Mexico’s economy.

“The unprecedented public health crisis caused by COVID-19 is also causing great financial hardship for New Mexico residents and small businesses,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “These actions represent one piece of our overall efforts to support our businesses and families during this emergency.”

Taxpayers who elect to take advantage of the income tax extensions will not be assessed penalties as long as payment is received by July 15, 2020. Under New Mexico law, however, interest will accrue on any unpaid balances from April 15 forward.

Withholding tax is withheld from employee wages and remitted to the state each month. Under today’s action, withholding taxes normally due on the 25th of March, April, May and June will now be due on July 25.

The state will waive any penalties for withholding taxes not remitted during the grace period. However, under state law, interest will accrue from the original due date. The governor expressed support for waiving or refunding any interest owed by taxpayers taking advantage of the extensions announced today.

The extension is intended to ease the cash flow problems many businesses face as a result of closures or reduced customer traffic and may prevent some businesses from laying off employees.

“We understand that this unprecedented public health emergency is placing enormous financial strain on many residents and businesses. These tax extensions will allow individuals and businesses in New Mexico to keep more money in their pockets for the next three months and to better weather this storm,” said Taxation and Revenue Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke.

The Department also is assigning extra staff to help process income tax returns to expedite the payment of any refunds due to taxpayers who have already filed.

Anyone who has filed a return and is due a refund can check the status of that refund through the Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) at tax.newmexico.gov.

Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically or through the TAP system, if possible, to expedite their returns. Paper returns are still being accepted but will take longer to process.

March 20, 2020 9:15 AM

BOARD OF BARBERS AND COSMETOLOGISTS REGARDING SALONS, BARBERSHOPS, NAIL SALONS, ETC. DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

Basic Explainer of the Updated Public Health Order

Public Health OrderTakes effect (Thursday, March 19, 2020) Currently scheduled to expire April 10, but will be constantly re-evaluated as we move forward in this pandemic. Most businesses are not mandated to close, unless it is located in an indoor shopping mall. But all businesses except for those exempted (like grocery stores, pharmacies) must minimize employee contact. Gatherings of people may be no more than 10 people. "Typical business environments that are not engaged in the provision of an essential service should limit operations to the greatest extent possible."Restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries and other food establishments must close to dine-in customers; take-out and home delivery is permitted.
Indoor shopping malls must close
All theaters must close
Flea markets must close
Hotels, motels, and other places of lodging shall not operate at more than 50% of maximum occupancy
Lodging hosting health care workers –exempt
Lodging providing temporary housing to individuals employed and working in New Mexico –exempt (i.e. the hotels where oil field workers live in SE NM)
Recreational facilities, health clubs and resort spas must close
What does this mean:
Gyms must close
Resort spas like Ojo Caliente must close (because big groups of people gather there)
Your local person who gives you a facial does not have to close

Salons do not have to close but they must minimize employee contact

Also applies to barbershops, tattoo parlors, etc. but there should not be more than 10 people gathered

NM State Board Of Barbers and Cosmetologists Link
March 20, 2020 8:56 AM

Message for City of Las Cruces Risk Management:
While we are in the midst of the Pandemic crisis of COVID-19 and on site staff is at a minimum, Risk Management will only accept liability claims submission sent to myclaims@las-cruces.org. Claim forms and instructions to file a claim can be found on the city website “How to file a claim.” We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Jessi Garrick
Assistant Risk Manager
575-528-3665

March 19, 2020 3:54 PM

JIC Notes
March 19, 2020

City of Anthony

The main lobby at the City remains open to only 10 people at a time on abbreviated hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their Motor Vehicle Division is very busy at this time and is also on an abbreviated schedule.

City of Sunland Park

Some operational changes: Economic Development at the City has reduced its workload to only handle new business licenses. As a result, the fire department is only providing inspections for new businesses and those which are considered essential or required by law due to regulatory guidelines.

City of Las Cruces

The communication team identified some weaknesses on the website where they could have offered more information to users, so updates are being done. Currently, the City has significantly reduced staff; the main lobby and utility payment windows are open, but there is no other access to the public. Work is being done right now to provide the Community Development Department the ability to do video inspections. They are still open for permits but have moved to an online-only system.

An update from the Animal Services of the Mesilla Valley:

Our Center is currently open. No plans yet to reduce hours.

We have placed non-essential on remote work and others have been sent home or on an as-needed basis.

If the public finds a stray animal and it is healthy, we will not accept the animal.

Only aggressive or injured animals will be accepted.

Owner surrenders will also be temporarily suspended. Only animals that are sick or injured.

All appointments for vaccines and health checks are suspended. People need to stay at home, not bring their animal to the center for shots that can be postponed for two weeks.

Only emergency cases will be seen. (these are for recently adopted or sterilized animals)

A public plea for adoptions and short-term fosters.

Free adoptions until further notice

Las Cruces Police Department

The PD has moved to modified schedules for all civilian personnel. The lobby is closed at the main station on Picacho to customer traffic. Currently, they are encouraging people to call the non-emergency number (575-526-0795, option 6) if they need to speak with an officer. The records office is only open on Monday for records pickup. All accident reports are available online.

The City’s Animal Control Office is now prioritizing calls, taken only through central dispatch. There is an advisory to residents to reconsider self-surrendering; ACO won’t take a self-surrender unless it’s vicious.

LCPD announced they suspended their current cadet academy for two weeks.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Meals continue to be delivered to those sites identified on www.lcps.net and will continue over Spring Break. There is no weekend meal distribution. Some families have expressed a need for delivery, which Administration is trying to work through.

Teachers will start making regular contact with families starting today. They will be checking on students to see if they are okay, need access to healthcare resources or learning materials during the shutdown.

Doña Ana County

The Doña Ana County Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 14, at the Doña Ana County Government Center, is canceled.

The Adult Facility lobby will be closed to the public, effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20, to further enhance preventive measures and minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 to the community, staff or detainees. Only individuals with court-related business, attorneys, individuals posting cash bonds, or clergy will be allowed to enter the lobby.

o Individuals who are waiting for a detainee’s release will not be able to wait in the lobby and are encouraged to remain in their vehicle.

o The lobby kiosk for depositing funds into a detainee’s account will be deactivated, until further notice. With the detainee’s identification number, funds can be placed into detainee accounts, using one of the following options:

Phone, please call (866) 345-1884. Internet, please visit to www.accesscorrections.com. Mail money orders to: Detainee’s Name and ID Number, for example, John Smith #20876; Doña Ana County Detention Center; P.O. Box 454; Las Cruces, N.M. 88004

The Juvenile Facility lobby will have access restricted to a parent or guardian picking up a juvenile who was released. People with previously scheduled visits or court-related business will be escorted in.

o Visits will not be granted to walk-ins. All visits to the Doña Ana County Detention Center must be scheduled in advance, by calling (575) 647-7680.

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

The office at 845 N. Motel Blvd. is only open on Wednesdays. Staff is in the office working, and a new directive from the NM Supreme Court requires that screenings be conducted before anyone from the public can enter.

The academy is moving forward, with precautions. They are currently in a phase that doesn’t’ require them to be in close proximity to one another.

Village of Hatch

No report. Kelly has a new contact and will reach out to them before Friday’s call.

Town of Mesilla

Nothing new to report.

Memorial Medical Center

Updates: nothing new. Implementing higher restrictions on where visitors can enter (main).

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Yesterday MVRMC upgraded its visitor policies to limit visitors to patients in isolation to one visitor per day to conserve PPE. A visitor is only allowed one entrance and one exit per day.

New Mexico State University

Nothing new to report as of Thursday.

New Mexico State University Police

Nothing new to report as of Thursday.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

OEM is complying with the public health order minimizing gatherings of 10 or more. There was an inquiry about other public meetings. The City reported that all meetings have been canceled but the county’s Board of Commissioners will still meet on Tuesday, with social distancing in effect. Officials with the OEM have provided guidance on that and will do a remote presentation.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

Prison officials have canceled all visitation. They have also suspended all city highway work crew details. Some employees are on self-quarantine.

New Mexico Department of Health

No report Thursday. (*Please note that due to the level of commitment of our local DOH PIO in Santa Fe, representation is not always possible for JIC conference call updates.)

March 19, 2020 3:34 PM

SCAM ALERT: AG Balderas Issues COVID-19 Scam Alert and Safety Advisory to New Mexican Consumers

Santa Fe, NM---Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a consumer safety advisory, warning New Mexican consumers of various scams related to the coronavirus outbreak. This advisory comes in the wake of many reports to the Office of the Attorney General of consumer price gouging and COVID-19 scams emerging in New Mexico.

"We must protect the health and safety of New Mexican families during this emergency, and that includes protecting them from fraud and abuse when they are most vulnerable," said Attorney General Balderas. "My office will prosecute anyone who breaks the law and takes advantage of vulnerable New Meixcans."

Attorney General Balderas encourages all consumers to be especially vigilant during this time and to be aware of the following:

COVID-19 HOTLINE SCAM Please be aware there are several phishing scams where the caller impersonates a representative from the COVID-19 Hotline or other medical entity. The scammer is asking for personal information like social security and date of birth, telling callers they must have that information in order to release COVID-19 testing results. remind the public that we will never ask for your social security number. Any confirmation of a positive COVID-19 swab test will be made by the clinic where you were seen or the New Mexico Department of Health.
GENERAL PHONE SCAMS If anyone makes an empty promise that requires up front payment, demands personal or financial information, or asks you to pay them with a gift card, this is likely a scam. Do your research. Please remember that real legal notices are sent in writing and are not communicated over the phone.
DOOR-TO-DOOR SCAMS Recently, there have been reports of groups or individuals going door-to-door falsely claiming to be doing in-home testing for coronavirus. Some scammers may claim to be from the government or authorized by the government.
COVID-19 CURE SCAMS There is no FDA-approved cure for coronavirus. Any company claiming that their product can prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus without competent medical research supporting their claims is breaking the law. There is no credible evidence that coronavirus can be cured by drinking bleach, drinking colloidal silver, taking herbal supplements, or using other homeopathic remedies. When in doubt, consult a medical professional.
IMPLIED CLAIMS SCAMS In order to evade liability, some companies will merely imply that their products prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus. Read claims carefully so you understand what is being promised and what is not
E-MAIL PHISHING SCAMS Do not click on links sent to you by people you don't know. In the wake of disasters like the coronavirus outbreak, scammers will often email or text consumers claiming to offer things like free vaccines or free testing kits. Scammer will also attempt to collect personal information by impersonating a government agency like the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and others. Never provide your personal information to someone you don't know.
FUNDRAISING SCAMS If anyone asks you for a donation to a coronavirus-related charity, do your homework before donating. Visit the Attorney General's Charities webpage to search for legitimate charities (https://www.nmag.gov/charities.aspx) and do not donate to anyone asking for cash, gift cards, or for money to be sent to them via wire transfer.
GENERAL DISINFORMATION SPREADING Know how to spot disinformation. Many websites will post misleading or inflammatory information about coronavirus in order to drive up page views and make money from advertisers. Here is a list of websites that have been reported for posting or publishing false information about the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.newsguardtech.com/coronavirus-misinformation-tracking-center/. For legitimate information, visit the State of New Mexico's comprehensive resource site (newmexico.gov); the CDC's website (www.cdc.gov); or the World Health Organization's website (www.who.int).

Any New Mexican that is suspicious of price gouging or scamming activity is urged to immediately file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at nmag.gov.

