Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update: 11/20/21

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Grant County Coronavirus Update

November 20th, 2021

Grant County 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.

The show airs on Saturdays at 11 am on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio KURU 89.1 FM Silver City and streaming at

Send us your updates to


NM Dept of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Registration hotline 1-855-600-3453 or visit

NM Dept of Health COVID-19 Hotline 1-855-600-3453 or visit

Coronavirus Information Hotline at 1-833-551-0518 or visit

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

Donations to Community COVID-19 Response – Grant County Community Foundation

Grant County Coronavirus Update website –

Grant County Vaccine Information – 575-597-7029 or visit

State News

The New Mexico Department of Health on Friday announced 1,844 new cases of coronavirus. Since last week there have been 9,859 additional cases announced for a total of 301,937 with 94 additional deaths over the past week for a total of 5,263 deaths in New Mexico. 

548 individuals remain hospitalized in New Mexico, which is an increase of 40 from last week.


As of Friday, 84.7% of New Mexicans 18+ have received their first dose of the two-shot vaccine for COVID-19, while 73.9% have been fully vaccinated, according to the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard. 


Grant County News

As of Friday, Grant County is 6th in the nation for COVID cases per 100,000 population


In Grant County, the Department of Health on Friday reported 198 new COVID cases since last week, for a total of 3,486 cases. 

No deaths have been reported in Grant County in the last week. 54 people in Grant County have lost their lives due to COVID.


As of Monday, the Department of Health also reports that 77.8% of Grant County residents are partially vaccinated and 70.7% are fully vaccinated.



HMS COVID Vaccine Clinic for Kids Ages 5 – 11

Hidalgo Medical Services Silver City and Lordsburg COVID Clinics will hold a COVID Vaccine Clinic for kids ages 5 – 11 on Saturday, November 20 from 9 am – 1pm. Register for an appointment at 

Grant County – Let’s Do This Together

Watch this message from Silver City and Grant County officials and medical professionals about protecting yourself and our community from COVID-19 given the significant increase in cases.

State Extends Booster Eligibility to All New Mexico Adults New Mexico

Last week Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order expanding eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to all New Mexico adults as part of the state’s strategy to address rising case numbers and hospitalizations, a trend being seen nationwide.

New Mexicans aged 18 and over may now schedule a booster shot if:

  • They received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago OR
  • They completed the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series more than six months ago

“Providing boosters for adults will significantly increase levels of immunity protection across our state – and that’s essential for all of us. COVID-19 is incredibly opportunistic – and it’s our job to ensure that the virus has fewer and fewer opportunities to spread,” said Secretary Scrase. “If it’s time for you to get a booster, please do so right away.”

While the vaccines remain highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, new data suggests that immunity protection can wane over time – leading to more vaccine breakthrough cases. As immunity protection wanes, the immunized become more susceptible to infection – though their infections are typically much milder than those among unvaccinated individuals.

Health officials also strongly recommend that children 5-17 receive vaccinations.

New Mexicans can sign up for initial vaccinations and booster shots at Instructions for scheduling children’s vaccinations are also available here.


State extends indoor mask requirement to at least December 10th

The statewide requirement that face masks be worn in all indoor public spaces, with only limited exceptions and regardless of vaccination status was extended to December 10th.

Staffed hospital beds remain in dangerously short supply, as primarily unvaccinated individuals continue to spread a more infectious variant of the virus, and several New Mexico hospitals have implemented crisis standards of care.

Health officials, including at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continue to recommend tight-fitting face masks be worn in indoor spaces as they are effective in limiting the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant.

The extended mask requirement is now effective through at least December 10. The governor, acting upon the counsel and analysis of the state Medical Advisory Team and state health officials, may decide to extend or lift the mask requirement as necessary.

The separate public health order requiring health care workers to be vaccinated and vaccinate-or-test requirements for school workers remains in place.


Message from Alicia Edwards, GRMC Board Chair

Preventable Covid-19 hospitalizations are crippling hospitals nationwide and Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is no exception. Hospitals everywhere, including GRMC, are closing ICU’s and other critical services in order to manage the overwhelming number of unvaccinated Covid patients. Right now, New Mexico is operating under crisis standards of care—essentially healthcare rationing–because our state is over 6,000 nurses short. Life is not “back to normal,” and acting like it is is killing people. Take reasonable precautions, wear a mask, get vaccinated.

