Coronavirus updates for Grant County for Wednesday, October 21, 2020. Today on Coronavirus Update, co-producer Andrea Warner talks to Mike Madigan, Assistant Manager at the Silver City Food Co-op. Mike and Andrea will discuss how SNAP customers who use their EBT at the Co-op can now take advantage of Double Up Food Bucks to receive half off on local produce.
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 this episode at your convenience via this link…
State health officials reported 599 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. This is the sixth time in the last week that the state has reported 500 or more cases which has never occurred in the previous seven months of the pandemic.
The Department of Health reported seven additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19. As of Tuesday, there are 205 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19, an increase of 22 since Monday and the highest number of hospitalizations since May.
The Department of Health has now reported 37,896 confirmed cases and 942 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. New cases rose 4,183 this week, up from 2,766 new cases from last week’s totals. As of Tuesday, the Department of Health designated 20,165 COVID-19 cases as recovered, an increase of 164 since Monday.
In Grant County, there have been 169 cases reported with 22 new cases since last week.. There have been 6 reported recoveries since last week bringing that number to 64 recovered and 105 active cases.
Restaurants and other businesses in New Mexico will face more stringent requirements — including the possibility of targeted closures — under new public health regulations announced Tuesday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The changes come as COVID-19 cases reach record-breaking levels, and health care leaders express increasing concern about the possibility of overwhelming New Mexico’s health care system.
In a remote news conference, Lujan Grisham described the new regulations as a targeted strategy to address locations with repeated outbreaks. The new order takes effect Friday.
Restaurants, breweries, retail stores, gyms and salons will be required to close for two weeks if they have four separate instances of infected employees — each triggering state action under the “rapid response” program — within a 14-day period.
Other changes include:
- Imposing a 10 p.m. closing time on grocery, big box and retail stores. Food and drink establishments that serve alcohol already must close at 10.
- Shutting down state-operated museums and historic sites.
- Requiring restaurants and breweries to agree to spot testing of employees, keep a three-week log of who dines on-site and participate in training to continue operating at 25% of capacity indoors. Recording who dines at a restaurant is intended to help contact tracing efforts if someone tests positive.
Lujan Grisham said, “We’re not shutting down. We’re trying to learn to live with the virus during what’s coming, which is even tougher winter months.”
The governor last week reimposed some business and travel restrictions, including a ban on gatherings of more than five people at a time. Masks continue to be required in public settings. Self-quarantine is mandatory for individuals arriving into New Mexico from out of state. Individuals arriving from “higher-risk states,” or those with a test positivity rate exceeding 5 percent and a test positivity rate higher than 80 per 100,000 residents, are no longer exempt from the period of mandatory self-quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival into New Mexico.
Sara Del Valle, a mathematical epidemiologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said Tuesday that statistical modeling suggests New Mexico may face a shortage of intensive care beds and ventilators within a week if cases climb rapidly.
Without a vaccine available, she said, people’s behavior — wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing — is the key to slowing the spread of the disease.
In a statement to the Albuquerque Journal, Del Valle said the laboratory’s modeling shows that “if case counts continue to rise as shown in the forecasts, New Mexico may run short of ICU beds and ventilators within a few weeks or even one week, depending on how rapidly case counts increase.”
Human Services Secretary David Scrase, a physician, encouraged people to continue getting their regular care.
“For the time being, we have room in the hospitals,” Scrase said, “but we’re very, very concerned about the next two weeks.”
About 81% of the state’s general hospital beds for adults are occupied and about 71% of its intensive care beds are occupied, he said. Most of the patients are hospitalized for something other than a COVID-19 infection, Scrase said, but it’s important to maintain capacity as coronavirus cases climb rapidly.
Lujan Grisham said New Mexico must stay extra vigilant because it has fewer hospital beds for its population than the national average.
New Mexico has seen a dramatic change in its coronavirus cases since Labor Day. The number of new cases reported each day, the share of tests that come back positive and the disease spread rate have climbed beyond the state’s goals for reopening more of the economy.
The state has also slipped out of compliance with its goals for contact tracing — or how quickly people who test positive are able to quarantine themselves and how long it takes to get in touch with someone who had contact with them.
Scrase said New Mexico’s growth in cases is “chilling” — a reflection of one of the highest spread rates in the country.
Environment Secretary James Kenney said his agency will start publishing a watch list of businesses that have had repeated employee outbreaks but not yet been required to shut down.
The goal, Kenney said, is to ensure customers can see “where COVID is in the workplace in your community.”
Two rapid-responses will put a business on the watch list, he said. Four will require a two-week closure. If the new rules had been in place already, he said, the state would have had 42 business closures.
The Department of Health on Tuesday also announced that a technical glitch had caused the state to send out thousands of erroneous notifications to people who had previously tested negative for the virus.