Above all, Attorney General Balderas encourages New Mexicans to stay safe and follow the orders and guidance of the Department of Health during this public health emergency. Any New Mexican who has questions or needs resources during this emergency should visit newmexico.gov or call 1-833-551-0518; or if they suspect that they have, or have been exposed to, COVID-19 to immediately call the State’s Health Hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

March 19, 2020 3:16 PM

ONLINE IN NO TIME
NEW MEXICO SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY: TAKE AND EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE
The University of New Mexico's Innovation Academy and STC.UNM are offering a special course to help New Mexico business at this critical time for our state's economic recovery.
During this time of economic uncertainty, many New Mexico small businesses need to build or increase their online presence to offset a decline in retail in-person traffic, as well as grow businesses beyond New Mexico borders.
The UNM online course for the community, New Mexico Small Business Recovery: Take and Expand your Business Online, will teach businesses e-commerce techniques including developing storefronts and driving traffic to your store.
The course is being offered for $17 (the cost to run the program, the UNM Innovation Academy and STC.UNM will not profit from this course) and includes a one-year domain name for your storefront. The 6-week course runs from April 6-May 15.

This course, made possible by a grant from the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration called the NM EDA Rainforest University Center is open to anyone in the community and available completely online.
Students will need to be able to access the internet and have a microphone/headset, small video camera or PC camera or tablet/smartphone. The course can be completed on your own time and there is no set meeting time (unless agreed upon throughout the program). Access to the internet for those that need is is being made possible by Comcast, please visit internetessentials.com for more information.


If you have any questions about the content of the course, please feel free to contact instructor Bill Szaroletta at szar@unm.edu.

To register, please click here, or visit Eventbrite.com and search for: "New Mexico Small Business Recovery".

March 19, 2020 2:38 PM

Department of Health providing two
COVID-19 screenings in Las Cruces
Testing people sick (not needing immediate medical attention)
or who have recently traveled

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s Public Health Division will be providing drive-thru COVID-19 coronavirus screening at the following two locations in Las Cruces:

Friday, March 20th
Las Cruces Public Health Office parking lot
1170 N. Solano (corner of Solano and Spruce)
9am – 3pm (or until supplies last)

Monday, March 23rd
Burrell College of Medicine parking lot
3501 Arrowhead Dr.
9am – 1pm (or until supplies last)

Priority screening will be provided for the following:
· People experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, or shortness of breath;
· People who have traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Portland

It is critical to know before attending these screenings that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection do not need testing for COVID-19. We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.

Please try to limit two people per vehicle to avoid unnecessary risk for viral spread. No insurance is required for screening.

New Mexicans with health-related questions can call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage​ with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 19, 2020 1:07 PM

Public Health Emergency Precautions at MVRDA

In response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority (MVRDA) is instituting the following procedures pursuant to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH):

Lobby access will be restricted to public safety personnel and essential support services personnel. Therefore,

• All public meetings and training sessions at the MVRDA facility have been canceled.

• MVRDA personnel will participate in previously scheduled meetings via teleconference.

• All public tours of the facility have been canceled.

• Alarm permit or fine payments are requested to be made by mail.

• Public records will be released by electronic means whenever possible.

We are taking these steps to help ensure the safety and health of our mission critical emergency personnel so that we can maintain essential services during this health emergency.

Up to date information can be found on the MVRDA website at WWW.MVRDA.ORG.
Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority is the 9-1-1 Call and Public Safety Dispatch Center for Las Cruces, Sunland Park, Mesilla, Hatch, Anthony and Doña Ana County. Follow us on Facebook (MVRDA911) or visit our website: www.mvrda.org

March 19, 2020 12:10 PM

NMDWS provides information for New Mexico
workers affected by COVID-19
Work search requirements waived for up to 4 weeks

(Albuquerque, NM) – Today, Secretary Bill McCamley of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) announced he will be filing an emergency provision to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) rules waiving the work search requirement for affected workers who have lost their job or have had a reduction in hours due to COVID-19.

The closure of businesses, cancelation of events, and the prohibition of large gatherings may result in individuals being dismissed or suspended from work through no fault of their own; certain workers may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Employers may lay off some or all of their workforce as a result of the impact of COVID-19; for example, a restaurant that sees a significant reduction in business due to lack of customers dining out during this time, or an event facility that cancels all events until a later date, or bus drivers who are out of work due to temporary school closure.
Workers who are self-quarantined or directed to be quarantined, or who have immediate family who is quarantined; or
Workers who have their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19.
The Department will be waiving the work search requirements any of the above impacted workers who qualify for benefits for up to four weeks.

"Governor Lujan Grisham's administration is doing everything in our power to get people the tools they need to get through this situation," said NMDWS Secretary Bill McCamley. "If we all stay patient and kind with one another, we'll get through this together."
There are two ways to file an initial claim:

Online by going to the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System at www.jobs.state.nm.us. Individuals can then access the UI Tax & Claims System. The online system is available to take initial claims and weekly certifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
By phone at 1-877-664-6984. The UI Operations Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
When applying for benefits, claimants must file a weekly certification for each week they are applying. The first eligible week of any new claim is a “waiting week.” Claimants will not receive benefits for this week and it is not included in their weeks of payment.

If a claimant is receiving sick leave, annual leave, personal time off (PTO), or administrative leave, they may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
A claimant may be eligible for benefits if their hours are reduced significantly even if the claimant was not a full-time employee prior to the reduction. This is an exception to the regular UI partial benefits provisions and will only apply to claimants affected by COVID-19 during the time the state is under a state of emergency.
A claimant that is directed to self-quarantine or is caring for an immediate family member that is quarantined will be eligible for these provisions, even if they are eventually not diagnosed with COVID-19.
For more information on Unemployment Insurance please refer to the attached fact sheet or visit our website at www.dws.state.nm.us.

March 19, 2020 10:06 AM

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s Public Health Division will be providing COVID-19 coronavirus testing Friday, March 20th in Las Cruces, NM with time and location to be announced today, March 19th.

Priority testing will be provided for the following:

People sick with symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, or shortness of breath;
People who have recently traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Portland.

It is critical that all New Mexicans know that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection do not need testing for COVID-19.

We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.

New Mexicans who have health-related questions can call the Coronavirus Hotline at 855-600-3453. Non-health-related questions or concerns, call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The Department of Health is updating its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results

March 19, 2020 10:01 AM

New public health order in effect

SANTA FE – The public health order issued March 19 by Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel temporarily strengthens earlier orders to include additional mandatory closures and guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 disease.

The order enacts restrictions on bars and restaurants, among other businesses. It can be viewed and downloaded HERE. Spanish version HERE. All public health orders downloadable HERE.

Here is more information about that order:

Q: Why are gatherings of only 10 or fewer allowed?

A: Everything the state of New Mexico is doing to combat COVID-19 is organized around one principle: To temporarily limit person-to-person contact, particularly in large groups. This is the best way to minimize spread of COVID-19 and prevent a spike in illnesses, particularly serious illnesses in vulnerable populations. Every day state officials re-evaluate the steps already taken and survey new opportunities to strengthen our response in order to prevent illness, save lives and avoid overloading our state’s hospital system. Even 10 people in a closed space is too many if one of them carries the virus, but this number is an appropriate and aggressive baseline for mitigating the virus’ spread throughout our state.

Q: Why are restaurants, bars and other eateries closed?

A: They are only closed to dine-in customers, under this order. Closing non-essential places where people gather is essential to getting New Mexicans to stay home in order to mitigate the spread of this virus. You can still call in an order for pick-up or home delivery from any restaurant that chooses to provide those services, and we strongly encourage you to find other ways to help keep local businesses like these afloat during these difficult times.

Q: What else has to close?

A: The order specifically requires indoor shopping malls, recreational facilities, health clubs, resort spas, athletic facilities, theaters (including movie theaters) and flea markets to close. All casinos and horse-racing facilities are also required to close, except for those on tribal land, which is beyond the state’s authority. However, most tribal casinos have closed voluntarily.

Q: What is a resort spa?

A: It is a larger spa – not a simple hair salon, barbershop or nail salon – that provides both lodging and professional therapeutic or relaxation services, including fitness and wellness programs. Salons and barbershops may remain open but, in accordance with the order, are strongly encouraged to limit operations to the greatest extent possible.

Q: What is an athletic facility?

A: Any place where people work out individually or in groups or watch sporting events. This includes gyms, skating rinks and indoor basketball courts, for example.

Q: Does the order include specific exemptions?

A: Yes. Although indoor shopping malls must close, if a restaurant in a shopping mall has an exterior entrance, it may provide take-out or delivery services just like other restaurants. Other exemptions from the order are airports and other transportation facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, food vendors, shelters, courthouses, banks, correction and detention facilities, hospitals and other health-care facilities, congregate care facilities, and places of worship (during regular hours.) These are considered essential services and may remain open.

Q: What about hotels and motels?

A: The order requires hotels, motels and other places of lodging to operate at no more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy, but it exempts those operations providing lodging to health care workers or other individuals working in New Mexico. Hotels and motels may satisfy this requirement through attrition.

Q: So other types of businesses are still exempt?

A: The order exempts “typical business environments” from closing. That includes businesses, governmental organizations, political subdivisions or other entities engaged in commercial, industrial, charitable or professional activities. Those businesses may remain open, but they should, per the order, limit operations to the greatest extent possible and minimize employee contact.

Q: Are pickup and delivery food orders safe? What if a food preparer has the virus?

A: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.

Q: How will this order be enforced?

A: The state will ramp up surveillance of businesses to ensure compliance. Violators of the public health order could lose their licenses to operate, face fines or even jail time. New Mexicans wishing to report a violation of the order may call their local non-emergency number and make a report. The state police, the Environment Department, the state Homeland Security Department and the state Regulation and Licensing Division are all empowered through the order to enforce these restrictions.

Q: What if I’m unsure if an event falls under the order?

A: Start by reading the amended order, which is available HERE. If it’s still unclear, err on the side of caution, and stay home.

Q: How long will this last?

A: The order is in effect until April 10. It may be amended and put into effect for a longer period of time as conditions warrant.

Q: Where can I learn more about what New Mexico is doing to respond to COVID-19 and what’s available to affected workers, businesses, students and more?

A: newmexico.gov is being updated constantly as the state responds to the COVID-19 outbreak and identifies more resources for affected families and workers. For health-specific information about COVID-19, visit cv.nmhealth.org. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and would like to be screened for a test, call 855-600-3453.

March 18, 2020 6:27 PM

Department of Health providing
COVID-19 testing in Las Cruces
Testing for people sick or who recently have traveled

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s Public Health Division will be providing COVID-19 coronavirus testing Friday, March 20th in Las Cruces, NM with time and location to be announced tomorrow, March 19th.

Priority testing will be provided for the following:
People sick with symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, or shortness of breath;
People who have recently traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Portland.

It is critical that all New Mexicans know that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection do not need testing for COVID-19. We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.

New Mexicans who have health related questions can call the Coronavirus Hotline at 855-600-3453. Non-health-related questions or concerns, call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

The Department of Health is updating its dedicated COVID-19 webpage​with additional tests as the state lab provides results.

March 18, 2020 6:27 PM

New Mexico to order additional closures
to limit spread of COVID-19

SANTA FE – New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel will strengthen her previously issued public health order to include additional mandatory closures and guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico.

The new public health emergency order, which will take effect Thursday, March 19, prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. The order, which will be signed tomorrow, is attached to this news release. Please distribute this order widely.

The order mandates the following:
​Restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries and other food establishments must close to dine-in customers; take-out and home delivery are permitted
​Indoor shopping malls must close
​Recreational facilities, health clubs and resort spas must close
​Theaters must close, including movie theaters
​Flea markets must close
Important stipulations within the order include:
​​Typical business environments that are not engaged in the provision of an essential service should limit operations to the greatest extent possible and minimize employee contact.
“Typical business environments” are defined as businesses, governmental organizations, political subdivisions and other entities engaged in commercial, industrial, charitable or professional activities.​
Hotels, motels and other places of lodging shall not operate at more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy. This restriction does not apply to operations providing lodging to health care workers who are engaged in the provision of care to New Mexico residents or those businesses providing temporary housing to individuals employed and working in New Mexico.​​​
In addition to the above stipulations, these places are exempt from the order and may remain open:
​Grocery stores and pharmacies
​Shelters
​Courthouses
​Banks
​Correction and detention facilities
​Hospitals and other health-care facilities
​Places of worship (during regular hours)
​Restaurants with exterior entrances that are situated in shopping malls may offer delivery and takeout services.
ON HOARDING: The order, in an effort to limit hoarding, directs grocery stores and other retailers to limit the sale of over-the-counter medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products and hygiene products to three packaged items per individual.

