Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update – December 2, 2020

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This week on Grant County Coronavirus Update, co-producer Andrea Warner talks to Nikolas Seibel, editor and publisher of the Silver City Daily Press and Independent. Nick will share with us information on how we can support local retail businesses safely during a pandemic holiday season, and how shoppers can participate in a promotion that the Daily Press is hosting to help encourage local spending.

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

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 –

Coronavirus Update is broadcast live on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio 89.1 FM Silver City on Wednesdays at Noon and rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6 pm and Thursdays at 8 am

Or listen to today’s interview at your convenience via this link….

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 2,330 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The department also reported 21 additional deaths related to the disease.

DOH provided some information on each of the 21 newly reported deaths. Although the DOH does not disclose which underlying condition any of the deceased had, only if one was present before death.

The most common underlying condition for those who died with COVID-19 was hypertension, followed by diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to the state’s latest mortality update. Some of those who died had multiple comorbidities.

Statewide, DOH reported 909 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, an increase of 33 people since Monday. This could include those from other states who are hospitalized in New Mexico, but would not include New Mexicans who are hospitalized out of state.

In Grant County, the Department of Health reported 72 new COVID cases since last week for a total of 513 cases,  40 fewer positive cases than reported last week. The Silver City Daily Press reported yesterday that seven residents at the Silver City Care Center had died in the past month after 30 residents and 20 staff members tested positive for the virus. Although the DOH has reported only six Grant Countians have lost their lives to the virus, two in July and four between October 20 and November 14, the Daily Press states that not all residents of the Silver City Care Center are necessarily residents of Grant County, however, and the official state death numbers lag more than a week behind. 22 of the Silver Health Care Center residents and 20 staff have been reported recovered. 

In Grant County there are 164 reported cases recovered, leaving 349 active COVID-19 cases in the county. 

In a press conference on Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase reviewed  the new tiered “red to green” COVID-19 framework that goes into effect today, following the end of the two-week lockdown “reset.” 

As reported by the NM Political Report, the reopening framework, which was announced last week, allows counties that meet certain metrics around reducing the virus spread to open up more business and services to residents. 

“The tiered system will enable state officials to determine “what kinds of restrictions would still need to be in place in order to protect as many people as we can [and] to prevent our hospital systems from being overwhelmed,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said, while allowing for some flexibility at the county level “if those communities can get their constituents and residents to work a little bit more closely together.”

The “red to green” framework assesses each of the state’s 33 counties by two metrics measured over a two-week period: a test positivity rate at or below 5 percent and eight or fewer cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. Currently, all but Los Alamos County are at the red level, signifying “very high risk.” 

For red level counties including Grant County, essential retail spaces may operate at 25 percent capacity, or serve 75 customers at one time, whichever metric is smaller. Food and drink establishments may operate outdoor dining only at 25 percent capacity, and any establishment serving alcohol must close at 9 p.m. each night. Most other businesses and houses of worship may operate at 25 percent capacity. Close contact businesses may operate at 25 percent capacity or may serve 10 customers at a time, whichever is smaller. Gatherings in red level counties are limited to five people or 10 vehicles. 

Yellow level counties will loosen some of those restrictions. Essential retail spaces will still operate at 25 percent capacity, or can serve 125 customers at a time, whichever is smaller. Houses of worship are also limited to 25 percent capacity. Food and drink establishments can increase outdoor dining to 75 percent capacity, and can open indoor dining limited to 25 percent capacity. Establishments serving alcohol can remain open until 10 p.m. Other businesses will still operate at 25 percent capacity and gatherings are limited to 10 people or 25 vehicles. 

Essential retail businesses in green level counties can operate at 50 percent capacity, as can houses of worship and most other businesses. Food and drink establishments can operate indoor dining at 50 percent capacity and 75 percent for outdoor dining. Gatherings are limited to 20 people or 100 vehicles.  

The statewide mask mandate will remain in place for all counties, regardless of their risk level. 

While the vast majority of the state is currently designated at red, Lujan Grisham noted that opening up businesses again, even at limited capacity, will enable New Mexicans to “again learn to manage this virus—not let it manage us.”

“We’re still going to have to work really hard. This does not mean that New Mexico has no risk,” she said.

