Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update: beWellnm

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Grant County Coronavirus Update

July 24th, 2021

On this week’s Coronavirus Update Jamie Newton interviews two guests from beWellnm, the state health insurance exchange, about affordable health insurance (even free for some people!) that is available to those who apply during the current Special Enrollment Period for health insurance that lasts until August 15, 2021. Katrina Smith, the Community Engagement Specialist for beWellnm, works with Southwestern New Mexico and the people living in Grant County. Carol Holt is the co-owner, agent, and Medicare & health insurance specialist with Tom Blanchard Insurance in Silver City.  She has been a licensed health insurance specialist for 20 years.  Carol’s focus is helping people with major medical insurance on beWellnm.com (that’s the health insurance marketplace), and Medicare supplements, advantage plans, and Medicare part D prescription drug plans.

Listen below:

Right click and select “Save Link As” to download

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.

SCHEDULE CHANGE – The show will now air on Saturdays at 11 am on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio KURU 89.1 FM Silver City and streaming at gmcr.org.

Send us your updates to info@grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org

Resources

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

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

Grant County Coronavirus Update website – grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org

Grant County Vaccine Information – 575-597-7029 or visit vaccinegrantcounty.org

State News

The New Mexico Department of Health on Thursday announced 271 new cases of coronavirus. Since last week there have been 1241 additional cases for a total of 208,243, with 22 additional deaths over the past week for a total of 4,394 deaths in New Mexico. 

98 individuals remain hospitalized in New Mexico, which is an increase of 12 from last week.

Source: https://cvprovider.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html 

As of Thursday, 72.2% of New Mexicans have received their first dose of the two-shot vaccine for COVID-19, while 64.2% have been fully vaccinated, according to the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard. 

Source: https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html 

Grant County News

In Grant County, the Department of Health reported 3 new COVID cases since last week, for a total of 1,770 cases.  

No new deaths have been reported in Grant County in the last week. 41 people in Grant County have lost their lives due to COVID since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

Source: cvprovider.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html

As of Thursday, the Department of Health also reports that 69% of Grant County residents are partially vaccinated and 63.6% are fully vaccinated.

Source: https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html 

Vaccine Information

New Mexico announces back-to-school pharmacy partnership

SANTA FE- The New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department today announced a partnership with local pharmacies to provide back-to-school COVID-19 vaccinations for students 12 years and older.  

Participating pharmacies have committed to giving free COVID vaccines without appointments from July 15 to Aug. 15

Depending on the pharmacy, the walk-in hours will be either 2-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or 2-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9 a.m-noon. 

Here is a list of participating pharmacies around the state that will be providing the Pfizer vaccine. The list includes walk-in hours for each venue. 

Please note: CVS and Walgreens will service walk-in patients anytime their pharmacies are open. We would also like to encourage parents to have their child’s confirmation code from the DOH portal – vaccineNM.org – ready when they arrive at a pharmacy.

Source: https://www.nmhealth.org/news/awareness/2021/7/?view=1567 

Got Shots? Immunization Clinics to be Held July 24 through August 14

Providers to Hold Special Office Hours to get Children Immunized in time for School!

(Santa Fe) – The New Mexico Department of Health, the New Mexico Immunization Coalition (NMIC), the New Mexico Primary Care Association (NMPCA), and healthcare providers from across the state are helping parents prepare children for going back to school.

Special immunization clinics will be held from July 24th through August 14th for all children 18 years old and younger. The special clinics are part of the Got Shots? immunization campaign.

School is right around the corner, and despite COVID-19 restrictions, children are required to be up to date on immunizations for school. Got Shots? provides many opportunities for parents to take their children for needed immunizations. Immunizations are even more important for children and for families during the COVID pandemic.

Participating providers will offer immunizations to any child, regardless of whether they are a patient or have insurance as part of Got Shots?.  Some providers hold clinics on weekends or evening hours to accommodate parents’ busy schedules.  Parents should call ahead to the clinic to check if an appointment is needed. In addition, due to COVID-19, there may be special procedures in place, such as waiting in the car until their child’s turn. Parents need to bring their child’s shot record and Medicaid or private health insurance card if they have insurance, even though immunizations are provided at no cost to parents.