Source: Alicia Edwards Guest Column in the Silver City Daily Press: Hospital,  Community count on you 

New Mexico Announces Children Ages 5-11 Are Now Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Get your child vaccinated today and protect them from COVID-19

The New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department announced last week that children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This follows federal approvals by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

A dose of Pfizer for children 5-11 contains one-third the amount of active ingredient compared to the adult dose. Children would receive a second dose 21 days or more after their first shot. Available data shows that all COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, including against the current Delta variant.

New Mexicans are encouraged to schedule their primary and booster shots with their primary care physicians. They can also do so through the statewide vaccine COVID-19 vaccine registration system Parents can visit to add dependents to their existing vaccine scheduling profile.

New Mexicans without access to the internet can call 1-855-600-3453 for scheduling assistance


Test to Stay Program for NM Schools

A $64 million grant from the American Rescue Plan through the CDC will provide funding for improved COVID-19 testing and resources at schools. The goal is to limit the length of time a student or staff needs to quarantine after being identified as a close contact. Check with your school for more information.

Check out the updated Covid-response toolkit: 


CDC launches COVID-19 resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

The COVID-1 pandemic has created unique challenges for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). To address them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a COVID-19 toolkit with communication resources explaining in plain language how people with IDD and caregivers can protect themselves from the virus.

To develop the toolkit, CDC hosted multiple discussions with adults with IDD and their caregivers, who were most often family members, and asked them to share their individual experiences and what they found helpful in talking about COVID-19 with their loved ones.

Tools to start the conversation

The toolkit contains social stories, videos, posters, and interactive activities that focus on five topics:

  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Wearing a mask
  • Social distancing
  • Hand washing
  • Getting a COVID-19 test

There is also a tip sheetpdf icon for caregivers that offers suggestions for things they can do to ease their loved one’s worries about the virus.

“Parents and caregivers work hard to help the person they support stay healthy and safe. These materials can help parents or other caregivers of people with IDD navigate important conversations about COVID-19,” said Remley.

Resources for individuals with deafness or hearing loss

In addition to the toolkit, CDC developed videos and web resources in American Sign Language (ASL). To date, more than 40 ASL videos and 25 easy-to-read documents have been produced and viewed by more than 1 million people.

Visit CDC’s full suite of COVID-19 materials for people with IDD and their caregivers at COVID-19 Materials for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Care Providers | CDC


Reports of Severe Illness Associated with Use of Products Containing Ivermectin to Prevent or Treat COVID-19

The New Mexico Department of Health, (NMDOH) in collaboration with the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center, is monitoring cases of ivermectin toxicity among persons attempting to treat COVID-19.

NMDOH is asking all health care providers to report ivermectin toxicity cases effective today. In addition, all deaths related to ivermectin fall under the statutory requirement to report to the Office of the Medical Investigator.

Ivermectin is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription medication used to treat certain infections caused by internal and external parasites. Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. When used as prescribed for approved indications, it is generally safe and well tolerated.

Clinical effects of ivermectin overdose include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Overdoses are associated with hypotension and neurologic effects such as decreased consciousness, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, coma, and death. Ivermectin may potentiate the effects of other drugs that cause central nervous system depression such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates.

If you or someone you know is showing signs of an ivermectin overdose, call 911.


New CDC Data: COVID-19 Vaccination Safe for Pregnant People

CDC has released new data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people and is recommending all people 12 years of age and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”

A new CDC analysisexternal icon of current data from the v-safe pregnancy registry assessed vaccination early in pregnancy and did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage typically occurs in about 11-16% of pregnancies, and this study found miscarriage rates after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were around 13%, similar to the expected rate of miscarriage in the general population.

Previously, data from three safety monitoring systems did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated late in pregnancy or for their babies. Combined, these data and the known severe risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy demonstrate that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant people outweigh any known or potential risks.

Clinicians have seen the number of pregnant people infected with COVID-19 rise in the past several weeks.  The increased circulation of the highly contagious Delta variant, the low vaccine uptake among pregnant people, and the increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19 infection among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever.