“The texts were basically repeats of those prior notifications, ‘you have tested negative’ even though the recipients had not recently tested, ” state spokeswoman Marisa Maez said.
The problem, she said, came about when a software provider updated a portal on New Mexico’s coronavirus website Monday night.
The Department of Health was sending out new notifications informing people of the error and apologizing.
To get the latest COVID-19 information, visit cv.nmhealth.org
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH REMINDS NEW MEXICANS ABOUT WHO SHOULD GET TESTED FOR COVID-19
With rising COVID-19 cases around the state, the Department of Health has reminded New Mexicans about who should get tested for the coronavirus.
- 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-19 TESTING SCHEDULE
The Grant County Public Health Office provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. and every Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm.
Appointments can be scheduled by registering on the following website:
Once registered, you will receive a code. Please save this code and use it when making your appointment by calling: 575-538-5318 (ext. 4).
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.
GET YOUR ANNUAL FLU SHOT
The NM Department of Health urges all New Mexicans to get their annual flu shot – particularly if you are a member of one or more of the following groups:
- People age 65 and older
- Young children, especially those under 2 years old
- American Indian and Alaska natives
- People with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease
- Pregnant women and up to 2 weeks postpartum
- Morbidly obese persons
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, hospitals, and public health offices, as well in some worksites and schools.
The New Mexico Department of Health encourages those with health insurance to contact their healthcare provider or pharmacist about getting a flu vaccine. The Health Department offers vaccinations for people without insurance or who are otherwise not able to get vaccinated. Those with Medicaid or other insurance who go to Public Health Offices are asked to bring their insurance card.
Additional information on the flu from the New Mexico Department of Health can be found at www.TogetherNM.org/flu.
WORK SEARCH REQUIREMENTS WAIVED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMANTS
With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions announced Monday that work search requirements will continue to be waived until further notice for all Unemployment Insurance claimants.
The announcement reverses prior guidance from the state requiring that New Mexicans receiving unemployment benefits must report at least two work searches per week during their weekly certification process beginning on Oct. 25.
“With the recent record spike in cases resulting in high hospitalizations, the decision has been made to give New Mexicans more time before work searches are required,” said Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley in a prepared statement.
The agency is encouraging New Mexicans to access online services for filing unemployment claims, accessing job training opportunities, and career services online at www.jobs.state.nm.us.
People may also contact their local New Mexico Workforce Connection to work one-on-one with a career specialist on employment and career goals. Specialists are providing services by phone, email, and virtual meetings, according to the release.
Contact information for each of the 22 offices around the state is available at www.dws.state.nm.us.
ASK-A-LAWYER PROGRAM SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24
New Mexico residents can get their legal questions answered free or receive a referral from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 24, through the Ask-a-Lawyer Call-in Program, sponsored by the New Mexico Young Lawyers Division.
Attorneys staff the phones and answer questions from across the state on a variety of topics, including employment law, divorce, child support, landlord/ tenant issues, personal injury, estate planning, real estate and more, according to a news release. Residents across the state are welcome to participate in the Ask-a-Lawyer Call-in Program. Callers should have documents relating to their questions ready prior to calling in.
To participate, dial 1-800-876-6227 or visit nmbar.org/AskALawyer.
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.
Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry
Held Today Wednesday, 21st of October from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3755 N. Swan Street, for any senior in Grant County (55 and older).
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. Call 1-800-432-2080
Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile Food Pantry
Today, October 21st from Noon to 2pm at the Roundup Lodge, 94 Acklin Hill Rd.
Call 575-574-7674 for more information.
The Commons regular food pantry distribution will be next Wednesday October 28th from 4-6pm and again on the first Saturday in November, the 7th, from 10am to 12pm. The Commons is located at 501 East 13th Street, next door to Knights of Columbus. For more information please contact The Commons at 575-388-2988.
DOUBLE YOUR SNAP BENEFITS AT SILVER CITY FARMERS MARKETS AND SILVER CITY FOOD CO-OP
Silver City Farmers’ Market accepts EBT and Pandemic-EBT cards and offers Double Up Food Bucks to double your SNAP benefits. Use your EBT card and get half off all purchases.
- Saturdays 9 am — 12 pm at the corner of Pope St. and College Avenue in the old Life Quest parking lot
- Wednesdays 9 am — 12 pm at Ace Hardware Parking Lot
Visit the website at https://www.silvercityfarmersmarket.info/.
Double Up Food Bucks are now also available at the Silver City Food Coop for half off all New Mexico-grown produce purchases.
