Coronavirus Update – September 9, 2020

Coronavirus updates for Grant County for Wednesday, September 2, 2020.  Our guest today on Coronavirus Update is Hannah Wecks, Snell Middle School Librarian and Technology Liaison for the Cobre School District. She will be talking to us about the challenges of online schooling in rural New Mexico and offer some helpful resources.     

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 info@grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org

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

NM Crisis & Access Line, 24/7, 1-855-662-7474; nmcrisisline.com

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…


As of Today – Wednesday, September 9th, 26,181 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Mexico, with 787 deaths,  68 currently hospitalized individuals, and 13,701 recoveries according to the New Mexico Department of Health.  

New Mexico health officials reported 44 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no related deaths on Tuesday,the lowest daily number since early April.  Grant County has 6 new cases of coronavirus in the past week for a total of 89.

The state also updated its gating criteria over the last two days, and is meeting nearly all its goals, but has fallen behind the total number of tests per day.

The spread rate, or the number of people someone infected with COVID-19 will spread the disease to, dropped to 0.87 as of September 7, the lowest rate since late July and early August. The southwest region of the state that includes Grant County has a spread rate of 1.09 that is higher than the state’s goal of 1.05.

The total number of daily cases, which is determined on a seven-day rolling average, fell to 111 as of September 1, the lowest number since June 11. The positivity rate, which is the percentage of positive tests to total tests on a seven-day rolling average, is at 2.4 percent as of September 6, well below the goal of 5 percent or below. 

But the number of tests conducted per day dropped to 4,910 as of September 6, the first time since June 26 New Mexico was beneath its goal of 5000 tests per day . At its peak in late July, the state averaged over 7,900 tests per day.

In total,  799,673  COVID-19 tests have been performed in New Mexico, with 7,598 having been conducted in Grant County.

More information at cv.nmhealth.org.

LOCAL COVID-19 TESTING SCHEDULE

Grant County Public Health Office will provide free testing every Tuesday from 8:30a.m. to 11:00a.m for anyone.  Testing is free, but those who have insurance should bring their card with them.

Appointments can be scheduled by registering on the following website: cvtestreg.nmhealth.org 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 1-888-271-3596 for an appointment. Testing is free and expanded to everyone via a drive-up testing approach.

USDA EXTENDS FREE SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM FOR REST OF 2020

Under a decision that was announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Mexico school children will be able to eat for free through December. The New Mexico Public Education Department reports that schools may continue to serve free meals to all children through the end of the year or until funding runs. (KRQE story)

In a press release, Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said “This is a huge relief for many New Mexico families who might not qualify for free meals but are still facing hard times because of this pandemic,” “Now feeding their children is one less worry.”

This announcement reverses a previous decision that would have ended the free summer meal program when schools resumed in the fall. 

The NM Public Education Department states that in-person learning is not required to receive a school meal. Since schools closed in mid-March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexico schools have provided over 13 million meals to children at grab-and-go sites or were delivered by school bus drivers. This system will continue in districts that remain in remote learning.

UPDATED GRAB AND GO MEAL SCHEDULES 

Locally, Silver Schools has resumed providing lunches via grab and go at all district schools. Silver Scholars can pick up their lunches at any site.

Cobre Schools has also resumed providing lunches via grab and go from 11 – 12:30 at elementary schools; 11 – 12:30 at Snell middle school; and from 12:00 – 12:30 at Cobre High School.

Aldo Leopold Charter School students can pick up their grab and go meals at the school from 11:45 to 12:15 Monday through Thursday.

LIVE ONLINE TUTORING FROM THE NEW MEXICO STATE LIBRARY

Brainfuse, an online tutoring and career coaching service, is now available to all New Mexico Residents, sponsored by the New Mexico State library. Brainfuse includes two services, HelpNow and JobNow.

HelpNow is a unique tutoring and study suite designed for people of all ages. It consists of expert tutoring including one-to-one online homework help, skills building, writing assistance, an adult learning center, foreign language center, and 24/7 question center. Further, its study tools include access to a testing center, group study collaboration tools, and flashcard creation.

JobNow is Brainfuse’s premium job coaching service. Its distinctive suite of resources for job seekers includes on-demand access to trained career experts who provide live, one-to-one interview coaching and resume assistance. Job coaches provide live, online assistance in strategically targeting jobs best suited to a patron’s interests and qualifications.

Brainfuse is part of the El Portal collection of resources presented by the New Mexico State Library. Go to https://www.elportalnm.org/

AFFORDABLE HIGH SPEED INTERNET FOR STUDENTS

Comcast Cable is offering any new Internet Essentials customer two months of complimentary internet service, effective immediately. After the second month, customers can cancel their service or remain in the program at $9.95 a month.