PNM urges past-due customers to immediately contact utility 

PNM is resuming disconnections as soon as August 16, for residential customers who are past due on their electric bill after the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has ended the temporary emergency COVID moratorium.

Despite nonpayment, nearly 44,000 customers have been provided power for the last year and a half since the start of the pandemic, according to a news release. These customers are still responsible for paying for the electricity they used. PNM wants to help avoid shut-off situations, but customers must immediately take action by contacting PNM online at PNM. com/help or by calling 888-DIAL-PNM (888342-5766) from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

There are only three ways to avoid disconnection: 

  • • Contact PNM to obtain financial assistance to help pay down or possibly pay off your past due balance.
  • Contact PNM to get on a payment plan to pay over multiple months, so you do not have to worry about bringing your account current with just one payment.
  • Immediately pay your past-due balance in full.

Disconnecting power is not something PNM wants to do, according to the release. In fact, PNM wants to help customers avoid it. Several thousand customers have recently set up a payment plan with PNM to catch up on their bill, helping them avoid disconnection, but it is critical that millions of dollars of financial assistance is not left on the table for the remaining New Mexicans who need help paying their utility bill.

For financial assistance with your past-due PNM bill, apply online at or call PNM. PNM will review your qualifications with the following assistance programs to help pay down, or possibly pay off, your past-due PNM bill. In some cases, programs can be combined to maximize the amount of assistance you receive.


State reminds public: Faking vax cards is a crime

Fraudulent use endangers public health, safety

The state of New Mexico is reminding the public that it is a crime to falsify or fraudulently use a CDC vaccination card because it puts the health and safety of others at great risk, including children who are too young to be vaccinated.

As the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus surges nationally, a cottage industry has developed to provide fake vaccination cards, which some unscrupulous individuals who refuse to be vaccinated are using to avoid face mask requirements or other COVID safety protocols.

“This national trend of providing imitation vaccination cards is dangerous, and it’s carelessly placing countless New Mexicans at risk,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “Don’t do it. If you do, New Mexico law enforcement and criminal justice agencies are poised to address that behavior with the full weight of the law. Get vaccinated instead and help protect our state — schedule an appointment today at

Anyone who suspects fraudulent use of a vaccination card should report it immediately by calling the Department of Health at 1-833-551-0518 or by submitting your concern through this online portal.


State agencies partner with Vitalant to combat blood shortage

Blood donations in New Mexico have plummeted due to COVID-19, with Vitalant cancelling more than 1,600 blood drives during the pandemic 

Santa Fe, NM – Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused blood donations to decline by anywhere from 30% to 70% in most developed nations, U.S. hospitals have also seen a significant rise in trauma cases, organ transplants, and other surgeries that require blood products. As a result, the United States is experiencing a severe blood shortage that is limiting access to critical care in hospitals nationwide. 

Here in New Mexico, the pandemic has forced Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, to cancel more than 1,600 blood donation events. And while New Mexico’s high school students typically account for 30% of Vitalant’s blood donations, in-school donations have essentially dropped to zero with most students learning remotely. 

It takes over 300 blood donations a day to meet the needs of area patients and to be ready for emergencies,” said Pascen Booth, Senior Manager for Vitalant. “We all expect blood to be there for us if we ever need it, and with this decline in donations we are currently in critical need.” 

To combat this shortage, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) and the Department of Health (DOH) have partnered with Vitalant to raise awareness of the critical need for blood donors, highlight donation events across the state, and recruit ambassadors among the state’s health and emergency management professionals to amplify this message in their communities. 

How to Donate 

To learn more and schedule an appointment to donate, please visit or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825) or the local number at 505-246-1457. Residents can also click here to access Vitalant’s donations portal, where you can search for donation events based on your zip code.


New Mexico’s Eviction Moratorium Remains in Place 

Apply Now for Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Available 

New Mexico’s Eviction Moratorium remains in place. The State Supreme Court will decide when to lift the moratorium and it has not set an expiration date yet. 

