Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update: Dr. Fred Fox Re-air

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Grant County Coronavirus Update

April 14th, 2021

On this week’s Grant County Coronavirus Update, the interview is a we re-broadcast Jamie Newton’s interview with Dr. Fred Fox. Dr. Fox explains the coronavirus in clear language we can all understand, and he addresses key questions about vaccination.

Right click and select “Save Link As” to download

Grant County Coronavirus Update is broadcast live on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio KURU 89.1 FM in Silver City every Wednesday at 10 AM.

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.

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 Tuesday announced 1,391 new cases of coronavirus from last week, for a total of 194,164 cases, with 27 additional deaths for a total of 3,988 deaths in New Mexico. 

103 individuals remain hospitalized in New Mexico, which is an increase of 21 from last week.

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

As of Wednesday, 53.1% of New Mexicans have received their first dose of the two-shot vaccine for COVID-19, while 35.3% 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 25 new COVID cases since last week, for a total of 1,663 cases.  

1 death has been reported in Grant County in the last week. 36 people in Grant County have lost their lives due to COVID since the pandemic began a year ago.

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

The Department of Health also reports that 50.7% of Grant County residents are partially vaccinated and 33% are fully vaccinated. 57.5% of the county is registered for the vaccine as of Wednesday.

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

Latest News

State pauses Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The New Mexico Department of Health on Tuesday announced that Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine distribution will be paused following federal Center for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration recommendations. These announcements follow reports of six “rare and severe” blood clots – out of 6.8 million doses given – among women between the ages of 18 and 48 in the United States. Symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. 

Scheduled J&J events and vaccinations will be paused or shifted to Pfizer and Moderna. 

People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, blurred vision, seizure, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers should report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please note: these adverse events are extremely rare – less than one per million.

Source: https://www.nmhealth.org/news/awareness/2021/4/?view=1451 

Webinar – The Science Behind FDA-Approved COVID-19 Vaccines, April 14

NMSU, Cooperative Extension Service & the NM Department of Health are sponsoring a COVID-19 vaccine information and update webinar with Dr. Kathryn Hanley, NMSU Professor in Biology. The Zoom webinar will be held tonight from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. 

Find out key information about COVID-19 vaccines in New Mexico

  • Science behind COVID-19 vaccination development
  • Science behind vaccinations in controlling COVID-19 spread
  • Efficacy of available vaccines in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization and death in clinical trials
  • Public interest Q&A period

Online registration at: https://nmsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYoc–tqT8sHNboG-YfeGYOZPh2icvMbMR3

For more information, contact:
Hilda Nevarez
Cooperative Extension Service
tel: 575-646-2938; hnevarez@nmsu.edu 

COVID-19 Exposure Notification App now 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 

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

See below for links to the CBSNews article and the laboratory testing results.

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

Vaccine Information

State announces Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccine eligibility 

All New Mexicans 16+ now eligible for vaccine

The Department of Health announced last that all New Mexicans 16+ are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

DOH will continue to prioritize vaccine invitations for Phase 1A, New Mexicans 75 years and older, and New Mexicans 60 years and older with a chronic condition. The Department has chosen to open Phase 2 – the final distribution phase – because providers in some parts of the state are no longer able to fill appointments within Phases 1A, 1B, and 1C.

DOH encourages all New Mexicans to register at vaccineNM.org. New Mexicans who have vaccine questions can visit vaccineNM.org/facts (vaccineNM.org/hechos en español).

Source: https://cv.nmhealth.org/2021/04/05/state-announces-phase-2-covid-19-vaccine-eligibility-all-new-mexicans-16-now-eligible-for-vaccine/ 

NM DOH encouraging people to self-schedule vaccine booster shots

DOH also announced that all New Mexicans can self-schedule their boosters without an event code. If users in these groups are asked for an event code, DOH encourages users to refresh their browser (Ctrl + F5 for most browsers).

Source: https://www.nmhealth.org/news/awareness/2021/4/?view=1440 

State announces that New Mexicans 75+ will no longer need event codes to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announced that New Mexicans 75 years and older who are registered at vaccineNM.org will no longer need event codes to schedule vaccine appointments.

Instead, seniors will receive invitations to schedule appointments. At that point, they will log in to vaccineNM.org using their confirmation code and date of birth and schedule an appointment at a time and location that is convenient for them. No event code will be required, but they will still need to make an appointment to receive their vaccine.

Those requiring additional assistance with registration or scheduling can dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.

Source: https://cv.nmhealth.org/2021/03/29/state-announces-that-new-mexicans-75-will-no-longer-need-event-codes-to-schedule-covid-19-vaccine-appointments/

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

New Mexicans with Disabilities Encouraged to Register for COVID-19 Vaccine

The Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) and Department of Health (DOH) have announced that individuals 16 years or older with intellectual and developmental disabilities are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. This group is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and includes individuals who utilize the DD Waiver, Mi Via Waiver, Medically Fragile Waiver, Supports Waiver, as well as any New Mexican on the waitlist for these services.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities may register at VaccineNM.org or by calling 1 (800) 432-2080

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.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Refrain from staying away from others or getting tested unless symptoms appear.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
  • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
  • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.
  • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
  • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are:
  • Avoid medium or large-sized gatherings
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. 
  • Watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.

