Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update – November 11, 2020

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Coronavirus updates for Grant County for Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Today on Coronavirus Update, host Marcus Hanson talks to Charmeine Wait and Brenda Tozier of Silver City MainStreet about the upcoming Cash Mob event to support local downtown businesses.

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 this episode at your convenience via this link…

The state Department of Health reported over 1,200 cases of COVID-19 again on Tuesday. The department also reported 14 additional deaths related to the disease.

Tuesday was the fifth-straight day with 1,200 or more cases of COVID-19, and the sixth day in the last week with ten or more reported deaths.

A staggering 43 percent of New Mexico’s COVID-19 cases have been reported in just the past month. 

During an online news conference about the pandemic as reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican and New Mexico Political Report, leading health officials on Monday issued yet another dire warning about the state’s inability to regain control of the virus.

Jason Mitchell, chief medical officer for Presbyterian Healthcare Services stated “What’s most important for everyone to recognize is that this pandemic is not getting better at this point, It’s getting worse.”

Between Oct. 9 and Nov. 9, New Mexico reported 24,048 COVID-19 cases — approaching half of the state’s overall total of 56,239 since the crisis began in March.

As of Monday, 82 percent of all general hospital beds and 66 percent of ICU beds were occupied. This is for all reasons, not just COVID-19.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 dropped to 425, 16 fewer than on Sunday, though hundreds higher than any time before the last few weeks. The state had never had more than 300 individuals hospitalized for the disease until Oct. 27.

Officials from three of the state’s biggest medical facilities — Presbyterian’s Mitchell, University of New Mexico Health System Executive Physician David Pitcher and Lovelace Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Vesta Sandoval — said the battle against the virus looks grim, unless people stay home, wear masks and take other preventive health measures.

The fast, uncontrolled rise in COVID-19 cases makes it even more difficult to deal with other day-to-day medical issues at hospitals, officials said.

Pitcher said “The struggle for us is trying to take care of those [other medical] services while caring for the rising number of COVID cases,” 

Leaders at the state’s biggest medical systems asked people to refrain from organizing or attending large-scale holiday events — a difficult challenge given the familial, communal nature of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. They urged people to instead keep festivities limited to immediate family.

Government leaders have issued similar warnings in the past several weeks.

Though drugmaker Pfizer said Monday that preliminary results from its coronavirus vaccine tests show it to be more than 90 percent effective, state medical officials said even if a vaccine is found to fight the virus, it’s still going to take time to distribute it worldwide and within New Mexico.

Jason Mitchell added “For us in New Mexico over the next three, four, six months, it’s not going to be the vaccine that is the solution, It’s going to be us as a community changing behaviors that brings about a solution.”

He said if the virus continues to spread, health care workers will be beyond the point of exhaustion.

The Department of Health has now reported  57,547  confirmed cases and 980 deaths since the  beginning of the pandemic. Total weekly new cases rose to 8,307 this week, up from 6,071 new cases from last week’s totals.  

As of Tuesday, the Department of Health designated 23,736 COVID-19 cases as recovered, leaving 33,811 active cases in New Mexico. 

In Grant County, there have been 252 cases reported with 37 new cases since last week.  There have been 2 reported recoveries since last week bringing that number to 75 recovered and 177 active cases.  Grant County had its fifth COVID death reported on Sunday– a man in his 80’s who had been hospitalized with underlying conditions.

For more information on the latest COVID-19 information, visit



  • 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 10:00a.m. and every Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 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 New Mexico Department of Health advises the public to seek emergency medical help if you are experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms.   

New Mexicans are calling the state’s COVID hotline (1-855-600-3453) looking for guidance from call center staff. The hotline is intended to be a resource for people with general questions about the disease, about COVID-19 testing and for those who are managing their illness well from home. 

Dr. Chad Smelser, a DOH medical epidemiologist says, “People experiencing severe difficulty breathing or other symptoms that make it difficult to care for themselves at home should not wait for a consultation from the hotline. The call center staff have had a surge in calls that need to be re-directed to 911. It is imperative that anyone struggling with the disease seeks evaluation and care from a medical facility.” 

The other urgent issue is the rapid spread of the disease. Dr. Smelser added “More people are getting tested which is the first step to decreasing the case counts but we are receiving reports that after testing, some people aren’t taking the protective measures necessary to stop the spread. Some are going about their usual, daily lives until they receive their test results. If you are having symptoms or were 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. The most powerful prevention tool is isolation and quarantine as early as possible to help reduce the spread of the disease.” 

The NMDOH is asking the public to support the state’s tracing response by self-identifying close contacts after receiving notice of a positive test and notifying them of their possible contact and the importance to quarantine and receive a test themselves. Anyone who spent 3 or more cumulative minutes within 6 feet of an infected person is considered a close contact and should quarantine at home for 14 days to avoid the risk of spreading the disease before it is recognized.  

For more information, visit



The New Mexico Department of Health and the State Personnel Office are seeking applicants with education or experience in health care fields to fill contact-tracing positions statewide as the fight against COVID intensifies.

As COVID cases rise and testing demand increases, the need for contact-tracers is imperative to identify, isolate, monitor and support COVID positive cases through their period of isolation.

Contact-tracing not only supports someone who has tested positive for COVID, they also alert those who have come into close contact with the COVID positive person so that they can immediately get tested and isolate. This process of case investigation is critical to virus containment and stopping the spread of the disease.