This year, pharmacies across the state will be providing COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 12 and older, as a special addition to Got Shots? A separate listing of participating pharmacies is available on the Got Shots website.

The Got Shots? immunization campaign is organized by the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, which includes the New Mexico Primary Care Association and the Department of Health. This year 47 community health centers, public health offices, and private practices across New Mexico are participating in Got Shots?.

To find a clinic in local communities statewide, people are encouraged to go online to www.immunizenm.org and click on the Got Shots? logo. The Department of Health provides immunizations at no cost year round at public health clinics in every county for uninsured children.

To find a clinic in local communities statewide, people are encouraged to go online to www.immunizenm.org and click on the Got Shots? logo. The Department of Health provides immunizations at no cost year round at public health clinics in every county for uninsured children. To find your local Public health office visit www.nmhealth.org, however, please check with your local public health office for details about this due to COVID-19.

Source: https://cv.nmhealth.org/2021/07/06/got-shots-immunization-clinics-to-be-held-july-24-through-august-14/ 

Get Vaccinated for Your Chance to Win the Grand Prize of $5,000,000!

Introducing Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes: a statewide vaccination incentive program that will make available $10 million in total prize money to New Mexicans who receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, among other prizes and awards throughout the summer.

You must opt in to participate! Sign up at: https://getthefacts.vaccinenm.org/sweepstakes/sweepstakes-opt-in/

5 Weekly Drawings for $250,000 Each!

5 weekly drawings will award one $250,000 winner from each of the state’s four public health regions, for a total of $1 million in cash prizes each week. A grand prize of $5 million will be awarded at the conclusion of the sweepstakes, in early August, to one winner drawn from the statewide pool of vaccinated New Mexicans who have opted in to the sweepstakes.

Get vaccinated at: https://vaccinenm.org/

Hidalgo Medical Services New 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. These are walk-in clinics with no appointment necessary for COVID-19 vaccinations and COVID-19 testing. 

Grant County COVID-19 Community Clinic

1304 E 32nd Street, Silver City, NM 88061

Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Closed 12-1 Lunch Break)

Days of Operation: Open 5 days a week. Open one Saturday a month, with the following Monday closure. (See schedule on the website)

Hidalgo County COVID-19 Community Clinic

109 Poplar Street Lordsburg, NM 88045

Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Closed 12-1 Lunch Break)

Days of Operation: Open rotating days of the week. Open one Saturday a month. (See schedule on the website)

For more information, visit Hidalgo Medical Services website at hms-nm.org

Source: https://hms-nm.org/hms-covid-messages/ 

New Mexico adopts CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals

The New Mexico Department of Health announced the state’s adoption of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance on facemasks for those who are fully vaccinated. An updated Department of Health public health order went into effect Friday, May 14.

Per the CDC, in most circumstances, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask in either indoor or outdoor settings. All individuals who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated are still required, per the public health order and CDC guidance, to wear a mask in public settings. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Individuals who do not meet those requirements must continue to wear a mask in public settings.

New Mexicans are encouraged to continue adhering to COVID-safe practices. All individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, should continue to wear well-fitted masks where required by localities, tribal entities, and individual businesses. The state fully supports businesses and workplaces that may continue to require masks for employees and/or customers on the premises, regardless of vaccination status.

Per CDC guidance, masks continue to be required to be worn by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in the following settings:

  • Health care settings, including but not limited to hospitals, long-term care facilities, and doctors’ offices
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Public transportation, including but not limited to buses, trains, and planes and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations

As the majority of students remain unvaccinated, the CDC’s guidance for school settings currently remains unchanged. Pending additional guidance from the CDC, masks continue to be required in schools for all students and school staff regardless of vaccination status.

Source: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/2021/05/14/updated-public-health-order-in-effect-new-mexico-adopts-cdc-mask-guidance-for-fully-vaccinated-individuals/ 

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 getvaxnm.com.