INTENT: The new public health order is a means of temporarily limiting person-to-person contact in New Mexico. The order should be construed narrowly; the overriding guidance to New Mexicans is to avoid contact with others in all scenarios except those essential to public health, safety and welfare.

The order is in effect until April 10, 2020, but can be extended as needed.

“We are taking every single step we must take to limit the spread of this virus,” said Kunkel. “The more aggressive we are, the better our state’s response to COVID-19 will be, and the more lives we will save. We all have to take this threat seriously and, bottom line, stay home.”

“Many businesses had already taken these steps, and I thank them,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “But New Mexicans must simply stay home in order to mitigate the risks of this virus, and closing non-essential establishments where people gather is an essential step toward achieving that. This is hard; it has real consequences on every New Mexican, and we don’t take lightly our responsibility to keep you safe. We will take every single step we can to limit the spread of this virus and save lives in our state.”

ENFORCEMENT: The state will ramp up surveillance of businesses to ensure compliance. Violators of the public health order could lose their licenses to operate, face fines or even jail time. New Mexicans wishing to report a violation of the order may call their local non-emergency number and make a report.

“We will enforce compliance. We take this very seriously. There are still far too many New Mexicans who are coming into contact with one another,” the governor said.

Additional advisories and orders will follow as conditions warrant.

On Wednesday, the number of infected people in New Mexico reached 28, including, for the first time, a case presumed to be based on community spread – the term for cases in which the cause cannot be determined.

“That would mean a need to institute social distancing and mitigation techniques. Thankfully, we’ve already started those initiatives, said Dr. Chad Smelser of the state Department of Health. “We’re counting on everyone in the state to continue those strong efforts in order to minimize our person-to-person interactions. That’s what’s going to help us slow the spread and combat this pandemic,” Smelser said.

New Mexico health officials strongly advise residents to stay home and to undertake only those outings that are essential to health, safety and general welfare in order to stop person-to-person contact.

New Mexicans who develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough or shortness of breath – should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19 at present. New Mexicans are asked to widely distribute this information about testing and travel guidelines.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

March 18, 2020 6:22 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center 

March 18, 2020 



City of Anthony 

No report.

  

City of Sunland Park 

A few changes today: The Community Economic Development office is closed. All business is being done via phone or email and a drop box is available for people who need to drop off plans or submissions. The Motor Vehicle Division has announced a temporary shift in hours to minimize exposure – from 8 to 10 a.m., they will open to seniors only. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. they are open to the public and from 2 to 4 p.m. they will be available to the public over the phone by appointment only, limited to 30 minutes. There will only be two road exams available per day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only. These changes went into effect March 17 until further notice. As of today, all personnel are on duty.

Although Sunland Park’s Animal Control and Codes office is closed to the public, their officers in the field are still working and are available to take calls.



3. City of Las Cruces 

The city’s dedicated website for community resources and information related to the coronavirus pandemic is up and running, with a link in the alert center. The website is a resource for every agency to contribute to – if you would like to provide updates or resources from your agency, you can send that information to Jennifer Martinez via email, jemartinez@las-cruces.org.



Las Cruces Police Department  

  No report.



Las Cruces Public Schools 

District officials continue to oversee meal distribution for breakfast and lunch at a variety of school campuses throughout the city. For a complete list of those sites, visit www.lcps.net. Yesterday more than 6,000 meals were given to children.



Doña Ana County 

The Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 N. Motel Blvd. will be closed to the public, effective 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20. However, all departments will continue to provide essential services

Community Resources Centers are also closed, but will continue to provide meals for seniors and information through their respective phone numbers. A list is available at www.donaanacounty.org

Public access to County Commission meetings will remain available, but public is encouraged to access the livestream at www.donaanacounty.org.

Employees providing essential services who have a job that requires them to be in the field, such as public safety, utilities workers and road crews will remain active to meet the community’s needs. Employees who are at high risk for COVID-19 will work from home.

County departments will continue to provide essential services by staffing websites, social media and telephones to minimize in-person contact.

For additional guidance, please contact the appropriate department:

Assessor’s Office – (575) 647-7400

Animal Control/ Codes Enforcement – MVRDA (575) 526-0795, option 6

Clerk / Bureau of Elections – See website or call (575) 647-7421.

Community and Constituent Services – (575) 915-7710

Community Development – (575) 647-7350

Community Centers - (575) 635-7706

Doña Ana Sheriff’s Office - (575) 525-1911

District Attorney’s Office - (575) 524-6370

Engineering – (575) 525-6164

Road Section – (575) 647-7100

Fleet Management – Open.

Flood Commission – (575) 525-5558

Health & Human Services Court Compliance – (575) 525-5833

Human Resources - (575) 647-7210

Probate Judge - 575-524-6370

Santa Teresa Jetport – (575) 589-1232

Treasurer’s Office - (575) 647-7433

Utilities - 575-647-7142

Vector Control (Mosquitos) – (575) 526-8150



The Doña Ana County Treasurer will restrict in-person payments at the Government Center and the following locations:

The Village of Hatch

The City of Anthony

The City of Sunland Park

Lake Section Water Co. in Chaparral

To pay property taxes, please use one of the following options:

By phone: 575-647-7433, Toll Free 1-877-827-7200 ext. 7433

Online at: www.donaanacounty.org/treasurer/payments

By mail: P.O. Box 1179 Las Cruces, NM  88004

24 Hour drop box in front of the Government Center, 845 N. Motel Blvd., Las Cruces.

Bill pay: This is a service provided by most banks

For questions or service requests, please call 575-647-7433, toll free 1-877-827-7200 ext. 7433; email: taxbill@donaanacounty.org or mail to:  845 N. Motel Blvd. Las Cruces, NM  88007



The Doña Ana County Detention Center temporarily suspended on-site family visitation, effective immediately, to help minimize exposure and the danger of spreading COVID-19 to the community, staff or detainees. Instead, the Center extended online remote visitation hours, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 

Family members may schedule fee-based visits from home, using a laptop or desktop computer at www.legacyinmate.com/Prepaid/.    Text messaging is also available  at www.gettingout.com/.

The Juvenile Detention Center will continue to allow in-person visits, limited to one visitor at a time, through a glass partition.  To schedule a visit with a juvenile detainee, please call (575) 647-7680.





Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office 



The New Mexico Supreme Court announced yesterday that all criminal trials would either continue or be canceled at the discretion of judges.

DASO announced yesterday they would begin limiting in-person services starting Thursday, March 19 until further notice. As of Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the office at 845 N. Motel Boulevard in Las Cruces will open to the public only on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Anthony Substation will close to the public beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020. The public is still encouraged to call 575-525-1911 between 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for any non-emergency needs for this location as well as our main station. The office staff will continues to serve the public by phone as needed.

These changes are in effect for the foreseeable future. Patrol operations, criminal investigations, service of process and court services continue to operate as normal.



Village of Hatch 

No report.

  

Town of Mesilla 

A couple of updates: Their municipal courtroom is now restricted to 10 people, including staff. Until further notice, all trustee meetings and planning and zoning meetings are canceled.



Memorial Medical Center 

Additional visitor restrictions are likely to be announced today.



Mountain View Regional Medical Center 

Nothing new to report.



New Mexico State University 

University leadership is working to ensure as many employees as possible are working from home. Anyone experiencing issues related to that directive is asked to work through their supervisor. On campus access is now restricted to just students, faculty and staff. Corbett Center will have limited access to ensure dining services are not interrupted. Additionally, the library on campus is only open to students. There is a plan in place to clean every building during the shutdown. By March 30, every class will move to an online model with the exception of laboratories that require students to be in a physical lab setting.



New Mexico State University Police  

Six family residences on campus have been identified as quarantine areas if needed for first responders. Other agencies that might need to access those sites can make a request through Andy Bowen: abowen@nmsu.edu.



Office of Emergency Management (OEM) 

The state Joint Information Center is in operation and a landline is available: 505-476-0610. Legislators who have questions about statewide response are asked to call the state JIC.



Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility 

No report.



New Mexico Department of Health 

David Morgan is working with Office of the Governor handling all DOH media inquiries now. A press release was issued this morning related to new testing/travel guidelines. David reported that the DOH coronavirus website is seeing an enormous amount of traffic and the hotline also has a high call volume. Jamie Michael from Doña Ana County advised that with the county moving to telework, staff was directed to leave hotline information on their outgoing voicemail messages. There are two phone numbers we should be giving to the public: 855-600-3453 is for health-related questions or concerns and 833-551-0518 is for non-health related concerns. Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart expressed concern to the DOH that there needs to be a dedicated avenue for law enforcement to seek medical attention or get tested. David reported to the group that this is a protocol that has been prioritized. He also relayed the state’s epidemiologist hotline: 505-827-0006.

The DOH is working to identify a Las Cruces location for drive-thru sample collection to test for COVID-19. Jamie Michael from Doña Ana County offered to connect with Memorial Medical Center, Ben Archer or La Clinica de Familia to see if they could offer a site if needed.

March 18, 2020 5:44 PM

New Mexico to order additional closures
to limit spread of COVID-19

SANTA FE – New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel will strengthen her previously issued public health order to include additional mandatory closures and guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico.

The new public health emergency order, which will take effect Thursday, March 19, prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. The order, which will be signed tomorrow, is attached to this news release. Please distribute this order widely.

The order mandates the following:
​Restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries and other food establishments must close to dine-in customers; take-out and home delivery are permitted
​Indoor shopping malls must close
​Recreational facilities, health clubs and resort spas must close
​Theaters must close, including movie theaters
​Flea markets must close
Important stipulations within the order include:
​​Typical business environments that are not engaged in the provision of an essential service should limit operations to the greatest extent possible and minimize employee contact.
“Typical business environments” are defined as businesses, governmental organizations, political subdivisions and other entities engaged in commercial, industrial, charitable or professional activities.​
Hotels, motels and other places of lodging shall not operate at more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy. This restriction does not apply to operations providing lodging to health care workers who are engaged in the provision of care to New Mexico residents or those businesses providing temporary housing to individuals employed and working in New Mexico.​​​
In addition to the above stipulations, these places are exempt from the order and may remain open:
​Grocery stores and pharmacies
​Shelters
​Courthouses
​Banks
​Correction and detention facilities
​Hospitals and other health-care facilities
​Places of worship (during regular hours)
​Restaurants with exterior entrances that are situated in shopping malls may offer delivery and takeout services.
ON HOARDING: The order, in an effort to limit hoarding, directs grocery stores and other retailers to limit the sale of over-the-counter medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products and hygiene products to three packaged items per individual.

INTENT: The new public health order is a means of temporarily limiting person-to-person contact in New Mexico. The order should be construed narrowly; the overriding guidance to New Mexicans is to avoid contact with others in all scenarios except those essential to public health, safety and welfare.

The order is in effect until April 10, 2020, but can be extended as needed.

“We are taking every single step we must take to limit the spread of this virus,” said Kunkel. “The more aggressive we are, the better our state’s response to COVID-19 will be, and the more lives we will save. We all have to take this threat seriously and, bottom line, stay home.”