If you are in need of assistance, the state of New Mexico will grant approximately $170M of federal aid to New Mexicans for rental and utility assistance to households experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak. New Mexicans can apply for assistance at

Renters across the state are eligible for the program — except for residents of Bernalillo County, Dona Ana County, and those who live in a pueblo or tribal area. Those two counties, as well as tribal governments, will administer their own Rental Assistance Programs. Those seeking assistance should review the current FAQ at to learn more about eligibility and documentation needed for their application.

The state of New Mexico will either pay the landlord and/or the utility provider directly depending on the financial assistance request by the applicant. Landlords and utility providers are encouraged to download a W9 and submit it to DFA via as soon as possible to ensure a streamlined process for receiving payment. 

For more information visit

Vaccine and Booster Shot Information

Vaccine Sites and Times

Hidalgo Medical Services COVID-19 Community Clinics in Grant County and Hidalgo County

Hidalgo Medical Services has opened COVID-19 Community Clinics in Grant County and Hidalgo County. 

Grant County COVID-19 Community Clinic

E 32nd Street, Silver City, NM 88061 (Across the street from Gila Regional Medical Center)

Please schedule an HMS appointment for your vaccination or booster by going online to the New Mexico Department of Health at


9:00 – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm M-F

Hidalgo County COVID-19 Community Clinic

109 Poplar Street Lordsburg, NM 88045

Please schedule an HMS appointment for your vaccination or booster by going online to the New Mexico Department of Health at


9:00 – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm M-F

For more information, visit Hidalgo Medical Services website at


State Announces On-Site COVID-19 Vaccination Events for Organizations

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced that businesses, nonprofits, religious congregations, community centers, and other organizations can request on-site vaccination events through a new DOH webform at

Organizations that can bring a minimum of 25 people to a vaccination event – through a combination of employees/members, family, or members of the surrounding community – will qualify, and DOH will work with the organization on scheduling. In some cases, DOH may combine multiple requests and create a single event in a given geographical location. DOH may also redirect requesting organizations to pre-existing events. 

New Mexicans can also continue to register and self-schedule their vaccine appointments at


For those experiencing difficulties registering or getting a vaccination appointment:

The NM Department of Health encourages all NM residents to register for their COVID-19 Vaccine.

New Mexico is distributing vaccines as swiftly, efficiently, and equitably as possible.  


If you do not have access to the internet you can call 1-855-600-3453.  

And for Grant County residents, a vaccine hotline has been set up to assist you and answer any questions. Call 575-597-7029. 

How to Talk to Family and Friends about COVID-19 Vaccines

Talking with family and friends about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine can be hard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers some tips. You can help by listening without judgement and identifying the root of their concerns. Things to remember to help open the discussion include:

  • Listen to questions with empathy
  • Ask open-ended questions to explore concerns
  • Ask permission to share information
  • Help them find their own reason to get vaccinated
  • Help make their vaccination happen


Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Updated August 12, 2021

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects.

Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. For this reason, the FDA required each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be studied for at least two months (eight weeks) after the final dose.

The COVID-19 vaccine helps your body learn how to defend itself from the disease.  You may feel uncomfortable for two or three days after you receive the vaccine. After being vaccinated, you may feel some side effects such as:

On the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain 
  • Redness 
  • Swelling
Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

If you had a severe or immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Learn about getting a different type of vaccine after an allergic reaction.


  • Side effects can affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine both need 2 shots in order to get the most protection. You should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
  • You only need 1 shot of the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine to get the most protection. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.
  • Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and no long-term side effects have been detected.
  • CDC continues to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. If scientists find a connection between a safety issue and a vaccine, FDA and the vaccine manufacturer will work toward an appropriate solution to address the specific safety concern (for example, a problem with a specific lot, a manufacturing issue or the vaccine itself).

If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.


Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).

The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings.

As of the July 28th guidance, fully vaccinated people can:

  • Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic; for some of these activities, they may choose to wear a mask.
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel and from self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.

Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. As of 11/18/21, Grant County is an area of high transmission.
    • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 get tested 3-5 days after the date of your exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. The Governor’s extended mask mandate took effect on 10/15/21 and has been extended to at least December 10th, requiring masks indoors in public regardless of vaccine status.

People who are immunocompromised should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and to follow current prevention measures (including wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others they don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) regardless of their vaccination status to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.


