Coronavirus Update

Grant County Coronavirus Update

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Grant County Coronavirus Update

August 13th, 2021

On this week’s Coronavirus Update

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 1281 new cases of coronavirus, including 331 historical cases in Lea County. Since last week there have been 4526 additional cases announced for a total of 217,773, with 22 additional deaths over the past week for a total of 4,441 deaths in New Mexico. 

293 individuals remain hospitalized in New Mexico, which is an increase of 90 from last week.

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

As of Thursday, 74.5% of New Mexicans 18+ have received their first dose of the two-shot vaccine for COVID-19, while 65.7% 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 20 new COVID cases since last week, for a total of 1,828 cases.  

One new death has been reported in Grant County in the last week. 43 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 Monday, the Department of Health also reports that 71% of Grant County residents are partially vaccinated and 65.1% are fully vaccinated.

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

Announcements:

Health Officials warn COVID-19 Cases Rising in New Mexico

At their weekly press conference, NM Department of Health officials warned of rising COVID-19 cases in the state. Daily case counts are 10 times higher than the first week of July and the test positivity rate of 8.7% is 1.2% higher than the gating target of 7.5%. Virtually all of the COVID-19 cases genetically analyzed were the highly contagious Delta variant. Acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase strongly encouraged COVID-19 testing and vaccination “to stop transmission and stop opportunities for further viral mutations.” He said that “for every 49 vaccinated New Mexicans, we save one life.” Scrase also recommended masking for all unvaccinated people and for vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high risk. Most of New Mexico is in substantial or high risk. Grant County is in substantial risk.

Source: 

https://cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/8.11.21-Covid-Press-Conference-FINAL.pdf 

Additional coverage of press conference:

https://www.sfreporter.com/news/2021/08/11/doh-officials-describe-covid-19-rise-in-nm-as-alarming/ 

CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People – Dangers of the Delta Variant

Safer Activities for You and Your Family

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic.
  • To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmissionToday 8/13/21, Grant County is an area of high transmission.
  • Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.
  • You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance.

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

Department of Health Calls for Healthcare Providers to  Register and Administer Vaccines

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is calling on all New Mexico healthcare providers caring for immunosuppressed patients to register with the agency as an approved COVID-19 vaccine provider in anticipation of federal approval and recommendation for booster shots for portions of New Mexico’s population.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is imminently expected to authorize a booster dose of COVID vaccines for patients with weakened immune systems.

For physicians wishing to register to administer COVID-19 booster shots, please contact the New Mexico Statewide Immunization Information system (NMSIIS) Help Desk at covid.vaccines@state.nm.us or register online at https://cv.nmhealth.org/providers/vaccines/vaccine-provider-portal/

Source: https://cv.nmhealth.org/2021/08/12/department-of-health-calls-for-healthcare-providers-to-register-and-administer-vaccines/ 

State agencies partner with Vitalant to combat blood shortage

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

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

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

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

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

August’s Blood Drives 

This month alone, Vitalant is hosting more than 40 blood drives across the state (see attached list). 

Blood Drives -August 2021

How to Donate 

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

Source: https://www.nmhealth.org/news/awareness/2021/8/?view=1591 

CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium Order in Areas of Substantial and High Transmission

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed an order determining the evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This order will expire on October 3, 2021 and applies in United States counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2.

The eviction moratorium allows additional time for rent relief to reach renters and to further increase vaccination rates. In the context of a pandemic, eviction moratoria—like quarantine, isolation, and social distancing—can be an effective public health measure utilized to prevent the spread of communicable disease. Eviction moratoria facilitate self-isolation and self-quarantine by people who become ill or who are at risk of transmitting COVID-19 by keeping people out of congregate settings and in their own homes.

CDC remains committed and will continue to explore and use all of the tools at our disposal to protect the health and well-being of Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-eviction-declaration.html.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0803-cdc-eviction-order.html 

New Mexico’s Eviction Moratorium Remains in Place 

Apply Now for Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Available Through August 30

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

If you are in need of assistance, the state of New Mexico will grant approximately $170M of federal aid to New Mexicans for rental and utility assistance to households experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak. New Mexicans can apply for assistance at www.RentHelpNM.org. The deadline to apply is August 30.

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

Public Education Department Releases COVID-19 School Re-entry Protocols

The state Public Education Department released its back-to-school reentry guide, or “toolkit,” for the 2021/2022 school year.

The new protocols require masks for everyone in an elementary school while in a school building, on school transportation or at an indoor school-sponsored event.