“Many businesses had already taken these steps, and I thank them,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “But New Mexicans must simply stay home in order to mitigate the risks of this virus, and closing non-essential establishments where people gather is an essential step toward achieving that. This is hard; it has real consequences on every New Mexican, and we don’t take lightly our responsibility to keep you safe. We will take every single step we can to limit the spread of this virus and save lives in our state.”

ENFORCEMENT: The state will ramp up surveillance of businesses to ensure compliance. Violators of the public health order could lose their licenses to operate, face fines or even jail time. New Mexicans wishing to report a violation of the order may call their local non-emergency number and make a report.

“We will enforce compliance. We take this very seriously. There are still far too many New Mexicans who are coming into contact with one another,” the governor said.

Additional advisories and orders will follow as conditions warrant.

On Wednesday, the number of infected people in New Mexico reached 28, including, for the first time, a case presumed to be based on community spread – the term for cases in which the cause cannot be determined.

“That would mean a need to institute social distancing and mitigation techniques. Thankfully, we’ve already started those initiatives, said Dr. Chad Smelser of the state Department of Health. “We’re counting on everyone in the state to continue those strong efforts in order to minimize our person-to-person interactions. That’s what’s going to help us slow the spread and combat this pandemic,” Smelser said.

New Mexico health officials strongly advise residents to stay home and to undertake only those outings that are essential to health, safety and general welfare in order to stop person-to-person contact.

New Mexicans who develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough or shortness of breath – should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19 at present. New Mexicans are asked to widely distribute this information about testing and travel guidelines.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

March 18, 2020 4:20 PM

Las Cruces Animal Control, part of the Las Cruces Police Department, will maintain operations during the current public health emergency but will focus primary attention to calls deemed high priority.

Calls considered to be high priority for Animal Control officers include:

LCPD officer assistance.
Animal bites.
Vicious or dangerous dog complaints.
Animal cruelty complaints.
Animal care and maintenance complaints.
Stray animal calls.
Animals in traps.
Snake calls.
The following calls will be suspended until further notice:

Owner release of healthy animals unless they pose a threat to the owner or public.
Issuing of City-owned animal traps. All City-owner traps will be picked up on March 22.
Permit inspections.
To file a report with Las Cruces Animal Control, call (575) 526-0795.

The temporary changes were made to reduce the number of human contacts during the public health emergency and to help reduce the number of animals at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley.

The Las Cruces Police Department encourages the public to heed recommendations set forth by state and federal officials on social distancing to help reduce the transmissions of illness.

March 18, 2020 4:18 PM

Following guidance from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health-related to limiting large public gatherings, the City of Las Cruces has closed certain parks and recreation areas to reduce the number of people who gather.

The following specialty parks were closed and secured with gates:

Butterfield Shooting Range

Skate Park
BMX Track
Dog Park
RC/Archery Park
Athletic Ballfields
Tennis/Pickleball Courts
These locations have signs posted with Parks & Recreation Department contact information. As social distancing guidelines become stricter, Parks & Recreation is asking for the public’s understanding that these measures have been put into place to keep person to person contact at a minimum.

March 18, 2020 3:30 PM

Public health advisory: Testing and travel guidelines for New Mexico

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health are sharing the below information for the public concerning travel and COVID-19 testing. Please share this information widely.

COVID-19 TESTING
​​It is essential that New Mexico maintains sufficient amounts of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment for health care staff and COVID-19 test kit materials.
It is critical that all New Mexicans know that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection – those symptoms being fever, cough, or shortness of breath and/or muscle cramping – do not need testing for COVID-19. We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.
As we work to increase the state’s capacity for COVID-19 testing, the test needs to be prioritized for those with symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough or shortness of breath. Please trust New Mexico’s valued medical professionals who are working so hard to protect and treat the New Mexico public and only get tested if you are currently exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
​Workplaces should not mandate that employees get tested for COVID-19 UNLESS employees are displaying symptoms: fever, cough or shortness of breath.
ENTERING MEDICAL FACILITIES
​It is critical that those who DO have symptoms of COVID-19 do NOT enter medical facilities without first contacting them, especially emergency departments.
​There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 and most cases will resolve on their own. In fact, 80% of cases are mild. Unless you have serious, emergent symptoms, you should not enter emergency departments. Entering medical facilities unnecessarily puts others at risk, increasing the potential to both infect others in the facility who would be more susceptible and reduce the facility’s ability to care for other patients.
​Reasons to seek emergency attention with COVID-19 are no different than reasons for going to an emergency department for other medical conditions: if you are having trouble breathing or significant shortness of breath, please seek medical attention.
TRAVELERS: SELF-ISOLATE FOR 14 DAYS
​In order to mitigate the widespread community transmission of COVID-19, the New Mexico Department of Health asks all persons traveling into New Mexico from outside the state to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for any symptoms. If the individual has or develops any respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) or fever, they need to call 855-600-3453 and press option 2.
Please find a PDF of the above guidelines attached to this email for ease of sharing. It can also be found here​.

Travel Guidelines
March 18, 2020 8:58 AM

State secures SBA Disaster Loan Assistance
for businesses affected by COVID-19
Small Business Administration offering loans
up to $2M in all 33 counties

SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico has qualified for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Assistance program to assist businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced today.

The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans up to $2M for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

“We are dedicated to assisting every business that we can to endure the significant hardship this emergency has already caused,” Lujan Grisham said. “This SBA loan program is one of several tools to help businesses remain resilient and continue servicing their communities into the future.”

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

“The economic well-being of all New Mexicans affected by this disaster is our number one priority,” Alicia J. Keyes, Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary, said. “We’re proud that New Mexico is one of the first states to announce the availability of this loan program statewide.”

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

“I’m encouraged by the collaboration between New Mexico’s Economic Development Department and the SBA Disaster Team to rapidly make this recovery funding available to small businesses and nonprofits statewide,” SBA South Central Regional Administrator Justin Crossie said. “SBA joins a whole-of-government-effort to combat the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and minimize any economic disruption to New Mexico’s 155,000 small businesses, who employ more than half the state’s workforce.”

There are two ways to learn more and begin a loan application:
​Online by visiting the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance program at www.sba.gov.disaster.
​By phone at (800) 659-2955 or email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
Individuals who are hearing impaired may call (800) 877-8339.
If you elect to submit a hard-copy application, you may do so by mail to the following address:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155

For more information on SBA resources, including additional loan programs, please visit www.sba.gov.

For more general information on the state’s response to COVID-19 and additional resources for businesses and workers affected by the fallout, visit www.newmexico.gov.

March 18, 2020 8:58 AM

LCPD to Reduce Station Hours Amid Public Health Emergency

Residents and visitors can be assured the Las Cruces Police Department will have no reduction of officers on patrol – and all state and local laws will continue to be enforced – during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Out of an abundance of caution, and in keeping with state and federal recommendations on limiting personal contacts amid the public health emergency, the Las Cruces Police Department is implementing temporary procedures that will keep law enforcement services fully operational while reducing the station’s hours of operation.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, LCPD will temporarily reduce working hours for non-essential civilian employees. The reduction in hours will limit operations at the downtown police station, at 217 E. Picacho Ave., and will temporarily close the lobby of the East Mesa Public Safety Complex. The temporary reduction means the timely delivery of incident reports will be delayed.

LCPD’s Records Office will limit pickup of incident and crash reports to Mondays only, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motor vehicle crash reports are still available online at policereports.lexisnexis.com/. LCPD’s Station Office at the downtown police station will be closed to visitors. Residents with questions or concerns, or who wish to report minor incidents, can call Central Dispatch, at (575) 526-0795, or the station office at (575) 528-4127. Telephone calls to LCPD’s Station Office can be made from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Residents who need to file an incident report should do the following:
Emergency: call 911.
Non-emergency: call (575) 526-0795.
Some minor incidents can be reported online by visiting www.las-cruces.org/153/Police and clicking the “File a Police Report Online” tab. Reports that can be filed online include incidents of graffiti, vandalism, lost property, theft of property or theft from a motor vehicle.

News releases from the Las Cruces police will be posted to the department’s social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and www.Nixle.com. Residents are encouraged to ‘follow’ the Las Cruces Police Department on one or more of those accounts.

The Las Cruces Police Department encourages the public to heed recommendations set forth by state and federal officials on social distancing to help reduce the transmissions of illness.

March 17, 2020 4:41 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center
March 17, 2020

1. City of Anthony

No report Tuesday.

2. City of Sunland Park

No changes from yesterday – City is still using the two fire stations for quarantine. The library, since it is closed until April 6, will be used to quarantine civilian females if needed. Effective immediately, tours of fire department facilities to students or any other civic group have been suspended until further notice. Fire stations are primarily for emergencies. They have a good supply of masks, and have attempted to source items additional items but have been advised most supplies are on backorder. Sunland Park Police Department is closed to the public, and the staff has been working to update the public on how to obtain reports online. Support staff have transitioned to an abbreviated schedule and patrol operations have been adjusted.

3. City of Las Cruces

City staff is working on a new website: www.covid19lascruces.com to centralize a list of local resources. They are currently exploring ability to coordinate test facilities with the DOH, should the need arise. One priority has been to identify resources for vulnerable populations within the city and the homeless. In conjunction with the new website, all information is posted under the COVID ALERT CENTER at www.las-cruces.org. New adjustments at city facilities since yesterday: rec centers are closed and City Hall now has a single entrance only. Utility bill payments can still be made at City Hall, and all registrations are being conducted online only. Administration is exploring options to limit nonessential staff and conduct virtual meetings. The City Manager finalist interviews are being done via video conference.

4. Las Cruces Police Department

No report Tuesday.

5. Las Cruces Public Schools

Tuesday: Demand for meals outweighed our distribution centers. We added 17 locations, mostly elementary schools, that began this morning. To keep things moving smoothly, there is only one pickup time for breakfast and lunch. Had assistance from Marci Dickerson to deliver, keeping food moving and on time.

The staff is maximized. Nutrition crews were at LCHS, central kitchen, until 11 p.m. last night and returned at 6:30 a.m. Rotation shifts of school personnel will go into effect Tuesday night.

6. Doña Ana County

South Central Regional Transit District: Early morning trips on Turquoise and Purple routes are discontinued until school resumes.

o The Turquoise operates from Anthony to Chaparral and then to Northeast El Paso.

o The Purple operates from Anthony to Santa Teresa, Sunland Park and to El Paso’s Westside Transit Center located at Remcon. This affects the Gadsden school district and the students in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Program (DVR) located at Good Samaritan in Las Cruces.

o Increased cleaning and sanitation on all buses

o Visit http://scrtd.org/ for frequent updates

7. Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office: limits in-person services effective Thursday, Mar. 18. Please use online e-recording and filing portal or mail. May request documents at www.donaanacounty.org/clerk/docs

o For questions, call (575) 647-7421

o Business registrations, please complete and mail.

o Marriage licenses postponed until further notice. Appointments for marriage licenses will be considered.

o Bureau of Elections questions: elections@donaanacounty.org

o To register, update or change your voter registration or to request an absentee ballot you may also visit NMVote.org

o County information related to the primary election is available at www.dacelections.com.

o Probate judge assistant can answer questions at normar@donaanacounty.org.

8. South Central Solid Waste Authority, SCSWA: To minimize contact and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, if possible, delay taking residential trash and recycling to transfer stations.

o Will provide updates through the local media, website at www.SCSWA.net and social media

o For questions, (575) 528-3800

9. Doña Ana County Detention Center updated visiting:

o Adults can schedule remote visits through www.legacyinmate.com/prepaid/.

o Collect, pre-paid or debit calls are available through www.legacyinmate.com/Prepaid/. Text messaging available at www.gettingout.com/.

o The Juvenile Detention Center will continue to allow in-person visits. However, they must be pre-scheduled prior to arrival and will be limited to one visitor at a time, through a glass partition. To schedule a visit with a juvenile detainee, please call (575) 647-7680.

10. Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

Operations are still uniform – haven’t had anyone call in sick. To support federal directives on minimizing community spread, support staff will be work from home starting Thursday, March 19 for positions that are able to do so. Also starting Thursday, the sheriff’s office will be closed to the public and open only on Wednesdays. Deputies in the field will still answer calls and will rely on the non-emergency number when possible. Advised there could be some court system updates; awaiting word from the N.M. Supreme Court for direction.

Sgt. Gojkovich reported that all civil jury trials have been postponed until further notice. Video arraignments are still going on. For first responders and hospital staff, CYFD announced a waiver application for emergency childcare provided by state-certified daycare facilities. Anyone interested can apply in person at CYFD, 2805 Roadrunner Parkway. Verified identification from your agency is required.

11. Village of Hatch

No report.

12. Town of Mesilla

Some changes since yesterday: Town Hall is now closed to the public. Several events have been canceled. Utilities, permits/licensing are being done through email and over the phone. Trustee meetings are limited to 15 members only. Municipal court is still open until further notice. Local businesses are complying with restrictions. Senior Meals at the community center are still available for pickup, and delivery is still running. Farmers Market is closed until further notice. All community center events have been canceled and no reservations are being taken for future events. The Marshals Department will not respond to non-emergency calls; will take reports over the phone. Will still respond to felony calls, keeping six-foot distance. When dealing with aggressive behavior, deputies are trying to decontaminate and self-isolate following incident. The fire department remains fully operational and is seeking locations for possible quarantine.

13. Memorial Medical Center

All operations are running smoothly. No issues to report with abbreviated visitation hours. Continue to operate as usual, being mindful of a limited inventory of supplies.

Received requests from local elected officials who wish to be contacted by the JIC Director. Kelly will follow-up.

14. Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Similar to MMC, Mountain View reports a limited availability of supplies and has limited visitors to patients who are in isolation to address that shortage. Part of their visitation policy is to ensure they are doing everything they can to protect the resources readily available to them.

Mr. Woods advised that in response to the national concern over a shortage of N95 masks, it was recommended that agencies check with the current guidance from CDC regarding personal protective equipment (PPE). In some situations, the N95 is not needed, and staff can get by with standard masks to protect themselves from droplets. May help conserve resources.

George Richards from OEM noted to other first responders: there is a current protocol that only one first responder make entry on calls to conserve PPE. He strongly encouraged all jurisdictions to follow that protocol from the DOH site in conjunction with the CDC. There are guidelines in place that are unique to this current situation.

There was a question about establishing community screenings for COVID-19, which were addressed by Mr. Richards. According to him, David Daniels and Dawn Sanchez are coordinating and DOH is actively looking at coordinating that type of screening. There is a test clinic scheduled next week in Socorro that Amanda Bowen from OEM will be attending. George has coordinated plans with the fire chief on where to stage those events should they become needed. It was emphasized that DOH has control of health-related situations by statutory authority based on the governor’s declaration. Everything at the local level is to support them to prepare them as best as possible.

15. New Mexico State University

Campus remains open, early spring break and telework is available effectively reducing campus population.

NMSU President John Floros will host a virtual town hall meeting tomorrow at 2:30 that is available to students, faculty, and staff. During the early spring break, faculty will be moving several courses online. Accommodations are being worked out for in-person labs. Justin Bannister passed along the following related to Wednesday’s Town Hall:

16. NMSU President to host virtual town hall Wednesday

President John Floros and members of the New Mexico State University campus leadership will host a virtual town hall at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18. President Floros will briefly address the Aggie community and then take questions. Joining him at the town hall will be Carol Parker, Provost; Luis Cifuentes, Office of Research; Renay Scott, Student Success; Andrew Burke, Administration and Finance; Katrina Doolittle, Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management; Lori McKee, Aggie Health and Wellness Center; Gena Jones, Human Resource Services; and Justin Bannister, Marketing and Communications. Questions can be emailed in advance to president.floros@nmsu.edu.

The webinar is limited to 1,000 connections. Please practice social distancing. If you connect in a location with others, please limit your group to fewer than 10 individuals.

Connection information:
When: March 18, 2:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time
Topic: NMSU President’s Town Hall

• Webinar Link: https://nmsu.zoom.us/j/806462615

• Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16699006833,,806462615# or +13462487799,,806462615#

• Or telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782

• Webinar ID: 806 462 615

• International numbers available: https://nmsu.zoom.us/u/abTTYuQwCl

• Or an H.323/SIP room system:
H.323:
162.255.37.11 (US West)
162.255.36.11 (US East)

For more information, call 575-646-2127.

17. New Mexico State University Police

Staff is currently trying to identify possible quarantine locations, should they be needed.

18. Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

Some housekeeping: the JIC conference call will be Monday through Friday unless otherwise directed.

19. Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

No report.

20. New Mexico Department of Health

No report Tuesday. (*Please note that due to the level of commitment of our local DOH PIO in Santa Fe, representation is not always possible for JIC conference call updates.)

March 17, 2020 9:17 AM

Las Cruces Drinking Water Safe Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Within the past few weeks, Las Cruces residents may have found themselves searching local grocery stores for bottled water. The City of Las Cruces recognizes the concerns that residents may have during this uncertain time as COVID-19 cases rise, but assures residents and guests that the City’s water supply is safe and readily available at the tap.

Each year the City of Las Cruces provides residents with a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) explaining where our water supply comes from and details the quality of the water that is delivered to homes and businesses. Were you aware that Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) delivers approximately 7 billion gallons of high quality water to customers every year? It is pumped from 40 wells drilled into the Mesilla and Jornada Bolsons.

Testing of our water by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) monitors up to 121 potential contaminants; the regulated contaminants are listed in the CCR and you will see LCU has no water quality violations. The City has a state of the art water laboratory and water scientists who monitor the water supply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Copies of the CCRs are available in Customer Service at City Hall, the Branigan Library, NMED, and New Mexico Department of Health Offices or online at the City’s Water Quality Resources Page.

Please remember that bottled water will not stop the spread of Coronavirus. Individuals are encouraged to wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and to limit per-to-person contact if possible.

If you have a concern or questions about your water, please call Las Cruces Utilities at (575) 528-3515.

March 17, 2020 7:43 AM

Resources for Homeless Shelters from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Resources for Homeless Shelters
March 16, 2020 7:42 PM

El Paso Electric Customers

At El Paso Electric, we are continuously planning for various emergencies, and have been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We want our customers to know that we have contingency plans in place to deal with any further impact to our region.

Our dedicated and hardworking employees remain committed to providing safe and reliable energy as our region comes together to mitigate and reduce exposure to this virus. We want to assure the public that we are ready to continue supporting our region’s energy needs and will make any necessary adjustments to our work and operations to do so.

Keeping the Lights On

Currently, we do not anticipate interruptions to our regular course of business and we will continue with our normal business hours in our call center and payment locations. We are implementing measures to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and are taking proactive steps to enhance our customers’ and our employees’ health and safety. Therefore, we highly encourage all customers to visit epelectric.com to view or pay your bill online or to find additional information and resources related to your electric service.

Suspension of Service Disconnections

We understand that this virus could have a financial impact on our community. Therefore, we have taken the following steps and offer the following information:

Until further notice, we have suspended service disconnections for nonpayment. We will continue to evaluate the impact created by this pandemic in our region. Please note that regular billing will continue for all customers.
Payment Assistance and Other Payment Options

If you have questions about our assistance programs, need to make payment arrangements, or explore other billing options, please contact our Customer Care Team by email at customercare@epelectric.com or by phone at (915) 543-5970 or (575) 526-5555.
While we are currently maintaining normal business hours at our payment locations, we remind customers of the resources available on our website at com for bill payment options and other information. Additionally, our Bill2Pay app is also available for download from the Apple Store and Google Play.
Scam Alert: Stop, Call, Verify.

Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of opportunities during times like this and we want to remind our customers to remain vigilant. Customers should watch for suspicious emails, phone calls, or persons impersonating employees or charitable organizations. Be aware of threats to shut off your service if payment isn’t made immediately. Always knowing what to look for and what to do is your best defense and if in doubt call our Customer Care Team at the numbers provided above.

We are closely following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines and recommendations on the steps we can take to help prevent the spread of the virus. We have shared specific health and safety instructions with our employees on the importance of personal hygiene staying home if they feel sick or are returning from an area posing a coronavirus-related risk.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates on any changes to our operations.

Thank you,



Adrian J. Rodriguez, Interim CEO

Adrian J. Rodriguez
Interim CEO

### En Espanol ###
Estimados clientes de EPE,

En El Paso Electric estamos continuamente planeando para varias emergencias, y hemos estado cuidadosamente monitoreando el coronavirus (COVD-19). Queremos que nuestros clientes sepan que tenemos planes de contingencia para manejar cualquier impacto a nuestra región.

Nuestros empleados dedicados y trabajadores permanecen comprometidos a proveer energía segura y confiable mientras nuestra región se une para mitigar y reducir la exposición a este virus. Queremos asegurar al público que estamos preparados para continuar apoyando las necesidades energéticas de nuestra región, y ajustaremos nuestro trabajo y operaciones para hacerlo.

Manteniendo las luces prendidas

Actualmente, no anticipamos interrupciones a nuestro curso normal de trabajo y continuaremos con nuestras horas regulares de oficina en nuestro centro de llamadas y ubicaciones de pago. Estamos implementando medidas para reducir el riego de exposición a COVID-19 y tomando pasos para mejorar nuestros procesos de limpieza en el interés de la salud y seguridad de nuestros clientes y empleados. Aconsejamos a nuestros clientes a visitar epelectric.com para ver o pagar su recibo en línea o para encontrar información y recursos adicionales relacionados con su servicio eléctrico.

Suspensión de desconexión de servicio

Entendemos que este virus puede tener un impacto económico en nuestra comunidad. Es por eso que hemos tomado los siguientes pasos y ofrecido la siguiente información:

Hasta siguiente aviso, hemos suspendido las desconexiones de servicio por falta de pago. Continuaremos a evaluar el impacto creado por esta pandemia en nuestra región. Favor de notar que continuaremos con la facturación regular para todos los clientes.
Asistencia de pago y otras opciones de pago

Si tiene preguntas sobre nuestros programas de asistencia, necesita hacer arreglos de pago o explorar otras opciones, favor de contactar a nuestro equipo de Servicio al Cliente por email, customercare@epelectric.com, o por teléfono al (915) 543-5970 o (575) 526-5555.
Aunque actualmente estamos manteniendo horas regulares de oficina, aconsejamos a nuestros clientes visitar nuestro sitio de web en com para hacer pagos y para más información. Adicionalmente, nuestra aplicación Bill2Pay también está disponible al bajarla del Apple Store o Google Play.
Alerta de estafas: pare, llame, verifique

Desafortunadamente, los estafadores toman ventaja de oportunidades para cometer estafas durante tiempos como este, y queremos recordarles a nuestros clientes a permanecer alertas. Clientes deben tener cuidado con emails y llamadas sospechosas, o personas haciéndose pasar por empleados u organizaciones caritativas. Tenga cuidado con comunicaciones que amenazan desconectar su servicio si no se hace pago inmediatamente. Creemos que saber que buscar y que hacer es la mejor defensa, y si hay alguna duda llamar a nuestro equipo del Servicio al Cliente a los números previstos arriba.

Estamos monitoreando las recomendaciones de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) para saber qué pasos podemos tomar para ayudar a prevenir la dispersión del virus. Hemos compartido instrucciones de salud y seguridad con nuestros empleados sobre la importancia de lavarse las manos y permanecer en casa si se sienten enfermos o regresan de un área con un riesgo relacionado con COVID-19.

Continuaremos a monitorear la situación y proveer información sobre cualquier cambio a nuestras operaciones.

