This week on Grant County Coronavirus Update GMCR producer Jamie Newton talks to Dr. Teresa Arizaga, psychiatrist and Chief Mental Health Officer of Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS). They explored a broad range of mental and emotional consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to risks of infection and physical illness, with recommendations for effective coping and resources to help us all weather this long public health emergency.
Coronavirus Update is a local radio show that provides the latest information you need to know on local community strategies to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and protect yourself, your family and our community during this public health crisis. Brought to you by Gila/Mimbres Community Radio, Gila Resources Information Project, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Grant County and National Center for Frontier Communities.
Send us your updates to email@example.com
NM Dept of Health COVID-19 Hotline 1-855-600-3453 or visit cv.nmhealth.org
Coronavirus Information Hotline at 1-833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov
Message from Grant County’s health care providers –video
Donations to Community COVID-19 Response – Grant County Community Foundation
Grant County Coronavirus Update website – grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org
Coronavirus Update is broadcast live on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio 89.1 FM Silver City on Wednesdays at Noon and rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6 pm and Thursdays at 8 am
Or listen to today’s interview at your convenience via this link….
New Mexico’s daily COVID cases declined considerably yesterday with 2,107 new daily cases, for a total of 86,247 cases. However, 871 people are currently hospitalized statewide, and Albuquerque hospitals are now operating under contingency plans. Hospital officials warned that if the situation doesn’t turn around in New Mexico, they would have to shift to crisis care.
The Department of Health also reported 137 additional deaths over the past 7-days for a total of 1,428 deaths.
In Grant County, the Department of Health reported 112 new COVID cases since last week for a total of 441 cases. There have been no additional deaths. To date, six Grant Countians have lost their lives to the virus, while 137 people have recovered.
In order to prevent a huge surge in COVID cases that could overwhelm our healthcare system, the Grant County Community Health Council’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Task Force asks you this Thanksgiving to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by celebrating only with people who live with you. The group notes that the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, a model developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University, predicts that as of November 22, if 15 people in Grant County gather, there’s a 31 percent chance that at least one person in the group will be infected with COVID-19.
The group strongly advises people to celebrate Thanksgiving only with those who live in their household – and celebrate virtually with friends and loved ones outside of the household. If you must gather with anyone outside your household for Thanksgiving (or for any reason), there are a few ways that you can protect yourself and others. Stay outside. Purchase a space heater or two and place them so people can stand six feet apart or more and stay warm. Don’t share food from common serving plates or bowls. No matter where you are, all guests should wear high-quality masks (surgical or three-layered cloth face-coverings).
In his weekly COVID report, NM Human Services Secretary David Scrase, M.D. explained “People are carrying the virus without knowing they have it. I’m worried about asymptomatic transmission. I’m worried about people feeling sick yet leaving the house and traveling anyway. There are places in New Mexico where attending a mass gathering carries a 50/50 chance that someone at that event will have COVID-19. The public health crisis this year has never been more dire. There is no zero-risk scenario for gathering with other people right now – even if you wear your masks, even if you keep your distance. Please don’t risk it. Please stay home this holiday.”
The state’s latest emergency public health order remains in effect through November 30.
More state COVID-19 information is available at cv.nmhealth.org
NEW STATE PROGRAM TO AVOID ESSENTIAL BUSINESS CLOSURES DUE TO COVID
According to the Santa Fe Reporter, the state announced that it has put in place a new voluntary agreement that will help essential businesses prevent COVID-19 closures [link]. Under the existing program, businesses with at least two rapid responses within 14 days for employees testing positive for COVID-19 appear on a daily watchlist and those with four or more can be closed for 14 days.
If businesses sign onto the new agreement and agree to conduct regular COVID testing of employees and assist with contact tracing, any potential positive cases will not count toward a closure. State Environment Secretary James Kenney explains that “By incentivizing businesses to participate in a regular surveillance testing program, we are keeping New Mexicans safe, slowing the spread of COVID-19, and preventing additional closures of essential businesses.”
As of today, there are no Grant County businesses on the Rapid Response Watchlist, however there have been 100 positive cases of COVID-19 in workplaces in Grant County as of 11/24/20. The “All Rapid Responses” data is a minimally processed dataset that represents positive cases in the workplace that are reported to the Environment Department through the Department of Health or by employers through the mandatory reporting requirement.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAS REMINDED NEW MEXICANS ABOUT WHO SHOULD GET TESTED FOR COVID-19:
- Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell.
- Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
- Asymptomatic people who live or work in congregate settings such as detention centers and long-term care facilities;
- Patients who are scheduled for surgery and whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure.
For more information on Covid testing and contact tracing in New Mexico go to www.togethernm.org
LOCAL COVID TESTING SCHEDULE
Do you need to get tested for COVID? Here is the local COVID testing schedule. Please note that some times have changed.
The Grant County Public Health Office provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. and every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm.
Appointments can be scheduled by registering on the following website:
The Grant County Public Health Office is located at 2610 N. Silver Street (across the street from the Swimming Pool).
CVS Pharmacy Drive-thru in Silver City is making self-swab tests available to individuals meeting CDC criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com
Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) in Silver City is doing testing on weekdays except for Tuesday at their clinic at 1007 Pope Street in Silver City and at their Lordsburg clinic on weekdays except for Thursdays at 530 De Moss Street. Call 1-575-388-1511 for an appointment.
The state Department of Health reminds New Mexicans of the following:
- If you feel sick, do not leave your home. If you feel any symptoms of COVID-19, seek out a COVID-19 test.
- Please be patient after receiving your COVID-19 test. As cases rise, so does demand for testing. After you receive your COVID-19 test, monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are having symptoms or tested because of an exposure, you should assume that you are infectious and self-isolate even if your symptoms resolve. You can spread the virus without knowing you are positive and without having symptoms.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, do not leave your home to do errands or to see friends. If you are infected with COVID-19, you must not leave your home unless you are seeking out emergency medical care.
- Finally, if you need emergency medical care, call 9-1-1, not the Department of Health information hotline.
GET YOUR FLU SHOT
With flu season underway and expected to continue through early May, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is urging all New Mexicans to get their flu shot this year.
The following groups of people are strongly recommended to be vaccinated because they are at high risk for complications from influenza, or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- Pregnant women (all trimesters), and up to two weeks postpartum
- People aged 65 years and older
- People of any age with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease, and those who are immunocompromised
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including healthcare personnel and caregivers of babies younger than six months
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives
- People who are morbidly obese
- And Caregivers to the groups mentioned above and all healthcare workers need to get vaccinated every year to protect the people they care for or treat.
People in these groups should also consider seeing their healthcare provider as early as possible to be evaluated for antiviral medication if they develop flu symptoms because the sooner that these medications are begun, the better the chance of preventing serious complications.
For more information, visit www.togethernm.org/flu
HIDALGO MEDICAL SERVICES SUSPENDS SOME SERVICES DUE TO COVID
Hidalgo Medical Services announced Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic is negatively impacting its operations and HMS must make operational and service delivery changes in response.
Effective at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, the Tu Casa 24/7 Crisis Triage Center will suspend services until further notice. Tu Casa outpatient services will continue from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays.
The psychosocial rehabilitation services, New Beginnings, 2540 N. Silver St., will also suspend services until further notice.
Clients from New Beginnings will be offered the opportunity to continue therapy through the HMS Mental Health Comprehensive Community Support Services (CCSS), and HMS Mental Health and Medical Services will continue to provide Substance Use Disorder services through Individual and Group Therapy, and Medication Assisted Treatment. Additionally, HMS will provide only Emergency Dental Services as defined by the New Mexico Department of Health’s most recent emergency Public Health Order.
According to Dan Otero, HMS CEO, “the decision to make these changes was not taken lightly. The financial losses recently experienced within both of these service lines, when combined with financial losses across the organization, left us with no choice but to suspend these services until further notice.”
More information is available at hms-nm.org
NM LEGISLATURE APPROVES $330 MILLION COVID ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE
The Associated Press reports that the New Mexico Legislature has approved a $330 million economic relief package aimed at helping unemployed workers and certain businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Passage came Tuesday night as lawmakers rushed to wrap up a one-day special session that was called by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
If the Democratic governor signs the measure, the state could distribute $1,200 stimulus checks to people who are unemployed or who have run out of unemployment this year. Additionally, the legislation includes grants of up to $50,000 to small businesses and up to $750 to some low-income households. Most of the proposed spending will be made possible by federal relief funding under the CARES Act previously assigned to New Mexico.
NEW MEXICO LAUNCHES PANDEMIC-EBT ONLINE SELF-SERVICE PORTAL
New Mexican families can now access a self-service portal to check their children’s eligibility for Pandemic-EBT benefits and update addresses, the state Human Services Department announced on Friday [press release].