New Mexico currently ranks fifth in the nation for COVID-19 cases per capita, Scrase said, citing the New York Times’ tracking tool. The state saw a 45 percent increase in cases over the last two weeks ending on Nov. 29. During that period, New Mexico also saw a nearly 90 percent increase in hospitalizations and a 60 percent increase in deaths. 

More COVID health information is available at


  • Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell.
  • Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
  • Asymptomatic people who live or work in congregate settings such as detention centers and long-term care facilities;
  • Patients who are scheduled for surgery and whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure.

For more information on Covid testing and contact tracing in New Mexico go to



The Grant County Public Health Office provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. and every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm. 

Appointments can be scheduled by registering on the following website:

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

Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) in Silver City is doing testing on weekdays except for Tuesday at their clinic at 1007 Pope Street in Silver City and at their Lordsburg clinic on weekdays except for Thursdays at 530 De Moss Street.  Call 1-575-388-1511 for an appointment. 

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

  • If you feel sick, do not leave your home. If you feel any symptoms of COVID-19, seek out a COVID-19 test. Testing sites and hours are available at and
  • Please be patient after receiving your COVID-19 test. As cases rise, so does demand for testing. After you receive your COVID-19 test, monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are having symptoms or tested because of an exposure, you should assume that you are infectious and self-isolate even if your symptoms resolve. You can spread the virus without knowing you are positive and without having symptoms.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, do not leave your home to do errands or to see friends. If you are infected with COVID-19, you must not leave your home unless you are seeking out emergency medical care.
  • Finally, if you need emergency medical care, call 9-1-1, not the Department of Health information hotline.



With flu season underway and expected to continue through early May, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is urging all New Mexicans to get their flu shot this year.

The following groups of people are strongly recommended to be vaccinated because they are at high risk for complications from influenza, or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Pregnant women (all trimesters), and up to two weeks post-partum
  • People ages 65 years and older
  • People of any age with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease, and those who are immunocompromised
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including healthcare personnel and caregivers of babies younger than six months
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives
  • People who are morbidly obese
  • And Caregivers to the groups mentioned above and all healthcare workers need to get vaccinated every year to protect the people they care for or treat.

People in these groups should also consider seeing their healthcare provider as early as possible to be evaluated for antiviral medication if they develop flu symptoms because the sooner that these medications are begun, the better the chance of preventing serious complications.



The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced last week  the New Mexico Legislature approved the re-allocation of CARES Act funding to provide eligible claimants with a one-time $1,200 supplemental unemployment compensation benefit.

The Department of Workforce Solutions  is working diligently to prepare the system to start issuing payments.  The first disbursement  of funds will go out Dec. 14 and continue throughout the week. Payments will take between 24-72 hours to transfer into bank accounts. According to KOB News 4, Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley said “Nearly 140,000 people will receive checks. The state said there’s enough money to give everyone that one-time payment. 

This money will go directly back into the economy,” McCamley said. “The people that have unemployment claims, it goes back out to rent, buy groceries, utilities, pay for child care”

There is not a separate application to apply for this benefit.

Eligible individuals are those who certify and are eligible to receive benefits for qualifying weeks of November 22 through November 28 or November 29 through December 5. Also, claimants who were eligible for benefits but exhausted their claims between September 12, 2020 and the time of the Bill signing are eligible.  There is no need for claimants to apply separately for this benefit.

Claimants who have received the maximum 39 weeks of benefits and have exhausted or will have exhausted their benefits prior to legislation signing will receive direct communication from NMDWS in the following weeks on any steps they may need to take.

This one-time benefit is not available to individuals who have returned to full-time work or certify that they earned wages greater than their weekly benefit amount during the week the legislation was signed.

For more information, call the Department of Workforce Solutions at (1-877-664-6984) or visit



The New Mexico Finance Authority is hosting a free online webinar on Thursday, December 3 at 12:30 pm to learn about the Small Business CARES Relief Grant Program, including the guidelines, eligibility, and how to apply. The webinar is open to all, however you must register for the webinar.

Created by the State of New Mexico in the November 2020 Special Session, the Small Business CARES Relief Grant Program provides $100 million in grant funding to New Mexico small businesses.

The grant application will open the week of December 7.