March 16, 2020 7:40 PM

VITALANT PUBLIC RESPONSE TO COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus):Cancelled Blood Drives Could Devastate Blood Supply, Impair Patient Care

In the wake of COVID-19 responses, Vitalant is urging groups to continue organizing blood drives and individuals to continue donating blood, unless local public health officials specifically direct otherwise. Blood drives at schools, churches, community groups and religious institutions—which represent more than 60% of the nation’s blood supply—are events critical to health care in our country, and if canceled, could jeopardize patient care.

“We strongly urge organizations to follow the guidance of state and local public health organizations when responding to COVID-19,” said Dr. Ralph Vassallo, Vitalant’s chief medical and scientific officer. “And we strongly urge these public health organizations to use data-based approaches to manage the public’s response. Otherwise, we will be in jeopardy of causing another public health crisis—not having enough blood to meet basic patient needs.”

Vitalant—the second largest blood provider in the country—is working with other blood banks to avoid a critical failure of the blood supply. In parts of China and here at home in Seattle, the blood supply is at the “lowest levels” and is in “danger of collapse” as groups have canceled blood drives and individuals have stopped donating blood.

Organizations—schools, businesses, religious institutions—should follow the guidance of public health officials, rather than determining policies on their own. And if they are open (if classes are in session, if employees are working on site, if religious services are being conducted), they should continue to host blood drives. As part of the COVID-19 response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed guidance for “mass gatherings”—but those “mass gatherings” do not include blood drives.

“Blood drives are not mass gatherings. They are more like a health care necessity, not at all like a concert or convention,” Dr. Vassallo said. “But obviously, if public health officials order closures, blood drives associated with those organizations would close.”

Vitalant urges sick people to stay home, and appropriately seek medical attention, if there was an exposure to COVID-19. Vitalant urges healthy people to stay healthy by following CDC guidelines—to not shake hands and to wash hands frequently. And, Vitalant urges healthy people to help now by giving blood and organizing blood drives.

“In these difficult times, giving blood is something healthy individuals can do to help the sick. The only source for blood—literally in many hospital procedures, the source of life—is another human being,” Dr. Vassallo said. “We need people to donate blood today, while following guidance from the CDC and other agencies.”

Healthy individuals can help respond by scheduling an appointment to give blood by going to vitalant.org or calling 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

The blood collection process is safe. In addition to the vigorous FDA-mandated testing of all blood components donated, Vitalant staff follow rigorous safety and disinfection protocols on our bloodmobiles and in our donation centers. Finally, giving blood has no impact on the donor's immune system.

“According to the CDC, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is currently low,” Dr. Vassallo said. “Furthermore, due to the nature of the virus, it is highly unlikely that it can be transmitted through blood transfusions.”

Vitalant is actively monitoring the situation and will quickly implement any necessary changes as new information emerges from the CDC, FDA and AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks).

• More information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can be found at:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

• More information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and donor eligibility can be found at:
https://www.vitalant.org/Donate/Donor-Eligibility.aspx

March 16, 2020 2:40 PM

COVID19 Joint Information Center
March 16, 2020
Updated: 1:37 p.m.

City of Anthony

As of now, City Council meetings are canceled. The Motor Vehicle Division, City Hall Front Desk and Police Records and has limited hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The City of Anthony library is closed to the public until April 6. The regular board meeting scheduled for March 18 has been canceled. Anthony Police Department remains fully functional.

City of Sunland Park

Two quarantine rooms have been identified in the event a first responder is exposed: Station 1, 1030 McNutt Road and Station 2, 5650 McNutt Road.

The City of Sunland Park Library is closed for three weeks beginning March 16. Until further notice, City Council meetings will be limited to 10 people inside chambers. Anyone wishing to provide public comment will have to switch out with someone in the chambers. A speaker system will be set up outside the building for residents to watch the council meetings.

City of Las Cruces

There is a City Council meeting today followed by a work session on COVID-19. In keeping with social distancing guidelines, attendance will be limited to 50 and seating will be amended to keep people at a safe distance.

The City has created an alert center at www.las-cruces.org to serve as a centralized, community-wide information hub on current news, closures, resources, etc.

Las Cruces Police Department

Due to the change in operation, hours at all area Walmart locations, officers’ onsite work agreement has been adjusted and officers will continue to be present during open hours. LCPD is working on in-house contingency plans, should the current situation change or escalate. Emphasis was placed on advising that hoarding supplies at area stores put residents who need them most at risk.

School Resource Officers are on patrol until schools are open again and are monitoring food distribution sites.

Residents are encouraged to make phone calls and check in on elderly relatives and neighbors.

During the school shutdown, parents are encouraged to keep their kids on a regular schedule and know where they are. It is strongly recommended that parents also follow the social distancing recommendations and limit activities involving crowds. Parents are also reminded to not leave small children home alone.

Las Cruces Fire: the Vecino Program and Mobile Integrated Health Program have responded to several calls to alleviate repeat 911 calls. When appropriate, firefighters are dispatched to see how they can help those callers in need.

Las Cruces Public Schools

Meal pickup started Monday at nine locations (for a complete list, visit www.lcps.net). Breakfast is available between 8 and 9 a.m. and lunch is available from noon to 1 p.m. Social distancing guidelines are in place and all meals are made to grab-and-go.

Resources have been shared with families to keep kids engaged over the shutdown. We have formed a partnership with the Children’s Reading Alliance to distribute age-appropriate books to our students.

Doña Ana County

Doña Ana County has been revising HR policies to begin sending people home on admin leave or for self-quarantine purposes. For those employees without childcare, they have the option of working from home so children aren’t left alone.

Food distribution centers are open and running smoothly. Requested additional information on social distancing recommendations so that information can be shared in rural areas of the county to residents without internet access.

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office

DASO is exploring a reduction in operational hours to the public and making arrangements to deliver reports and requested information either digitally or via mail. Is currently developing a reduction in staff, if necessary, and identifying essential personnel.

Village of Hatch

No report.

Town of Mesilla

Nothing critical at this time.

Memorial Medical Center

Visitor limitation protocol went into effect on Friday, March 13. Effective immediately: there is a limited number of visitor entrances at the main lobby, and those entering the ER have to fill out a Department of Health Questionnaire. Visitor hours are from 4 - 8 p.m.

Mountain View Regional Medical Center

Staff is following established protocols. A limited visitation practice was implemented Friday, March 13. Visitor hours at the main entrance are weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Effective immediately, all visitors and contractors are screened and all nonessential meetings, volunteer programs and seminars are suspended until further notice.

New Mexico State University

Beginning Monday, March 16 all students and staff are on a two-week Spring Break, although the campus remains open to serve its on-campus population. An online resource was created to answer any concerns: www.nmsu.edu/coronavirus. A coronavirus hotline was also launched Monday. That number is 575-646-7373.

NMSU staff is emphasizing to their students and staff if you don’t feel well, stay home. If you care for vulnerable people, stay home. The academic semester will progress and university leadership is working on staffing those who can telework when possible. An amended sick leave policy was also initiated, addressing those who have concerns about leave balances.

New Mexico State University Police

No report.

Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

The OEM continues to coordinate with the Department of Health as the lead agency for issues related to COVID-19. As of now, questions from the public can be directed to the Joint Information Center, which will be posting information at www.las-cruces.org and at www.donaanacounty.org. All health-related questions should be directed to www.cv.nmhealth.org. Additionally, the State of New Mexico has created www.newmexico.gov for centralized agency information related to the statewide response to COVID-19.

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility

As of now, all contact visits have been suspended and there are no volunteers or members from the outside public allowed inside the facility.

New Mexico Department of Health

The DOH continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization to efficiently communicate the most current news and information related to the COVID-19 crisis. All health-related information can be found at www.cv.nmhealth.org.

Monday, the state announced emergency funds that were available statewide to provide financial assistance to those agencies most affected.

March 16, 2020 1:55 PM

Governor issues five executive orders to free up $3.25M to address COVID-19 public health emergency

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued five executive orders authorizing up to $3,250,000 of additional funding for emergency response and disaster relief efforts to address the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funding will be used to assist in humanitarian relief, public health measures and to benefit families and children impacted by school closures.

This disaster-relief funding has been made available to the New Mexico National Guard, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Department of Health, the Public Education Department, and the Children, Youth and Families Department. Any unused emergency funds will revert back to the General Fund.

On March 11, 2020, Gov. Lujan Grisham declared a statewide public health emergency in Executive Order 2020-004. The governor is authorized to provide emergency funding out of the General Fund to assist agencies in delivering whatever resources and services are necessary to minimize economic and physical harm to New Mexicans during a declared state of emergency under NMSA 1978, Section 12-11-23 through 12-11-25.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-006 authorizes an additional $250,000 to the New Mexico National Guard for payment of expenses incident to the provision of the humanitarian relief and other assistance to civil authorities. $750,000 of funding has already been made available to the National Guard for missions during this fiscal year. The additional funds will ensure that the National Guard is immediately ready to be deployed to provide humanitarian assistance.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-007 authorizes $750,000 for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the purposes of avoiding or minimizing economic and physical harm; protecting the public health, safety, welfare; and providing emergency and disaster relief, including but not limited to the provision of emergency medical assistance, humanitarian aid and coordinating other aspects of the public health emergency.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-008 authorizes $750,000 for the Department of Health for the purposes of avoiding or minimizing economic and physical harm; protecting the public health, safety, welfare; and providing emergency and disaster relief, including but not limited to the provision of whatever assistance and response efforts Department of Health deems necessary to address the public health emergency.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-009 authorizes $750,000 for the Public Education Department for the purposes of avoiding or minimizing economic and physical harm; protecting the public health, safety, welfare; and providing emergency and disaster relief, including but not limited to the provision of any form of assistance to children and families designed to mitigate the effects of the public health emergency. This funding will allow PED to assist children and families affected by school closures.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-010 authorizes $750,000 for the Children, Youth and Families Department for the purposes of avoiding or minimizing economic and physical harm; protecting the public health, safety, welfare; and providing emergency and disaster relief, including but not limited to the provision of any form of assistance to children and families designed to mitigate the effects of the public health emergency. This funding will allow CYFD to assist children and families affected by school closures.

March 16, 2020 1:55 PM

N.M. families: Check here for info on school meals
Website lists feeding plans by district during closing

SANTA FE – A tab on the new and updating state government website provides New Mexico families the information they need about how to access meal sites for children while classes are canceled starting Monday.

The newwmexico.gov website is state government’s one-stop shop for information about the COVID-19 pandemic that led Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to close schools for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16.

(Updates to the number of confirmed cases in the state will continue to be posted to cv.nmhealth.org.)

The newmexico.gov website is being updated and finalized in real time.

The website’s navigation bar includes a tab “Information About Education,” which is where users will find a list of sites that will provide breakfast and lunch to students between March 16 and April 6.

Schools and our USDA-approved meal sponsors are employing a number of strategies to continue feeding children.

Many school cafeterias will remain open, and workers will prepare meals that parents or students can grab and go at specified times. Other districts are arranging delivery by school bus or National Guard to students in remote areas.

This is a collaboration between the governor’s office and state agencies, including the Public Education Department, Early Childhood Education and Care Department, Indian Affairs Department and Children, Youth and Families Department.

New Mexico received waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow school meal programs to continue during the closing with additional flexibility including income eligibility requirements. All children ages one to eighteen are eligible to receive meals.

March 16, 2020 1:54 PM

Health Department: Nursing homes should limit most
visitors to prevent potential spread of COVID-19

SANTA FE – In order to minimize the danger of COVID-19 spread to high-risk communities, the state Department of Health on Saturday announced that it has ordered nursing homes to limit visitation to people whose loved ones are receiving end-of-life care.

The order also targets facilities providing assisted living, adult day care, hospice and rehabilitation for older adult patients. Facilities where older adults live or that provide services to them are strongly encouraged to implement the recommendations as is reasonably appropriate.