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

Red to Green Reopening Plan

The state’s red-to-green public health order in which counties are evaluated over a two-week period for daily cases and test positivity rate will be updated next Wednesday. Counties not meeting daily case thresholds of eight or fewer cases per 100,000 population and test positivity rates below 5% follow the strictest Red guidelines; those meeting one of these benchmarks have some expanded capacity at Yellow; Green counties—those meeting both requirements —have fewer restrictions.  And the new color of turquoise indicates counties that have reached the Green Level for two consecutive biweekly updates.

The red to green framework was last updated April 7.  The next update to that framework will be April 21.  As of now, Grant County remains in the yellow category.  Applicable restrictions include:

  • Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions
  • Essential retail spaces: 33% of maximum capacity
  • Food and drink establishments: 25% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoors dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 10 p.m. each night
  • Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 20 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)
  • Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed
  • All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 125 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
  • Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 33% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises
  • Places of lodging: 60% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals
  • Mass gatherings limit: 10 persons, 80 vehicles

Source: https://cv.nmhealth.org/public-health-orders-and-executive-orders/red-to-green/


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

Grant County Public Health Office, 2610 N. Silver Street Silver City, NM

Provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:30-10:30a.m. Testing is free, but insurance will be requested upon registration at https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/  

Once registered, you will receive a code. Please save this code and arrive during the designated times. Please remain in your vehicle and wear a mask.

Testing may be delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather

Hidalgo County Public Health Office, 530 DeMoss Street, Lordsburg, NM

Testing will be conducted every Thursday from 9:00-10:00a.m. Please remain in your vehicles. Testing is free, but insurance will be requested upon registration at at https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/

Once registered, you will receive a code. Please save this code and arrive during the designated times. Please remain in your vehicle and wear a mask.

Testing may be delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather

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)

Testing is now available  Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 2:30pm (closed 12-1pm for lunch) in all HMS locations — Animas, Cliff-Gila, Mimbres, Mining District, Lordsburg, Silver City, Bayard, and Santa Clara.  

Testing expanded to everyone at both sites via a drive-up testing approach. Testing is free, but those who have insurance should bring their card with them. Call 575-388-1511 for an appointment in Silver City, 1-888-271-3596 for an appointment in Lordsburg.

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. As cases rise, so do testing demands. 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 


Economic Relief Resources

$600 Income Tax Rebate now available under Working Families Tax Credit

The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department has begun issuing $600 rebates for certain eligible recipients of the Working Families Tax Credit. The rebates were authorized by the Legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The one-time rebates are available to taxpayers who are not dependents, who receive the Working Families Tax Credit, and who have an adjusted gross income of $31,200 or less (single filers) or $39,000 (married filing jointly, heads of household).

Taxpayers who have already filed their 2020 New Mexico Personal Income Tax returns and are eligible for the $600 rebate do not need to take further action. The $600 rebate will be mailed to them or delivered by direct deposit if they selected that option when they filed their 2020 tax return.

Source: https://www.tax.newmexico.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Working-Families-Rebates-Sent.pdf 

Restaurant and Bar Gross Receipts Tax Relief

The temporary Gross Receipts Tax relief authorized by Senate Bill 1 allows many restaurants, bars, breweries and similar businesses a Gross Receipts Tax deduction for sales of prepared food and drinks made after March 1, 2021 and prior to July 1, 2021.

The tax relief is intended to help businesses that have been especially hard hit financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the four-month period that the deduction is available, eligible businesses may choose either to not charge Gross Receipts Tax on the deductible receipts, or to charge the tax but keep the amount charged.

Fast food restaurants are not eligible for the deduction, but mobile food services do qualify.

More information, including how the deduction will be claimed, is available on the Forms & Publications page of tax.newmexico.gov.

Source: https://www.tax.newmexico.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Release-Bulletin-on-COVID-relief.pdf 

Tax Assistance

It’s tax season. 

If you qualify for a 2020 Economic Stimulus Payment (EIP), also known as the individual payment from the COVID relief bill, but have not received it yet, make sure to claim your Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return. Visit irs.gov for more information

Source: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/recovery-rebate-credit 

Printed copies of the federal Form 1040, instruction books, and New Mexico tax forms are available outside the Silver City Public Library’s Cooper Street doors during curbside pickup hours. We also have the AARP free tax assistance program packets in a box by the doors. You can also get online tax help from AARP by clicking here. The local AARP tax help number is 575-342-1892.