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 vaccineNM.org.

Source: https://www.nmhealth.org/news/awareness/2021/5/?view=1487 

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.  

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED at www.vaccineNM.org

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

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/talk-about-vaccines.html

Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine

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:

  •         Muscle pain
  •         Soreness in your arm
  •         Body aches
  •         Chills
  •         Feeling tired
  •         Fever

Side effects are a sign that your body is building up protection from COVID-19. They may be uncomfortable, but they are much less harmful than having COVID-19.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html 

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 May 13th guidance, fully vaccinated people can:

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or 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 testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

Source:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

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 NMNotify.com.

Source: https://www.nmhealth.org/news/awareness/2021/3/?view=1418 

Resources

Please consider getting tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Testing Sites and Times

CVS Pharmacy Drive-thru in Silver City, 610 Silver Heights Blvd., Silver City, NM.  

Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window.  Testing is available every day.

Patients must register in advance at CVS.com Self-swab tests will be made available to individuals meeting CDC criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. Testing is free, but those who have insurance should bring their card with them.

Albertsons – Silver City, New Mexico

Saliva Test- Cost $120.00 (not covered by insurance). Procedure: Recipients register online via the Albertson’s website, then receive a tube for saliva collection. The specimen is then mailed to a lab and results are sent back within three to five days.

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

1304 E 32nd Street, Silver City, NM 88061

Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Closed 12-1 Lunch Break)

Days of Operation: Open 5 days a week. Open one Saturday a month, with the following Monday closure. (See schedule on the website)

 

Hidalgo County COVID-19 Community Clinic

109 Poplar Street Lordsburg, NM 88045

Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Closed 12-1 Lunch Break)

Days of Operation: Open rotating days of the week. Open one Saturday a month. (See schedule on the website)

 

For more information, visit Hidalgo Medical Services website at hms-nm.org

Source: https://hms-nm.org/hms-covid-messages/ 

At-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva tests

At-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva tests offer accurate laboratory-confirmed results returned within 24-48 hours of receipt of the sample.

The free tests are available to New Mexico residents regardless of exposure risk– whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, and whether they have come into close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual or not.

To order a test, and for more information, visit learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/.

The State Department of Health reminds New Mexicans of the following:

  • Please be patient after receiving your COVID-19 test. After receiving your COVID-19 test, monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are having symptoms or if you tested because of an exposure, 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, even if you are asymptomatic do not leave your home to do errands, work, or to see friends. If infected with COVID-19, you must not leave your home unless you are seeking out emergency medical care. Find more information regarging testing positive at https://cv.nmhealth.org/how-to-isolate-when-positive/ 
  • Finally, if you need emergency medical care, call 9-1-1, not the Department of Health information hotline.

 

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.  (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/surface-transmission.html

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.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html#other-facilities 

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

Source:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hand-sanitizer-benzene-cancer-chemical/

 

https://www.valisure.com/wp-content/uploads/Valisure-FDA-Citizen-Petition-on-Hand-Sanitizer-v4.14.pdf

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: http://nmpovertylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/NMCLP-COVID-Guide.pdf

NM Homeowners Facing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 Can Apply to New State Program  

The New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund provides emergency housing grants to income-eligible households experiencing financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 health crisis. 

These grants are to fund mortgage  payments equal to the amount of the monthly cost made on behalf of income-eligible applicants up to $10,000 per household, to maintain housing and/or to reduce housing cost delinquency associated with the COVID-19 health crisis. Some mobile/manufactured home lot rental payments may also be covered.  

Applicants still experiencing hardship that did not receive the household maximum of $10,000 on their initial funding request, may be eligible to reapply for additional assistance after their initial award. Eligibility to apply for additional assistance does not guarantee approval. Requests are processed in the order received and must be received before the pilot program end date of November 5, 2021. Requests are funded in the order received depending on the availability of funding.  

MFA will pay your housing payments directly to your mortgage or loan servicer, escrow company or other housing provider. The assistance does not have to be repaid. 