DOH further required that when those limited visitors are allowed in:
​They should have their temperatures taken as a condition of entry, and visitors with a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit or signs of respiratory infection should be barred from entry and advised to seek medical attention;
​Upon entry, they should thoroughly wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
​They should be escorted by facility staff to and from the patient’s room;
​At no time should they be out of the room unescorted.
To help families stay connected to their loved ones, the Aging and Long-Term Services Department has nine cameras and by March 16 will have 350 tablets that families can use for electronic visits. The agency is exploring other ways to keep residents in touch with loved ones.

Following this order may cause regulated nursing facilities to be in non-compliance with certain state regulatory requirements. The state will not take enforcement action against any regulated nursing facility for implementing the order in good faith during the 30-day state of emergency that runs through April 9.

These resources are available for more information:
​For more information about nursing home visits or to request use of a camera-tablet link, call the Long Term Care Ombudsman (1-866-451-2901).
​For general health questions about COVID-19, or if you have concerns that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, call the Health Department hotline: 1-855-600-3453. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
​COVID-19 updates also are available at the DOH website http://cv.nmhealth.org/.

NM Department of Health
March 16, 2020 1:53 PM

Update: Health secretary amends public health order,
adding new restrictions to public gatherings
Restaurants, bars shall operate at no greater
than 50% maximum occupancy

SANTA FE – New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel on Monday morning formalized the strengthening of the public health emergency order she issued Thursday, March 12, amending the restrictions on social gatherings to limit the incidence of COVID-19 in New Mexico. The order is attached.

Beginning today March 16, at 9 a.m. the amended public health order directs that all restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries and other food establishments shall operate at no greater than 50 percent of maximum occupancy and no greater than 50 percent of seating capacity. In addition, tables and booths may not seat more than six people, and all occupied tables and booths must be separated by at least six feet. Patrons may not be seated at bars, and standing patrons will not be served.

“We must limit public gatherings in order to limit the spread of this virus,” Kunkel said. “Bars and restaurants are no exception. We want New Mexicans to stay home to the greatest extent possible. That kind of social distancing is our best strategy for reducing the risks to New Mexico.”

The public health order prohibits gatherings of 100 or more but includes specific exemptions for shelters, retail or grocery stores, courthouses, correction and detention facilities and hospitals, among others.

The order defines mass gatherings as events that bring together 100 or more people in a single room or connected space like auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, conference centers and theaters.

The amended order also clarifies that all casinos and horse racing facilities must close until April 10. This provision does not apply to casinos operating on tribal lands.

NM Human Services Department
March 15, 2020 2:39 PM

Governor directs state government agencies
to minimize face-to-face contact while continuing service delivery
Public health and safety services unaffected

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Sunday issued a directive to all state agencies to accelerate remote-work initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency and to temporarily adjust, and in some cases suspend, certain functions in order to minimize public health risks.

"We're asking every state employee to continue serving the public. Some can do that best by coming to the office and delivering indispensable services – and some can do that best by working from home and protecting the public health," said Gov. Lujan Grisham. "We are emphasizing social distancing with minimal disruption to services – and that's what we recommend for all.

“Right now, the message to New Mexicans must be clear: Avoid social gatherings, wash your hands, and bottom line, stay home. That’s the best thing we can all do to protect each other’s health.”

As part of the directive, New Mexico state agencies will make adjustments to their operations, including the following actions:
​Closing all state museums, state historic sites, state parks and cultural institutions to the public effective Monday morning; state visitors centers were previously closed to the public
​In government offices that provide direct service (for example, MVD), limiting staff and moving to an alternative or remote model of service; all other state government buildings and leased state offices are closed to the public
​Completing the transition of all employees who are able to work remotely to a remote work model
Through this directive, the state of New Mexico will continue to provide a robust set of services to people across the state while limiting the opportunity for person-to-person contact. Public health experts advise that social isolation is the most important strategy for containing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19​.

The governor has encouraged local governments to follow suit and implement telework policies for as many employees as possible and take other steps to limit person-to-person contact in order to emphasize social distancing.

The governor’s directive affects only employees of state government’s executive branch and excludes those deemed essential to public health and safety and to protecting vulnerable populations. This includes state police, corrections officers, the National Guard, and public health workers, for example. It does not include the courts.

The Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) and Rio Metro Transit District have also directed that the Rail Runner will cease operations for the duration of the public emergency.

The governor’s directive follows previous orders declaring a state of emergency, banning large social gatherings, sharply curtailing visits to nursing homes, and closing public schools through April 3.

“We continue to adapt as the situation changes, choosing needed, measured responses to stay a step ahead of the virus,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “We’ve already asked New Mexicans to avoid social contact wherever possible. We are now trying to reduce social contact for as many of our 17,000 state government employees as possible.”

As of Saturday, 13 New Mexicans had tested positive for COVID-19 in four counties: Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Socorro. These numbers are expected to rise as the state Health Department’s Scientific Laboratory Division and private partner TriCore Reference Laboratories increase capacity for test processing.

The Department of Health and the governor encourage all New Mexicans to practice social distancing procedures: stay home, particularly if you are sick.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

The state Department of Health is updating its dedicated COVID-19 webpage, viewable here: cv.nmhealth.org.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

March 15, 2020 2:34 PM

NMCAL is here to support Dona Ana County's mental health concerns related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Greetings, Thank you for all that you are doing to support people during this time. We want to reassure you that as the State of New Mexico's Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD) funded mental health line we are here to support the community in the disaster preparedness plans that are being built for the state of New Mexico as a result of disruptions caused by Coronavirus/COVID-19.

The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line (NMCAL) will continue to make sure we are able to maintain maximum readiness to serve New Mexicans, and are here to support individuals and communities during this time. To ensure that our services continue to operate as normal our larger organization (ProtoCall Services, Inc) has established business continuity plans which include a workforce that spans 5 different locations and 250 employees across 10 different states, more than half of our workforce is currently equipped to work from their home offices, and we are currently scaling this up to meet the increased needs during this time.

We maintain a solution focused approach built on validation, normalization and access to resources.
Counselors are available and here to hear community members experiencing mental health concerns 24/7 at 855-662-7474. www.nmcrisisline.com

As more information becomes available about the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the US, ProtoCall is adapting additional business continuity plans to meet the specifics of this concern based on guidance from the CDC.

Please do let us know if there is anything further we can do to support the state in its efforts, or if you have any questions or concerns about this information. I am available directly at 505-263-9140.

Wendy Linebrink-Allison, MSW, MBA, NCPSS
New Mexico Program Manager, ProtoCall Services, Inc.

-- Call the Crisis Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474)

-- Call the Peer to Peer Warmline from 3:30p - 11:30p MT everyday 1-855-4NM-7100 (1-855-466-7100)

-- Text the Peer to Peer Warmline from 6:00p - 11:00p MT everyday 1-855-4NM-7100 (1-855-466-7100)

-- TTYL Access available by calling 1-855-227-5485

NM Crisis Line
March 13, 2020 8:00 PM

Consistent with and in support of the direction from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who issued a public health emergency in New Mexico, the City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department is taking precautionary measures to ensure every person’s well-being based on the Governor’s recommendation that large public gatherings be avoided.

Operational changes will begin Monday, March 16th until further notice.

Practice, League Play, and tournaments on all City facilities (athletic fields) will be suspended until further notice.
All youth and adult programming will be suspended until further notice.
All fitness classes will be suspended until further notice.
Juvenile Citation Program (JCP) will continue to operate business as usual.
Keep Las Cruces Beautiful (KLCB) Program will continue to operate business as usual.
Administration offices will continue to operate business as usual and staff is available to answer questions and direct patrons in the right direction.
Facility Changes:

Both the East Mesa Recreation Center, 5589 Porter Dr. and Frank O’Brien Papen Center, 304 Bell Ave. will be closed.
The Meerscheidt Recreation Center, 1600 E. Hadley Ave. will be open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Ages 13 – 17yrs. (limited to 50 participants.) Must have ID for proof of age.
The Regional Aquatic Center, 1401 E. Hadley Ave. will operate normal business hours. Adults only weight room, walking channel, and lap swim limited to 50 participants. There will be no open swim.
Frenger Swimming Pool, 800 Parkview Dr. will operate normal business hours. Adults only lap swimming. Limited to 50 participants

For more information, contact Parks & Recreation Department Administration Offices 575/541-2550

March 13, 2020 5:10 PM

In response to the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, the City of Las Cruces RoadRUNNER Transit and Dial-a-Ride are taking a series of precautionary actions.

Effective Monday, March 16, RoadRUNNER Transit buses and Dial-a-Ride will be fare-free until further notice to reduce cash and fare handling and minimize face-to-face interactions with other passengers and transit staff.

There will be increased cleaning of buses and public facilities. Buses are being disinfected at least daily and more frequently as resources allow.

Highly touched surfaces in the Mesilla Valley Intermodal Transit Terminal will be wiped down with disinfectant wipes 2-3 times a day.

While these precautionary measures are important, they are just one part of the larger community-led effort to prevent the spread of germs. Please continue to do your part by staying informed and following the advice of public health officials. RoadRUNNER Transit encourages everyone to:
• Regularly and thoroughly wash hands
• Cough/Sneeze into a tissue or sleeve
• Stay home if you feel sick
• Carry personal sanitizing wipes or hand gels to use as needed.

For more information, call Transit Customer Service at 541-2500.

March 13, 2020 4:39 PM

Public Information Officers representing several organizations within Doña Ana County has been assembled within a Joint Information Center (JIC) to address ongoing community concerns as information and updates to the COVID-19, or Coronavirus pandemic, continue develop.

The group will conference on a regular basis to address the most current information and directives at the state level, and assess how they will affect Doña Ana County residents. Information as it relates to the public will be disseminated through traditional media channels. Kelly Jameson, Public Information Office for Las Cruces Public Schools, has been appointed as the JIC Director and will be the point of contact for media inquiries related to the local COVID-19 response.

Established by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, JICs are established to centralize all communication where personnel with public information responsibilities perform critical emergency information functions, crisis communications and public affairs functions.

Organizations represented within the JIC include: the New Mexico Department of Health, City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, the City of Anthony, the City of Sunland Park, the Town of Mesilla, the Village of Hatch, U.S. Border Patrol, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces Public Schools, Gadsden Public Schools, Hatch Public Schools, Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility, New Mexico Department of Health, MountainView Regional Medical Center and Memorial Medical Center.

The public can go to www.las-cruces.org for current information on the local response to the COVID-19 crisis.

March 13, 2020 3:53 PM

Thomas Branigan Memorial Library Suspending Programs, Will Remain Open

In alignment with the Health Department’s order to limit gatherings of more 100 persons, the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library will be suspending its public programs effective March 16. Branigan Library will remain open and operational providing standard services; however, all public programs have been suspended until April 9., per the Public Health Order.

The public will be notified if additional changes or adjustments to the Library’s normal operating hours are made as this is a developing situation. In addition, beginning Monday, March 16, Munson Center Branch and Sage Café Branch will be closed to the public until the Munson and Sage senior centers are re-opened.

The Thomas Branigan Memorial Library is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its employees and patrons. The Library is currently following the New Mexico Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for sanitation and hygiene in the facility, such as wiping down surfaces with disinfectant wipes, washing hands, and employees and volunteers have been asked to stay home if they are ill. And we ask the public to also follow the sanitation and hygiene guidelines and to not come into the library if you are ill or suspect you may have been in an affected location as identified on the NM Department of Health website http://cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations/.

Patrons who are elderly or vulnerable to COVID-19 should carefully weigh whether to visit any public space, including the Library. The Library does offer books by mail for the elderly and home-bound and will extend this program to anyone who is not able to visit the library. The Library will also be suspending all overdue fines for the next month and will allow unlimited renewals. If patrons need to renew items, call the Circulation Department at 575-528-4010.