COVID-19 Exposure Notification App available

The New Mexico Department of Health has launched a COVID-19 Exposure Notification System, called the NM Notify App. When activated on a Smartphone, the app alerts individuals when they have been exposed to someone who has verified that they are infected with COVID-19.

The app was designed in a first-of-its-kind partnership between Google and Apple. Once downloaded, the app uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with other phones that have activated the app. Then, if one of the users verifies an infection of COVID-19, all users that have been in contact with the infected person within a 14-day period will receive a notification of possible exposure. The app then directs users on next steps to prevent additional spread of COVID-19. 

The NM Notify app is completely safe and anonymous, and fully protects users’ privacy. No personal data is collected through the app. The app is in wide use in many states and around the globe. According to Google and Apple data, every two downloads of the app can prevent one infection. 

To learn more about the NM Notify Exposure Notification app, go to



COVID-19 Testing

NM DOH COVID-19 Testing Guidance

Testing Sites and Times

Updated 11/19/21

Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS)

Hidalgo Medical Services has opened COVID-19 Community Clinics in Grant County and Hidalgo County. These are walk-in clinics with no appointment necessary for COVID-19 vaccinations and COVID-19 testing. 

Grant County COVID-19 Community Clinic

Address: 1304 E 32nd Street, Silver City, NM 88061

HOURS FOR WALK-IN TESTING: 9:00 – 11:30 am and 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Hidalgo County COVID-19 Community Clinic

Address: 109 Poplar Street Lordsburg, NM 88045
HOURS FOR WALK-IN TESTING: 9:00 – 11:30 am and 1:00 – 4:00 pm

For more information, visit Hidalgo Medical Services website at

Western New Mexico University (NEW)

This testing facility is open to the public, with no registration needed. Walk-ups are welcome. Appointments can be scheduled at 

Address: Watts Hall, 500 E. 18th St., Silver City, NM 88061

HOURS FOR WALK-IN TESTING: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesday – Saturday.

CVS Pharmacy 

610 Silver Heights Blvd, Silver City

Schedule an appointment for a test at

Vault Health – At-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva test opportunities

The State of New Mexico is proud to offer fast and accurate COVID-19 saliva testing, at no cost, to any person who feels they need a test.   

  1. Order your test from Vault. The test kit will arrive at your home via expedited shipping.
  2. Log on for a virtual visit with a Vault test supervisor; they will show you how to collect your saliva sample. You must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew anything for 30 minutes before your testing session.
  3. Ship your sample to the lab in Oakdale using a prepaid UPS package.
  4. Get your result 24 to 48 hours after your sample arrives at the lab. 

To sign up for a test, and for more information, visit

CDC Update About Surface Cleaning Effectiveness 

The principal mode by which people are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus. It is possible for people to be infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (fomites), but the risk is generally considered to be low.  (

The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can also reduce the risk of infection.

Always follow standard practices and appropriate regulations specific to your type of facility for minimum standards for cleaning and disinfection. This guidance is indicated for buildings in community settings and is not intended for healthcare settings or for other facilities where specific regulations or practices for cleaning and disinfection may apply.


Study finds carcinogen above FDA limit in several hand sanitizer brands

As reported by CBS Morning, Valisure, an independent pharmacy and lab that tests drug products for quality, says it tested 260 products and found elevated levels of benzene in more than 20 of them.

Benzene is a known human carcinogen, and exposure to it is known to cause blood disorders, including leukemia.

Below is a list of the hand sanitizer brands that this study found have levels of benzene above allowable levels.

  • Artnaturals
  • SS Lavender & Herbs Scented Sanitizer
  • Huangjisoo Hand Sanitizer Gel Type Hand Cleanser
  • True Wash Instant Hand Sanitizer Natural
  • The Crème Shop Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer Peppermint-Scented Infused with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E
  • Star Wars Mandalorian Hand Sanitizer (blue and green)
  • Body Prescriptions Winter Mint Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer
  • Beauty Concepts Sugar Cookie Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Pure Logic Hand Sanitizer Aloe + Green Tea
  • Miami Carry On Instant Sanitizer Gel Soothing Gel – Wash Free – With Aloe
  • Natural Wunderz Triple Action Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera
  • Clean-Protect-Sanitize Hand Sanitizer
  • Puretize Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand Clean 100 Ethanol Gel


Economic Relief Resources

Financial Resources for New Mexicans During the COVID-19 Pandemic & Recovery

The pandemic and economic crisis have created financial hardships for many New Mexicans. Many families have had difficulty accessing the financial resources available to help meet basic needs. In response, we have created the Financial Resource Guide During COVID-19.