You can download tax forms here: https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions

New Mexico tax forms can be found here: https://www.tax.newmexico.gov/forms-publications/

Consider filing your federal taxes online at https://www.irs.gov/filing . For income below $72,000, you can use their Free File offer, available here: https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free . Go to https://tap.state.nm.us/tap/_/ for New Mexico online tax filing. 

The United Way offers free tax filing with expert assistance at myfreetaxes.com.

Western New Mexico University is also offering tax help free of charge to faculty, staff, students, and community members through their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17: Treasury, IRS extend filing and payment deadline

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

More information at IRS.gov

Source: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline 

State of New Mexico Extends Personal Income Tax Filing Deadline to May 17

The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department announced it will extend the

deadline for filing and paying 2020 New Mexico Personal Income Taxes until May 17,

2021 in accordance with the federal extension announced this week.

Source: https://www.tax.newmexico.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/New-Mexico-extends-personal-income-tax-deadline.pdf 

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

Free Weekly Credit Reports Until April 20, 2022

Three national credit reporting agencies are giving individuals access to monitor their credit report for free.  Last year these agencies gave free weekly access to this benefit; now they’re extending it until April 20, 2022

Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/03/free-weekly-credit-reports-during-covid-extended-until-april-2022 

Consumer Debt/Bankruptcy Workshop

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

CDC Issues Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed a declaration determining that the evictions of tenants could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, and has issued a temporary halt in residential evictions through June 30.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-eviction-declaration.html 

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. 

There will be a webinar tomorrow April 15 at 3:00pm EST, and will include an overview of the Emergency Broadband Benefit including what it is, who is eligible, how it works, and how to help people enroll. A brief question and answer period will follow the presentation. To submit a question in advance of the webinar, please email: broadbandbenefit@fcc.gov.

Register here for the webinar.

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. 

Winter 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 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 drugs is also provided.  Call 575-388-4933 for more information.

Gila Valley Mobile Food Pantry, Fairgrounds in Cliff

Held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.  The next Gila Valley Mobile Food Pantry is Tuesday April 20, 10:00am – 1:30pm at the Cliff Fairgrounds, for Buckhorn, Cliff, Gila & Redrock residents.  Line up between 10:00 to 12:00 to sign-up, pick-up is scheduled from 12:30 to 1:30.

Please Note: If the truck is late, the pantry will end when boxes are fully distributed.  If the truck is early or on time at 12:00 pm and people are waiting, the pantry will start a little earlier.

The Commons Mining District Mobile Food Pantry, Bataan Memorial Park, Santa Clara

Held the 3rd Tuesday of the month, the next Mining District Mobile Food Pantry is April 20th  1 – 3 pm at Bataan Memorial Park in Santa Clara, for Santa Clara, Bayard, Hanover & Hurley residents. For more information on the Commons Food Pantries please contact The Commons  at (575) 388-2988 or visit their website at thecommonsgrantcounty.org   

Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile Food Pantry, Roundup Lodge, 94 Acklin Hill Rd

Held the 3rd Wednesday of the month, the next Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile food Pantry will be held Wednesday, April 21, 12pm – 2pm at the Roundup Lodge. Call 575-574-7674 for more information.

Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3755 N. Swan Street, Silver City

Held on the third  Wednesday of the month, the next Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry will be on April 21st from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Silver City, for any senior in Grant County (55 and older). 


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. 

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 SBA. 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 

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 

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/

Paycheck Protection Program

If you need assistance in navigating the process for the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP or any other relief programs, please contact the Las Cruces office of Senator Martin Heinrich at (575) 523-6561 for assistance. You can also visit this Covid-19 Resource Center at www.heinrich.senate.gov/coronavirus

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

The next round of new PPP funds  is open for applications.  

This latest round will be much easier for small businesses to access, with some necessary flexibility to allow businesses to address their specific needs and still get their loans forgiven. That includes new provisions that allow restaurants, hotels, and other businesses in related services to calculate a higher PPP forgivable loan amount in order to aid industries that have been severely impacted by state and local restrictions. Also eligible for this round of PPP are housing cooperatives, local newspapers and TV and radio broadcasters, and 501(c)(6) nonprofits, including local chambers of commerce and tourism organizations.

>>>You can find more information about how to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program at sba.gov 

Additional program changes have been announced to make access to PPP loans more equitable, allowing sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support.  

SBA is currently offering PPP loans until May 31, 2021

For more information, click here.

Seeking Substitute Teachers!

Silver Consolidated Schools is looking for qualified individuals to serve as substitute teachers for the district.  Individuals will have flexibility in areas to substitute and buildings to serve. Pay is based on educational background and experience.  Those who are interested should contact Samantha Madrid at smadrid@silverschools.org or by calling 575-956-2000. 


Mental Health Resources

Places to Call for Help

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 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!

If You Just Want Someone to Hear You Out…

Call the Peer-to-Peer Warmline at (855) 466-7100.  They are available to talk every day from 3:30p – 11:30p MT.  They are available by text from 6:00p – 11:00p MT

 

Written by: GMCR KURU 89.1 FM

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