And finally, the Library has many digital resources, such as e-books, e-audiobooks, streaming music, digital magazines, databases and more, which patrons can visit from the comfort of their own home. Visit the Library’s website at library.las-cruces.org to find out more and download our digital apps.
Save gas and avoid traffic! RoadRUNNER Transit can get you to the library. Branigan Library is located on Route #1, stop #2, City Hall/Library.
Thomas Branigan Memorial Library hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 1 – 5 p.m. Sunday.

Branigan Library
March 13, 2020 3:52 PM

Inaugural Las Cruces City Fest Postponed

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Following guidance from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health related to large gatherings, Visit Las Cruces will postpone the Inaugural Las Cruces City Fest, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 30.
“Although we’re saddened to delay this much-anticipated festival, ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved is our top priority,” said Visit Las Cruces Interim Executive Director Rochelle Miller-Hernandez. “Las Cruces has outstanding attractions and activities for people all ages and interests which can still be enjoyed year-round.”
Any updates about the festival will be posted to the Visit Las Cruces website at: https://www.lascrucescvb.org/cityfest/.
The governor on Wednesday issued a public health emergency related to the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus. As part of this announcement, the governor and Department of Health directed state government and advised local governments across New Mexico to cancel events with large crowds through at least the end of April.
For more information, contact Paul Dahlgren at pdahlgren@las-cruces.org or visit: https://www.lascrucescvb.org/cityfest/

Visit Las Cruces
March 13, 2020 3:44 PM

City Continues to Minimize Potential Spread of Illness

The City of Las Cruces is committed to the safety of its residents as presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 arise within the State of New Mexico. While there have been no reported cases of the virus within the City of Las Cruces, staff under direction of Public Works Building Services have been diligent in sanitizing “high-touch” surfaces within City Hall such as door handles, elevator buttons, water fountains, counter tops and handrails.

In addition, sanitizing stations have been increased in City Hall and certain doors have been propped open during business hours to reduce the need to touch door handles.

Staff have also been asked to limit person to person contact if possible, to wash their hands often especially if they have been in public areas, or after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. They are also encouraged to use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in their work areas, avoid touching their faces, and to stay home if they feel sick and to get medical care if needed to help prevent any illnesses from passing to other employees or customers.

Residents looking for information on the City’s response to COVID-19 related closures, postponements and updates can visit the City’s website www.las-cruces.org. An Alert Center notification is available at the top of the page. Those interested in being notified when new posts are made in the Alert Center can subscribe to the “Notify Me” sign up page.

Image Details:
Doors at City Hall – Certain doors within Las Cruces City Hall remain open during business hours to minimize contact of “high-touch” surfaces.
Sanitizing City Hall – Peter Contreras, Building Services/PublicWorks staff member sanitizes exit bars and door handles at City Hall.

March 13, 2020 3:30 PM

Cambios Operativos Comenzar el 16 de marzo para los Programas Sénior

De acuerdo y con el apoyo de la dirección de la gobernadora Michelle Lujan Grisham, y el Departamento de Envejecimiento y Servicios a Largo Plazo de Nuevo México, quien emitió una emergencia de salud pública en Nuevo México, nuestras agencias colaboradoras públicas, los Programas de los adultos de la tercer edad de la Ciudad de Las Cruces están tomando medidas cautelares para bienestar basado en la recomendación de la Gobernador de evitar grandes reuniones públicas, particularmente para individuos con condiciones médicas de alto riesgo. Los cambios operativos comenzarán el lunes 16 de marzo hasta nuevo aviso.

• Los participantes en el programa de almuerzo congregado continuarán recibiendo comidas programadas en todos los centros entre las 10:30 a.m. de las 12:30 p,m, en un entorno de ida y paso.
• Por favor, continúe haciendo reservas y cancelaciones llamando al 575/528-3012.
• Los puntos de entrada y salida se designarán para que los participantes conduzcan y reciban una comida.
• Los servicios basados en el hogar, como las comidas a domicilio, el cuidado en el hogar y el cuidado de relevo, continuarán sin interrupción.
• Suspensión del grupo de apoyo del programa de abuelos.
• Suspensión de todas las actividades recreativas.
• El Servicio de Gestión de Casos seguirá estando disponible.
• El programa de distribución de alimentos, en colaboración con Casa de Peregriños, se llevará a cabo según lo programado en un entorno de recorrido.
• Todos los participantes que utilicen los servicios de Dial-A-Ride o el autobús del Programa de los adultos de la tercer edad para el programa de comida serán contactados para recibir cambios en sus servicios y en la manera de reciver la comida.
Para obtener información adicional, llame al 575/528-3000.

March 13, 2020 3:27 PM

Operational Changes to the City’s Senior Programs to Begin March 16

Operational changes to the City of Las Cruces Senior Program will begin Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice, because of COVID-19.

The changes are consistent with, and in support of, the direction from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who issued a public health emergency, and New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department. The City of Las Cruces Senior Programs, is taking precautionary measures to ensure every person’s well-being, based on the Governor’s recommendation that large public gatherings be avoided, particularly for individuals with high-risk medical conditions.

The operational changes will be:

• Participants in the congregate lunch program will continue to receive scheduled meals at all the centers between the hours of 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in a drive-through setting.
• Participants are asked to please continue to make reservations and cancelations by calling 575/528-3012.
• Entrance and exit points will be designated for participants to drive up and receive a meal.
• Home based services such as home delivered meals, homecare and respite care will continue without interruption.
• The grandparent program support group will be suspended.
• All recreational activities will be suspended.
• Case Management Service will continue to be available.
• The food distribution program, in partnership with Casa de Peregriños, will take place as scheduled in a drive-through setting.
• All participants using Dial-A-Ride services or the Senior Program bus for the lunch program will be contacted for changes to their services and the City’s method of providing the meal.

For additional information please call 575/528-3000.

March 13, 2020 2:33 PM

Novel Coronavirus (COVID–19)
Memorial Medical Center Implements Visitor Limitations

Las Cruces, New Mexico (March 12, 2020) – Memorial Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers, visitors and the community. We are continuing to work closely with the New Mexico Department of Health and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure our hospital is prepared with the appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond should anyone in our community contract or be exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID–19). Additionally, we are reviewing our facility’s robust emergency operations plan and proactively completing a number of preparation checklists out of an abundance of caution.
While we have not treated any patients with this virus at our hospital to date–and there have been no confirmed cases in our area of New Mexico–Memorial Medical Center has taken the following measures to prepare, in accordance with CDC guidelines:
• Patients in the Emergency Department and inpatient units are screened based on their recent travel history.
• Personal protective equipment is available, including face masks and eye protection, for example.
• Hand hygiene products are easily accessible throughout the facility.

Importantly, all of the above are standard operating protocols that are in place year-round to help ensure the health and well-being of everyone who enters our hospital.

Additionally, beginning Friday, March 13th, the Memorial Medical Center Main Campus will be limiting entrance for visitors.

All external entrance doors to MMC will be closed to entry; instead, all visitors are asked to enter the main entrance & annex entrances only. Visiting hours will be narrowed to between 4pm – 8pm. Each visitor will need to answer the four-question NMDH questionnaire every time they want to enter MMC. A maximum of two visitors at a time will be allowed per patient, only if they are over the age of 18 and confirmed “NO” responses to all four questions on the NMDH questionnaire.

The Memorial HealthPlex will remain at its current level of restriction, with the addition of visitors being required to complete the four-question NMDH questionnaire at the admissions desk inside the Main Entrance.

Memorial Urgent Care & physician clinics will remain at their current level of restriction. Patients will be screened appropriate for the specific patient condition/illness.
Again, we are committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers, visitors and the community.
We want to assure our community that our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of viruses and infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 virus. For more information, contact the New Mexico Department of Health or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
March 13, 2020 2:29 PM

All events scheduled through at least April 9, 2020 at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave., have been canceled to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19.

Those efforts follow guidance from the New Mexico Department of Health, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. On March 12, 2020, New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel issued an order temporarily prohibiting mass gatherings in the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health order defines mass gatherings as events that bring together 100 or more people in a single room or connected space, such as auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, theaters and conference centers.

Already, large public events have been canceled or postponed across the state in attempts to curb any spread of COVID-19. Kunkel’s order is set to expire in 28 days, which is April 9, but could be renewed.

Anyone who was going to attend Convention Center events that have been canceled should contact the organizer of each event for information about refunds.

For information on events at the Las Cruces Convention Center, call 575/526-0100.

March 13, 2020 12:50 PM

USSSA Baseball Bataan Death March NIT Canceled

Consistent with and in support of direction from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who issued a public health emergency in New Mexico, our collaborating public agencies, and the notification from White Sands Missile Range’s Public Affairs office of the cancellation of both the Bataan Memorial Death March and Concert, the City of Las Cruces has canceled the USSSA Baseball Bataan Death March Super NIT.
The tournament was scheduled for March 20-22 in Las Cruces and had more than 100 teams entered.

March 12, 2020 6:25 PM

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Department of Health on Thursday announced that New Mexico K-12 public schools will close for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16, in response to the ongoing international novel coronavirus pandemic. The closure will begin at the end of the school day tomorrow, Friday, March 13.
Gov. Lujan Grisham and state officials will be holding a news conference at 10 a.m. in Room 310 of the state Capitol, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, to announce additional details.
The press conference will be streamed live at www.facebook.com/GovMLG/.
As of Thursday evening, New Mexico has had six presumptive positive tests for COVID-19.
State Cabinet secretaries’ ongoing work of developing telework policies specific to their agencies will not be affected by this decision; state government services will remain in place at this time.
The governor’s office and state officials will send another notice with additional details following the news conference.
“This is a proactive measure to limit the potential community spread of COVID-19,” said Education Secretary Ryan Stewart. “We have seen other states take this measure after they have experienced community spread of this virus. New Mexico is going to be proactive and do everything we can to prevent the potential spread of the virus. I have been in communication with all of our superintendents about this proactive step, and we are all going to work together to address this public health challenge.”
“We are advising the public of this forthcoming announcement tonight so that parents and students can prepare for this upcoming change and begin to make arrangements,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “We will be informing the public of additional measures that the state will be taking to ease the burden on families and educators and ensure that children continue to be fed and cared for.”

Governor's Facebook
March 12, 2020 6:23 PM

Following recommendations from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging, Aging and Long-Term Services, and the New Mexico Department of Health, Las Cruces Senior Programs is implementing operational changes beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 13 to fight the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus and minimize public health risks for New Mexicans.
Senior Programs will provide normally scheduled home-delivered meals and congregate meal service tomorrow at the following locations:
• Munson Center, 975 S. Mesquite St.
• Eastside Community Center, 310 N. Tornillo St.
• Henry Benavidez Community Center, 1045 McClure Rd.
• Sage Café, 6121 Reynolds Dr.
• Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center, 304 Bell Ave.
For reservations, guests are advised to call 575/528-3012.
Changes to the senior nutrition program meal sites will occur effective Monday, March 16. For the latest updates, patrons should call 575/528-3000.
Also, effective at noon tomorrow, all senior recreational activities are cancelled until further notice.

March 12, 2020 4:03 PM

Following guidance from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health, the City of Las Cruces has cancelled or postponed events at the Rio Grande Theatre through the month of April.

The governor on Wednesday issued a public health emergency to maximize the resources available to the state to fight the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus and minimize public health risks for New Mexicans. As part of this announcement, the governor and Department of Health directed state government and advised local governments across New Mexico to cancel events with large crowds through at least the end of April.

For more information on events at the Rio Grande Theatre please contact Chris Faivre at 575-541-2150, or cfaivre@las-cruces.org.

March 12, 2020 3:35 PM

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima today issued a video message to residents regarding the local coronavirus situation.

Mayor's Video Message