The guide is a comprehensive source of information about assistance—and New Mexicans’ rights to access it—available across the state now and in the future.

The guide includes information about programs funded through federal legislation like the American Recovery Plan Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, as well as long-standing state and local programs that can help families with food, housing, healthcare, child care, and more. 

Access the resource guide here:

New Mexico Gas Company COVID-19 Relief for Small Business Customers

Qualified accounts will be eligible for a one-time credit of 0.50 cents for every dollar paid, up to $250, not to exceed the total balance on the account on a first come first served basis.

Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2022 or until all funds have been allocated, whichever comes first.

Program Requirements – To qualify, a small business must be:

  • Registered with the New Mexico Secretary of State.
  • An active non-residential, Small Volume Rate 54 customer. Please refer to page 2 of your NMGC bill.
  • A NM, locally-owned business with 50 or fewer employees.
  • Experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19, with an account at least 30 days in arrears.
  • Able to pay at least 15% of the past due balance and agree to enter into a payment arrangement for the remaining past due balance.


Consumer Debt/Bankruptcy Workshop

The New Mexico State Bar is holding a consumer debt/bankruptcy workshop from 6-8 p.m., December 8, via video and teleconference.

At the workshop, an attorney will give a group presentation on bankruptcy, according to a news release. After the presentation, a one-on-one free consultation will be given by phone to people who register in advance. Call 505-797-6094 to register. 

Senior Utility Assistance

Seniors 60+ in need of financial assistance may apply for this support, and may qualify if they do not exceed the 200% income threshold.  Call the NM Aging and Long-term Services Department at 1-800-432-2080 to check eligibility.

Help with Internet Expenses — the Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms. 

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Beginning on May 12 households can apply in three ways: 

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.  
  2. Go to to apply online and to find participating providers near you. 
  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to: 

Emergency Broadband Support Center 

P.O. Box 7081 

London, KY 40742

For more information, check this website: 

COVID-19 Housing Cost Assistance Program

The COVID-19 Housing Cost Assistance Program provides emergency housing grants to income-eligible households and residents of tribal lands experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

These grants are housing assistance payments made on behalf of income-eligible applicants and residents of tribal lands, up to $1,500 per month for a period of up to three (3) consecutive months, to maintain housing and/or to reduce housing cost delinquency due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The NM Mortgage Finance Authority will pay your past-due housing payments directly to your landlord, mortgage or loan servicer, escrow company or other housing provider. The assistance does not have to be repaid.

Applications will be accepted beginning March 4, 2021. Click here to apply. To request that a paper application be mailed to you, call 505.308.4206 or 866.488.0498.

USDA Temporarily Suspends Debt Collections, Foreclosures and Other Activities on Farm Loans for Several Thousand Distressed Borrowers Due to Coronavirus

Due to the national public health emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). 

The temporary suspension is in place until further notice and is expected to continue while the national COVID-19 disaster declaration is in place.


Food Assistance

Double your SNAP Benefits at Silver City Farmers Market 

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. 

Farmers’ Market is held weekly every Saturday 9 am — 12 pm,  at the corner of Pope St. and College Avenue in the old Life Quest parking lot.

Food Pantry Schedules

As a reminder, the Food Pantries at the Gospel Mission and St. Francis Newman Center are open every week

The Gospel Mission, 111 South Texas Street, Silver City, NM

Open for breakfast MWF 8:30 am – 10:00 am, lunch M-Sat 12-1pm.  Food bags available Mon-Fri 9am – 1pm. Showers and clothes are also available to those in need.  Call 575 388-5071 for more information.