The Internet Essentials program is available to all qualified low-income households in Comcast’s service area. In addition to the monthly service, it offers a subsidized computer for under $150 and access to digital skills training materials online, in print and in-person.

To sign up, go to www.internetessentials.com. Call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

NEW MEXICO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND PNM PROVIDE FUNDS TO HELP LOW-INCOME FAMILIES WITH ELECTRIC BILLS

The record heat we’ve seen this summer along with more people working and going to school from home has translated into a surge in electricity use. PNM says usage for residential service has exceeded their estimates because many businesses were shut down during the pandemic and they were using less. Although there hasn’t been too much pressure on the grid, the extra usage has translated into much higher bills for residents.

With many people out of work, they’re trying to figure out how to pay their bills. PNM says 4,500 families are on payment plans compared to 600 before the pandemic. The Good Neighbor Fund has also been utilized heavily with 1,600 families getting help paying their bills. That amounts to $215,000 in payments. That fund is built through donations from employees and PNM customers.

New Mexico Health and Human Services and PNM Good Neighbor Fund program are working together to help low income families with as much as $550 to pay their electric bill. Follow the two step process to maximize the amount of utility bill assistance. 

The first step is to contact the health and human services department for the LIHEAP energy assistance program at www.yes.state.nm.us. LIHEAP can help you with more than $400 toward your utilities and is processed in approximately three days. 

The second step is to contact the PNM GOOD NEIGHBOR FUND at 844-378-5792 to get another $150 toward your electric bill. 

Assistance through these programs is only available while it lasts.  Go to www.pnm.com for more information.

NEW MEXICO ABSENTEE BALLOTS CAN NOW BE REQUESTED ONLINE 

Request your absentee ballot from www.nmvote.org and ensure that you can take part in this fall’s election safely by voting from home. You will need your driver’s license or state identification number; social security number; and birth date to make the request. You can also request an absentee ballot through the Grant County Clerk’s Office. The deadline to request an Absentee Ballot is October 20. 

Still need to register to vote, or update your registration? You can do it all at www.nmvote.org.

Voter registration and absentee ballot applications are also available at Silver City Farmers’ Market on Saturdays 9am-noon at the corner of Pope and College through September.

October 6 is the last day to register to vote via paper/voter registrars. 

From October 6–31 you can  still register to Vote at the Grant County Clerk’s Office and Bayard Community Center. 

Election Day is Nov 3, 7 am–7 pm 

In Grant County, Early Voting will take place at the 

  • Grant County Clerk’s Office 1400 Highway 180 East in Silver City Monday through Friday, 8 am–5 pm from October 6–30, 2020 and Sat. October 31st from 8am–5 pm
  • Bayard Community Center 290 Hurley Avenue in Bayard on  Sat. October 17th. 9 am–6 pm Tues-Sat., and October 20–31 from 9 am–6 pm

More information at the Grant County Clerk’s office at grantcountynm.gov

BE AN ELECTION PROTECTION VOLUNTEER

Common Cause NM is looking for volunteers to help this election season as voters face new challenges to accessing the ballot box. You can make a difference and help answer questions about voting by mail, early voting and in-person voting during this pivotal election. Throughout the election cycle, volunteers provide voter information, document problems encountered when voting, and work with partners on the ground to identify and remove barriers to voting. Election protection focuses on the voter – not on the political horse race – and provides guidance, information and help to any American, regardless of their voting choices. Volunteer! Find out more at https://www.commoncause.org/new-mexico/

2020 CENSUS REMINDER

If you haven’t responded to the 2020 Census yet, now is the time. 

The deadline for the census is now September 30.

The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.

The easiest way to get counted is to go online to 2020census.gov and fill out the on-line questionnaire. It takes about 10 minutes.

You can also fill out your paper questionnaire that you should have received in the mail.

If you do not have access to the internet or have not received a paper questionnaire, you can call the 2020 Census Assistance line at 1-844-330-2020.

If you live in Grant County and need personal assistance filling out your census form, you can get help at:

  • Village of Santa Clara City Hall, 105 Bayard Street, Village of Santa Clara, NM Monday through Friday 8:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. & 1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Any other time call for an appointment at (575) 537-2443
  • Grant County Administration Building/Planning and Mapping Department from 8:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M. located at 1400 Highway 180 East, Silver City. 575-574-0000

  Additionally, Belinda Jones of the El Refugio  is offering to help walk anyone through the form. You can reach her at 575-538-2125 extension 17.