At secondary schools, however, students, staff, volunteers and visitors who are fully vaccinated and provide documentation don’t have to wear masks. Anyone who is unvaccinated (or lacking documentation of vaccination) will have to wear masks in all those places (here’s a PED FAQ on masks).

The plan also requires social distancing for unvaccinated students and staff in schools, with adults required to maintain 6 feet of social distance from others and unvaccinated students required to maintain 3 feet of social distance “to the extent possible, except when eating, exercising, taking mask breaks, playing wind instruments and singing or shouting, in which case 6 feet of social distance is required.”

As for determining the vaccination status of students, individual schools are required to come up with plans for doing so, as well as new disciplinary measures for mask-wearing violations. In the case of Santa Fe Public Schools, classes start Aug. 6. According to the district’s website, it is in the process of reviewing the state guidance and will publish a guide for the district in the coming days and hold community and staff meetings prior to students’ return.

See back to school guidance here – https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/back-to-school-guidance/ 

Vaccine Information

CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People – Dangers of the Delta Variant

Safer Activities for You and Your Family

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic.
  • To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmissionToday 8/13/21, Grant County is an area of high transmission.
  • Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.
  • You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance.

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

New Mexico announces back-to-school pharmacy partnership

The New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department 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 

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

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

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/ 

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

Updated August 12, 2021

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

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

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

On the arm where you got the shot:

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

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

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

Remember

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

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

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 July 28th guidance, fully vaccinated people can:

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

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

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. As of 8/12/21, Grant County is an area of substantial transmission.
    • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 get tested 3-5 days after the date of your exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

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

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

COVID-19 Testing

NM DOH COVID-19 Testing Guidance

Testing Sites and Times

Update 8/10/21

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

Provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:30-9:00 a.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, 603 Hadeco Drive, Lordsburg, NM

Testing will be conducted every Thursday from 9:30-10:00a.m. 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.  

How it works:

  1. Answer a few questions to see if you qualify for COVID-19 testing.
  2. Select a test site and available time. Fill out the registration form.
  3. Insurance card and proof of identity are required, as well as test confirmation email or text message. Be sure to have your mobile phone in case we need to reach you.
  4. Upon arrival, follow instructions posted at the site. For rapid result tests, an onsite MinuteClinic provider will call with next steps, and patients may be asked to come into the clinic depending on their results. For lab tests, your sample is sent to one of our lab partners. Average turnaround time for receiving results from lab tests is 1-2 days.
  5. We’ll text you a secure link to view and download your results for 5 days. We’ll also send you emails to activate a MyChart account, which will give you permanent access to your results.

To sign up for a test, or for more information, visit: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/clinic-locator/covid-19-testing/silvercity-covid-10449.html

Walgreens Pharmacy

Walgreens offers FREE* drive-thru COVID-19 testing for ages 3+ as well as convenient at-home test kits for purchase in-store and online.

To schedule a test, or to explore home testing options, visit: https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/covid-testing.jsp?ban=covidinfoLP_testinginfoLP_fy21offer

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

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

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

At-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva test opportunities

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

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

To sign up for a test, and for more information, visit https://learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/

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 Homeowner Assistance Fund  

Note: The New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund pilot temporarily stopped accepting applications on August 9, 2021. The program will reopen and information on how to apply will be available on this page (https://housingnm.org/new-mexico-homeowner-assistance-fund

If you are experiencing difficulty making monthly housing payments please contact your loan servicer for relief options.   

To speak to someone about your application call 505.308.4206 or 866.488.0498.

If you are looking for rental or utility assistance, please visit: renthelpnm.org.

Source: https://housingnm.org/new-mexico-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., August 25, via video and teleconference.

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

Senior Utility Assistance

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

Help with Internet Expenses — the Emergency Broadband Benefit

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

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

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

Beginning on May 12 households can apply in three ways: 

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.  
  2. Go to 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 

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 August 17, 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 August 17th  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   

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 August 18th  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). 

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, August 18th, 12pm – 2pm at the Roundup Lodge. Call 575-574-7674 for more information.

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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Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight: Mimbres Culture Heritage Site

On today’s episode Candice Burke is joined by Linda Pafford and Bill Hudson who are here to discuss the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. The mission of MCHS is to “ protect and preserve the pre-historic and historic features of the site, and to provide visitors with the educational opportunities to increase their understanding of the history of the land use in the Mimbres Valley.” https://gmcr.org/prog/communityspotlight/community%20spotlight%20210805%20mimbres%20heritage%20site.mp3  

today5 August 2021 117 15 2


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

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