Applicants can apply by logging onto the State Personnel Office website and navigate to “View Job Opportunities and Apply” at the top right of the page. The contact-tracing positions are listed there. Hiring is virtual, and work will be remote.



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.

Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry

Held on the third  Wednesday of the month, the next Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry will be held November 18th from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3755 N. Swan Street, for any senior in Grant County (55 and older).

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.  

Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile Food Pantry

Held the 3rd Wednesday of the month, the next Mimbres Valley Health Action League mobile Food Pantry will be held next week – November 18th –  from  Noon to 2pm at the Roundup Lodge, 94 Acklin Hill Rd. Call 575-574-7674 for more information.

The Commons Gila Valley Mobile Food Pantry for Buckhorn, Cliff, Gila & Redrock residents

Is held the Third Tuesday of the month. The next food pantry is scheduled for next Tuesday, November 17th from  2:00 – 4:00 p.m at the Fairgrounds in Cliff.

Also held on the third Tuesday of the month, The Commons Mining District Mobile Food Pantry will be held next Tuesday, November 17th  1 – 3 pm, for Santa Clara, Bayard, Hanover & Hurley residents at Bataan Memorial Park in Santa Clara. For more information on the Commons Food Pantries please contact The Commons  at (575) 388-2988 or visit their new website at  



The New Mexico Human Services Department announced that New Mexico households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  or SNAP  benefits will once again receive the maximum amount for their household size for the month of November.

Beginning in March of 2020, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount each month. These increases were made to help reduce food insecurity for New Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic. SNAP households will automatically receive the additional allotment in the same way they receive their current benefits.Individuals seeking to apply for SNAP benefits may apply online through or by phone at 1-800-283-4465. Newly approved SNAP recipients will be eligible for the supplemental benefit. 



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. 

Saturdays 9 am — 12 pm at the corner of Pope St. and College Avenue in the old Life Quest parking lot. Visit the website at

Double Up Food Bucks are  now also available at the Silver City Food Coop for half off all New Mexico-grown produce purchases. 



You can enroll in or change 2021 Marketplace health insurance right now at The 2021 Open Enrollment Period runs from Sunday, November 1, 2020 to Tuesday, December 15, 2020. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2021 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2021.

You can preview 2021 plans and prices now and complete your enrollment starting November 1.

Still need 2020 coverage?

Open Enrollment for 2020 Marketplace insurance is over. You can still get 2020 health insurance 2 ways:

For more information, visit



PNM customers needing financial assistance with their electricity bills can apply through the new PNM Covid Customer Relief Program. 

Eligibility is based on household income:

  •     $50-$200 will be available per eligible residential customer and $150-$200 per eligible small business. The amount of financial assistance provided will vary depending on how much is past due.
  •     Qualified customers must pay at least 25% of the past-due balance
  •     You must apply no later than December 31, or until funds last, by calling PNM at 855-364-2950 Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM – 6 PM or visit
  •     Assistance is available on a first come, first served basis.

Full list of eligibility and requirements is available at



For many, the pandemic is a source of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty – but there is plenty we can do to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and it’s essential that we take time for genuine self-care. That’s how we’ll find the calm and stability to weather this time – together. 

Even when we’re quarantining, we’re still all in this together, Please reach out to mental health providers, faith or community leaders, and other people you trust during this time. When we stay connected, we stay strong.

Key tips include:

Healthy Daily Habits

  • Limit your viewing of repetitive news media; consider setting one or two times during the day to check media, and then take a break for more positive thoughts and activities.
  • Help children stay connected with friends through virtual means.
  • View news on prevention and treatment efforts by visiting New Mexico’s COVID-19 webpage ( or the Centers for Disease Control (
  • Find time and space to talk about your fears and concerns with other adults.
  • Exercise (in a COVID-safe manner).
  • Read with children, help them write letters to family or friends they miss.
  • Plan unstructured time to relax, talk, and play with family members.

If you need to talk, please reach out – call the NM Crisis Line and Access Line at 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474). If you want to text with a peer support worker use the NMCONNECT app available on smartphones. And if you’re considering taking drastic steps, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 . For more information, visit



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



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 for more information on application procedures.



The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department is reaching out to about 60,000 New Mexicans who may not have received or applied for the Economic Impact Payments authorized by the federal CARES Act earlier this year.

Taxation and Revenue, with the help of the New Mexico Human Services Department, identified people who may not have filed a federal tax return in 2018 or 2019 and, as a result, did not automatically receive their federal stimulus payment. 

Individuals may be eligible for payments of up to $1,200, depending on income, plus an additional $500 per qualifying child. 

It’s not too late to register for stimulus money even if you didn’t file a tax return. If you or someone you know is eligible, but hasn’t claimed it yet, the state is urging every New Mexican to register to get the money they’re eligible for before the IRS November 21, deadline.”

The deadline to request a payment from the IRS is Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. Mountain Time. To apply and for more information, go to



Millions of immigrants are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, risking their health and well-being every day to keep our society going. And yet, many immigrants were left out of the CARES Act relief. 

The COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund is providing financial support to immigrant families who have been left out of the federal government’s relief efforts. Immigrants may be eligible to receive a $500 grant to help cover whatever is most pressing in their lives.

Find out more at


Thank you for joining us on Coronavirus Update here on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio, KURU 89.1 FM, streaming online at

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

Please continue to visit our website,, for a clearinghouse of local, state and federal information and resources to help keep you, your family and our community safe in these times.

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

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

Written by: Allyson Siwik

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