St. Francis Newman Center Food Pantry, 914 W. 13th St. Silver City, NM

Open every Monday at 4 pm. Cash assistance for rent, utilities, bus passes and prescription 

The Commons Center for Food Security and Sustainability 

Open the first Saturday 10:00 – Noon OR Last Wednesday 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Users must choose one OR the other.  For residents in 88061, 88065, 88022, 88053

Please have your pantry card available or bring a picture ID and separate proof of physical address.

The next regular food pantry distributions for Silver City, Tyrone and Arenas Valley will be the last Wednesday of the month November 24th from 4pm-6pm and Saturday, December 4, from 10 am to noon.   

Business Assistance

Restaurant Revitalization Funding Available Now

An eligible business may receive a tax-free federal grant equal to the amount of its pandemic-related revenue loss, calculated by subtracting its 2020 gross receipts from its 2019 gross receipts. 

Eligible expenses are those incurred from February 15, 2020 to December 31, 2021, or a date determined by the Small Business Administration. If all grant funds are not spent by the business, or the business permanently closes before the end of the covered period, the business must return unused funds to the Treasury.

For more information, check out: 

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans Increase Lending Limits 

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for the COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021.

If you are a small business, nonprofit organization of any size, or a U.S. agricultural business with 500 or fewer employees that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, you can apply for the COVID-19 EIDL.

EIDL loan applications will continue to be accepted through December 2021 pending the availability of funds. Loans are offered at a 3.75 percent interest rate for small businesses and a 2.75 percent interest rate for nonprofit organizations, with a 30-year maturity and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin.  

For loans approved starting the week of April 6, 2021: 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.

Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can apply for the program at

Mental Health Resources

Places to Call for Help

American Psychological Association COVID-19

Crisis Text Line – Text ‘Home’ to 741-741. Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in any type of crisis.

Text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517) if you or someone you care about is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others.

Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990

Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-7233

To Find A Therapist – Psychology Today’s Find a Therapist tool is a wonderful resource for discovering therapists in your area and according to your needs. You can also find quality inexpensive licensed professional therapists using a popular resource called BetterHelp.

If you want to hurt yourself, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Call 911 if you are in an EMERGENCY SITUATION.  If you feel like you’re going to hurt yourself, it is an emergency!

In New Mexico, you can talk to trained staff if you have mental health or substance abuse concerns: call the NM Crisis and Access Line at 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. You are not alone and it is normal to feel anxious and worried! You can confidentially reach out to talk to someone anytime and anyplace.  

If You Just Want Someone to Hear You Out…

Call the Peer-to-Peer Warmline at (855) 466-7100.  If you want to talk to someone who has been there and understands the emotional, mental, and behavioral health concerns you may be experiencing then call us to talk to a professional peer support specialist on the Peer-to-Peer Warmline between 7:00 a.m. – 11:30pm MT.

Our peer support specialists are real people who have recovered from their own mental health concerns, parents that have helped a youth with a mental health diagnosis navigate the system of care, and resource foster parents that understand the emotional struggles you and the foster youth you are supporting experiences.

Self-Harm – An Elevated Risk For Students During COVID-19

Resources for Youth and Families: 

Youthline is a 24-hour peer-to-peer helpline for teens to talk through any issues they may be facing, including navigating eating disorders, relationship or family concerns, bullying, sexual identity, depression, self-harm, anxiety, and/or thoughts of suicide. Text teen2teen to 839863 or call 1-877-968-8491.

The Trevor Project: LGBTQIA+ kids, teens, and young adults can contact The Trevor Project for support during a crisis, if they feel suicidal or need a safe space to talk. You can also chat via their website or by text. The hotline is 24/7; texting Mon-Fri 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST. Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678.

Go to the COVID-19 Information Resources For Families website below that contains parent training and support resources:

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network created a resource to help families manage the challenges associated with the current Coronavirus outbreak. This includes age-appropriate tips for helping children cope with stress and uncertainty at this time.


Written by: GMCR KURU 89.1 FM

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Grant County Coronavirus Update November 13th, 2021 On this week's Coronavirus Update, Jamie Newton interviews public health consultant Dr. Renee Despres and environmental scientist Dr. Ken Sexton. Both are Silver City residents who have focused their professional attention on educating and empowering our community for effective COVID-19 responses since the beginning of the pandemic early in 2020 The program begins with an overview of the pandemic globally, nationally, in New […]

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