There are fewer than  30 days left to complete the census, so please get counted today! That’s 2020census.gov

 

NEW MEXICO LEGAL AID TEMPORARY COMMUNITY JUSTICE WORKER POSITIONS AVAILABLE

New Mexico Legal Aid seeks four full-time temporary community justice workers to conduct outreach and education about the legal rights of low-income residents of New Mexico as those rights are affected by the COVID pandemic. The initial concentration of the outreach will be on housing law but may extend to other areas.

The Community Justice Workers will organize and strategize to reach the most vulnerable populations, and then conduct outreach and training on the rights of low-income households in the community. These outreach and training sessions will be conducted mostly online. Community Justice Workers will also assist with direct services to clients, including helping with gathering documents, helping clients to connect with needed resources and assisting attorneys in communicating with clients who have COVID-related legal issues. Apply by September 12th

 New Mexico Legal Aid provides free services to eligible low-income New Mexico residents with civil (non-criminal) matters. Their services range from education, advice and brief services, to full representation in some cases. No one is denied access on the basis of race, age, gender, religion, political affiliation, beliefs, or disability. Find out more at newmexicolegalaid.org

ALL MOTOR VEHICLE DEPARTMENT FIELD OFFICES OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

To schedule an appointment or find out about online services go to http://mvd.newmexico.gov/

FOOD PANTRY SCHEDULES

The Commons will have a  FREE PRODUCE GIVEAWAY on Wednesday, September 9th as well as Thursday, September 10th at 9am until all produce is given away. No documentation is required. No requirements, just show up! COVID safety guidelines will be followed. 1 box will be distributed  per vehicle. 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. 

Mining District Food Pantry @ Bataan Park in Santa Clara. For zip codes 88023, 88026, 88041, 88043. Happens the third Tuesday of every month. The next distribution will be Tuesday September 15th. Please bring a Food Pantry card OR picture ID and separate proof of physical address.

And the Gila Valley Mobile Food Pantry – forBuckhorn, Cliff, Gila & Redrock resident will also take place on the Third Tuesday of the month, September 15th  2:00 – 4:00 p.m at the Fairgrounds in Cliff. For more information about these pantries please contact The Commons at 575-388-2988.

Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile Food Pantry will be September 16th, the 3rd Wednesday of the month Noon to 2pm at the Roundup Lodge, 94 Acklin Hill Rd. Call  575-574-7674 for more information.

Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry will be held on third Wednesdays, the next Senior Mobile Food Pantry will be Wednesday September 16th  from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3755 N. Swan Street in Silver City, for any senior in Grant County (55 and older).

New Mexicans with disabilities and seniors may access food through the NM Aging and Long-Term Services Department. While service delivery options have changed during the pandemic, support can be accessed online at  http://www.nmaging.state.nm.us or by calling the Aging and Disability Resource Center 1-800-432-2080 Toll Free or 1-505-476-4937 TTY.

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. There is a also a Daily soup kitchen: Breakfast takes place from 8:30-9:30 Mon-Fri and Lunch occurs every day from 12-1 pm. 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.

DOUBLE YOUR SNAP BENEFITS AT SILVER CITY FARMERS MARKETS

Silver City Farmers’ Market accepts EBT cards and offers Double Up Food Bucks to double your SNAP benefits. Fresh local produce, including micro-greens, tomatoes, root vegetables,find seasonal produce every week, as well as grass-fed meats, baked goods, tortillas,  tamales, pecans, honey and fruit trees and more can all be purchased with EBT cards. 

  • 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/.

NEW MEXICO CRISIS AND ACCESS LINE

COVID-19 creates stressful times, but we are resilient and will get through it together. It’s normal to feel sad, overwhelmed, anxious and worried about the COVID virus. Everyone reacts differently, and feelings may come and go. Take care of your mental, behavioral, and emotional health. If you or someone you know is experiencing overwhelming depression, anxiety, or grief, reach out to talk to someone free and confidentially anytime, anywhere at 1-855-NM CRISIS that’s (1-855-662-7474).

 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

FREE LIVE ONLINE CLASSES AT THE LOTUS CENTER

The Silver City Lotus Center is offering a day of free live online classes on Saturday, September 12. Please join Lotus Center for Yoga, Qigong, and/or Meditation Classes as they celebrate the roll-out of the Fall Online Schedule! There’s no cost and no registration required. Everyone is welcome! A complete schedule of the day’s classes is available at https://lotuscentersc.org/events/

 

Please visit our website at GMCR.org for all of today’s updates, as well as replays of today’s and past shows.

And be sure to visit our new website, grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org, a clearinghouse of local, state and federal information and resources to help keep you, your family and our community safe in these times.

While you’re there, you can also join our mailing list to receive these daily updates via email.

And don’t forget that you can send us your updates via our new email address at info@grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org or on facebook @ Gila Mimbres Community Radio.

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