The New Mexico Department of Health and Human Services announced a free, online digital health resource for New Mexico  residents struggling with substance use or behavioral addictions. [press release]  The 5-Actions Program™ is designed to help adults 18 years of age and older address challenges associated with alcohol, other drugs, and behavioral addictions, such as gambling, sex, technology, food. The program comes at a critical time with COVID-19 increasing rates of substance use and overdose. An important benefit of the online resource is that it can be accessed 24/7 from the safety of one’s home. It also helps address the significant gap in those who could benefit from an intervention, but are unable to access care. For more information, visit 



The Food Pantry at the Gospel Mission located at 111 South Texas Street in Silver City is open for drive thru only on Wednesdays 8:30 am – 9:30 am. Emergency  Dry Food Boxes are available once a month to individuals upon request.   There is also a Daily soup kitchen: Breakfast takes place from 9:00-10:00 Mon-Fri and Lunch occurs every day from 12-1 pm. Showers and clothes are also made available to those in need.  Call 575 388-5071 for more information.

St. Francis Newman Center Food Pantry located at 914 W. 13th St. Silver City is open every Monday at 4 pm. Cash assistance for rent, utilities, bus passes and prescription drugs is also provided.  Call 575-388-4933 for more information.

The Commons Grant County Food Pantry for Silver City, Tyrone & Arenas Valley residents will be held this Saturday December 5th from 10:00am – 12:00 p.m. 501 E. 13th Street in Silver City (Just off Swan Street behind the Knights of Columbus) For more information, visit the website at

If you are a senior or disabled adult and cannot access groceries, please call the state’s Senior and Disabled Adult Food Hotline at 1-800-432-2080. Leave a message with your name, telephone number and city that you reside in and you will be contacted within 2 hours of your call.  



Homewise is offering Emergency Mortgage Assistance to those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage and do not qualify for unemployment or government assistance at this time, contact a Homewise representative at (505) 983-9473 or visit the Homewise Website at



Are you a Bayard resident that needs help with water and rent?

CARES Act funding is available to help Bayard residents with water utility and rent bills.  Call Bayard City Hall at 575-537-3327 or visit COVID-19 programs and information on Bayard’s website at for the online application.




Also, The City of Bayard has received $93,188 in funding under the Small Business Continuity Grant – CARES Act Relief Funds and Bayard businesses are encouraged to apply.  Applications and eligibility requirements can be downloaded from the City of Bayard website at [LINK]

Small businesses headquartered in New Mexico with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, have revenue of $2 million or less prior to COVID, and  either have been forced to close or severely curtail business operations as a result of closure orders from the state can apply.

Business Continuity expenses such as non-owner employee payroll, rent, scheduled mortgage payments, insurance, utilities and marketing are covered, as well as business redesign in response to COVID are covered under the grant.

Applications will be received until December 5, 2020 and awards will be made until funds are exhausted.



Do you need help talking to your children about the coronavirus?

Having conversations with your children allows you to know what they understand about COVID and what they might not. It also helps them develop a deeper understanding of the situation through questions and open dialogue and helps them feel safe. 

For more resources including tips for parents, behavioral health support, easy ways to explain COVID to children and young adults, and free tutoring for students K-12, visit



Get all of your holiday shopping done from the safety and comfort of your home by shopping online at Downtown Silver City Cash Mobs. Organized by Silver City MainStreet, the virtual shopping events are held online using Facebook Live. Merchants have the opportunity to showcase 50 of their items for sale. Shoppers watch the event and use the comment section to shop. Volunteers track the comment section to record purchases and the merchant reaches out to the shopper the next day to arrange pick up or shipping.

To shop the Downtown Silver City Cash Mobs, go to You can also link from Silver City MainStreet’s website at

Wed. Dec. 2, Silver City Museum Store

Fri, Dec 14, Grant County Art Guild

Wed. Dec. 16, Light Art Space

All of the Cash Mobs are from 5 pm to 7 pm

Support local, love local through Silver City Cash Mobs!

Please  continue to visit our website,, links to the information included in this update  plus more local, state and federal information and resources to help keep you, your family and our community safe in these times. 

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

And don’t forget that you can send us your updates via our email address at  or on facebook at grant county coronavirus update

Written by: Allyson Siwik

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