NEW MEXICO CRISIS AND ACCESS LINE
If life disruptions caused by coronavirus are having an emotional toll on you or someone you love, you are not alone– many more people are dealing with feelings of sadness and anxiety right now. The NM Crisis and Access Line is available any time, free and confidential. 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474)
The Talk Helpline, 1-855-NMCRISIS, provides immediate assistance, referrals, and someone to talk to in times of overwhelming feelings. Professional counselor staff are trained to help people manage stress reactions, anxiety, dealing with loss and promoting positive coping activities, including those that help strengthen resilience.
More information at nmcrisisline.com
FAMILY-FRIENDLY, SAFE HALLOWEEN EVENTS
It’s officially fall. When everything is pumpkin flavored and kids, and some adults, can’t wait to dress up for Halloween. This year is different but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the pumpkin carving, decorating or candy.
Visit TogetherNM.org to find recipes, arts and crafts ideas and other suggestions on how to celebrate Halloween safely.
There will be virtual costume contests and winners will be announced on October 31st. To join in the fun go to https://www.togethernm.org/halloween/
NMHED PROVIDES TECHNOLOGY AND TEST VOUCHERS TO ADULT LEARNERS
The New Mexico Higher Education Department has distributed 300 new Chromebook computers to adult education programs across the state to enable students to engage in online learning and work toward the attainment of a high school equivalency credential in the midst of the COVID pandemic. The computers, which were issued during National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, are available for use by students in any of the 24 state-sponsored adult education programs operating across the state, Most adult education programs have shifted to distance learning in light of the COVID pandemic.
In addition, the New Mexico Higher Education Department will provide vouchers, waiving the cost of testing for New Mexico residents wishing to take the HISET or GED exams, the two approved high school equivalency tests in New Mexico. Normally, the tests can cost between $50 and $80 for all required subjects. Students can submit a voucher application at hed.state.nm.us
Services to New Mexicans in need of a high school equivalency credential and eligible students age 16 and older can receive instruction in core subject areas, and many programs also provide English as a Second Language courses.
Adult education programs also help parents and caregivers support their children’s learning needs more effectively, which could be crucial for families struggling to support children’s schooling at home in the COVID environment. For more information about New Mexico adult education programs and services, go to hed.state.nm.us or call 5054768437
VOTING IN GRANT COUNTY
The election is less than two weeks away. Make a plan for how you plan to exercise your right to vote.
If you’re not registered, it’s not too late. This year the Grant County Clerk’s office and the Bayard Community Center are offering voter registration until October 31st.
Early Voting is happening now. Those wishing to early vote may do so in Silver City at
Grant County Clerk’s Office
1400 Highway 180 East
October 6–30, M–F, 8 am–5 pm
Sat. October 31, 8 am–5 pm
Bayard Community Center
290 Hurley Avenue
Sat. October 17, 9 am–6 pm
Tues-Sat, October 20–31, 9 am–6 pm
For all Grant County Voter information please visit the Grant County Clerk’s office webpage at grantcountynm.gov
NEW MEXICO SMALL BUSINESS CONTINUITY GRANT
Small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for a State of New Mexico Small Business Continuity Grant. These grants cover expenses associated with rent, non-owner payroll, mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, and marketing.
Also, covered are costs associated with COVID-19 reconfiguring. For information regarding these grants and other help for your small business please call the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce at 575-538-3785.
There are limited grants available, so complete your application for consideration today.
The grant application with requirements and full details is available on the Silver City Grant county Chamber of Commerce website at silvercity.org
ARE YOU IN NEED OF CHILD CARE? YOUR LOCAL PROVIDERS ARE HERE TO HELP
Since the beginning of the public health emergency, New Mexico’s child care providers have been open for business. The state of New Mexico—in partnership with child care providers—have developed some of the clearest, most detailed health and safety regulations in the country. As a result, child care providers have kept COVID cases low through hand washing, temperature-taking, cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, mask-wearing, and rapid response and testing if a positive case occurs.
Last year, the state raised financial eligibility thresholds for child care assistance
Here’s what you’ll need to apply for financial assistance for child care:
• Proof of income
• School schedules for applicant children • Birth certificates for applicant children • Proof of residence
• Contact info for selected child care provider
Visit nmececd.org and click on “Am I Eligible?” or call 800-691-9067. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns about child care.
THE COMMONS SOUP N’ BEAN-E-FIT
A fundraiser for The Commons: Center for Food Security and Sustainability will be held on Saturday Oct 24 at the Silver City Farmers Market. You can purchase hand-thrown pottery, soup bowls, and locally-sourced organic dry bean soup mix. All proceeds go to Grant County Food Pantries. To donate or for more information call 575-388-2988
Thank you for joining us on Coronavirus Update here on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio, KURU 89.1 FM, streaming online at GMCR.org.
Please visit our website at GMCR.org for all of today’s updates, links to resources, as well as replays of today’s and past shows.
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