The new portal can be accessed through the Human Services Department’s online tool Yes NM www.yes.state.nm.us.
Registration is not required to access the portal, but the following information will be required to check a student’s eligibility for P-EBT benefits:
- Student school identification number (assigned to student by school; if unsure of student ID number contact your students’ school)
- The name of the school your child attended during the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year
- The name of the child’s guardian on file with your school district
Once this information is validated and your student’s eligibility is determined, parents/guardians may view and, if necessary, change the address on file with their student’s school.
FOOD PANTRY SCHEDULES
The Food Pantry at the Gospel Mission located at 111 South Texas Street in Silver City is open for drive thru only on Wednesdays 8:30 am – 9:30 am. Emergency Dry Food Boxes are available once a month to individuals upon request. There is also a Daily soup kitchen: Breakfast takes place from 9:00-10:00 Mon-Fri and Lunch occurs every day from 12-1 pm. Showers and clothes are also made available to those in need. Call 575 388-5071 for more information.
St. Francis Newman Center Food Pantry located at 914 W. 13th St. Silver City is open every Monday at 4 pm. Cash assistance for rent, utilities, bus passes and prescription drugs is also provided. Call 575-388-4933 for more information.
The Commons Grant County Food Pantry for Silver City, Tyrone & Arenas Valley residents will be held today November 25th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 501 E. 13th Street in Silver City (Just off Swan Street behind the Knights of Columbus) For more information, visit the website at thecommonsgrantcounty.org
If you are a senior or disabled adult and cannot access groceries, please call the state’s Senior and Disabled Adult Food Hotline at 1-800-432-2080. Leave a message with your name, telephone number and city that you reside in and you will be contacted within 2 hours of your call.
EMERGENCY MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
Homewise is offering Emergency Mortgage Assistance to those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage and do not qualify for unemployment or government assistance at this time, contact a Homewise representative at (505) 983-9473 or visit the Homewise Website at homewise.org
WATER UTILITY AND RENTAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR BAYARD RESIDENTS
Are you a Bayard resident that needs help with water and rent?
CARES Act funding is available to help Bayard residents with water utility and rent bills. Call Bayard City Hall at 575-537-3327 or visit COVID-19 programs and information on Bayard’s website at cityofbayardnm.com for the online application.
CARES ACT SMALL BUSINESS CONTINUITY GRANTS STILL AVAILABLE FOR BAYARD BUSINESSES
Also, The City of Bayard has received $93,188 in funding under the Small Business Continuity Grant – CARES Act Relief Funds and Bayard businesses are encouraged to apply. Applications and eligibility requirements can be downloaded from the City of Bayard website at www.cityofbayardnm.com
Small businesses headquartered in New Mexico with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, have revenue of $2 million or less prior to COVID, and either have been forced to close or severely curtail business operations as a result of closure orders from the state can apply.
Business Continuity expenses such as non-owner employee payroll, rent, scheduled mortgage payments, insurance, utilities and marketing are covered, as well as business redesign in response to COVID are covered under the grant.
Applications will be received until December 5, 2020 and awards will be made until funds are exhausted.
COVID RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
Do you need help talking to your children about the coronavirus?
Having conversations with your children allows you to know what they understand about COVID and what they might not. It also helps them develop a deeper understanding of the situation through questions and open dialogue and helps them feel safe.
For more resources including tips for parents, behavioral health support, easy ways to explain COVID to children and young adults, and free tutoring for students K-12, visit PullTogether.org.
SILVER CITY MAINSTREET CASH MOB
Get all of your holiday shopping done from the safety and comfort of your home by shopping online at Downtown Silver City Cash Mobs. Organized by Silver City MainStreet, the virtual shopping events are held online using Facebook Live. Merchants have the opportunity to showcase 50 of their items for sale. Shoppers watch the event and use the comment section to shop. Volunteers track the comment section to record purchases and the merchant reaches out to the shopper the next day to arrange pick up or shipping.
Mon. Nov. 30, Oasis Tea and Coffee House
Wed. Dec. 2, Silver City Museum Store
Fri, Dec 14, Grant County Art Guild
Wed. Dec. 16, Light Art Space
All of the Cash Mobs are from 5 pm to 7 pm
Support local, love local through Silver City Cash Mobs!
Please continue to visit our website, grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org, links to the information included in this update plus more local, state and federal information and resources to help keep you, your family and our community safe in these times.
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