Click here to view Homeowner Assistance Fund income limits.

Applications are now being accepted.

Click here to apply

To request that a paper application be mailed to you, call  505.308.4206 or 866.488.0498.  

Source: https://housingnm.org/static/homeowner-assistance-fund

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.

Source: https://www.nmgco.com/SmallBusiness/CovidRelief

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

The Provider Relief Fund supports families, workers, and the heroic healthcare providers in the battle against COVID-19. Health and Human Services (HHS) is distributing $178 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response.

Check out this website for more information: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/index.html

Consumer Debt/Bankruptcy Workshop

The New Mexico State Bar is holding a consumer debt/bankruptcy workshop from 6-8 p.m., July 28, 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. 

Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Available Now

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. The Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) will administer the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in partnership with the City of Albuquerque. New Mexicans can apply for assistance at www.RentHelpNM.org beginning April 5, 2021.

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 www.RentHelpNM.org 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 ERAVendor.Relations@state.nm.us as soon as possible to ensure a streamlined process for receiving payment. 

For more information visit www.RentHelpNM.org

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 GetEmergencyBroadband.org 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: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit 

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.

Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is assistance available to those who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits.  As relates to that need, the NM Dept of Workforce Solutions will open applications for Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) starting Wed, March 10

Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) provides $100 in extra benefit to individuals with at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment in the tax year prior to their initial unemployment insurance claim.

Note: Under the American Rescue Plan Act, the deadline for MEUC applications has been extended to the first week of September.

Source: https://www.dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info

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.

Source: https://www.usda.gov/

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.

The Wednesday Market resumed June 2 every Wednesday from 9am -12:00pm in the Ace Hardware Parking Lot, US 180 at the 32nd St Bypass.

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 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, 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 July 28th from 4pm-6pm and the following Saturday, August 7, from 10 am to noon.   

 

Summer Lunch Program Schedules Announced

Silver Schools

The Silver Consolidated School District is pleased to announce the availability of free summer meals for 2021. The summer lunch program will begin Monday June 7 and run through July 30. Grab ‘n Go lunches (breakfast & lunch in the bag) will be offered to all children, regardless of income on a first come, first served basis. Adults may purchase a meal ($3.50) after all children have been served. All sites are open to children 1 – 18 years.

Park in the school lot, inform staff of your arrival, and someone will come out to deliver the food.

G.W. Stout Elementary School, 2601 N Silver St, Silver City, NM 88061, 12:00-1:00 pm

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: https://restaurant.org/downloads/pdfs/advocacy/understandingrrf 

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 https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/covid-19-economic-injury-disaster-loan.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

SVOG is a federal economic assistance program for arts organizations, administered through the Small Business Administration. If you are a theatrical producer, talent rep, venue promoter, operate a live venue, live performing arts organization, movie house, or cultural institution you may be eligible to apply.

View the SBA Webinar

View the EDD Webinar

Pivotal NM has uploaded a webinar to help businesses prepare for SVOG.

View the webinar

Source: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant 

New Mexico Safe Certified Training Programs

New Mexico businesses in all sectors are encouraged to receive training in COVID-safe practices to help ensure everyone’s safety as New Mexico reopens for business and recreation.

Source: https://nmsafecertified.org/

Mental Health Resources

Places to Call for Help

American Psychological Association COVID-19 www.apa.org/topics/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: www.autismspeaks.org/covid-19-information-and-resources-families

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. www.nctsn.org

 

Written by: GMCR KURU 89.1 FM

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Events

Climathon: July 30-31!

PROGRAMMING IN GMCR IS MADE POSSIBLE BY ITS MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS…2811 and the Upper Gila Watershed Alliance, who are hosting a Climathon in Silver City from July 30-31 at Western New Mexico University. The event includes workshops, guest speakers, site visits to compost and community garden locations, and a hackathon competition to design the best composting solution. Event details can be found at bit.ly/climathonsilvercity

today20 July 2021 48 2


Gila Mimbres Community Radio KURU 89.1 FM – 519 B North Bullard Street Silver City, NM 88061

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