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(EDITOR’S NOTE: The below information is current as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24. As we know, the news regarding Coronavirus and responses is changing by the minute. We will work to update as needed.)
According to the Centers of Disease Control, www.cdc.gov, the national confirmed COVID-19 cases increased from 33,404 March 23, to 44,183 March 24. There have been 544 deaths.
In New Mexico, confirmed cases increased from 83 to 100, with a total of 13 cases now in Doña Ana County. In Texas, cases increased from 352 to 410, with nine deaths. El Paso County has confirmed seven cases. Information from Mexico is more difficult to track, but Ciudad Juarez has so far confirmed five cases, and the Juarez mayor has ordered a suspension of public events and gatherings and temporarily closed many businesses and services.
6,842 people tested
100 positive (1.4%)
13 in Dona Ana County
Source: NM Dept of Health (https://cv.nmhealth.org/)
11,167 people tested
410 positive (3.7%)
7 cases in El Paso County
Source: Texas Dept of Health (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates.shtm#coronavirus)
MountainView Regional Medical Center strengthens restrictions
In further response to the COVID-19 outbreak MountainView Regional Medical Center is implementing tighter restrictions on hospital visitation effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 25. This action is necessary to reduce the risk of Coronavirus being spread to patients and staff.
Beginning at that time, MountainView Regional Medical Center will eliminate all visitors, vendors and contractors unless specifically allowed under the exceptions below. This includes eliminating all visitors for patients in isolation. MVRMC continues elimination of visitors into its Oncology Infusion, and Dialysis Areas.
Las Cruces restaurants & services
The New Mexico State University Alumni Association has assembled this useful list of Las Cruces restaurants and other organizations providing services. Please call first before, as store hours and openings are changing daily. Some may have changed since the governor’s new public health order closed additional businesses.
City of Las Cruces closes parks
Consistent with and in support of the latest directive from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Department of Health, all sections of the City of Las Cruces Parks & Recreation Department are now closed.
All services, which include medians, right of ways (ROW), alleys, parks, trails, restrooms and fountains are suspended until further notice. Recreation facilities, pools, and the administrative office are closed as well.
As an exercise alternative, the parks and recreation department has partnered with the National Fitness Campaign to bring you an indoor workout to help you move, stretch and stay positive in just seven minutes a day. Workouts are for all ages and can be done in very little space inside your home. Just download the free NFC app on your phone to access these indoor seven-minute workouts. NFC will provide new workouts every week.
For more information and to get the free NFC app, go to the Parks and Recreation Facebook page @CLCParksandRec.
FAQs on New Mexico Public Health Order
Below are details on the Public Health order Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel announced Monday.
All New Mexicans must immediately heed the directive to stay home except to maintain continuity of functions critical to public health and safety.
Read the Executive Order here.
See the full list of what businesses and services are deemed essential here.
Find the below FAQs online here.
Q: When should I leave my house?
A: You may leave your home for these reasons:
Q: What’s open?
A: Essential businesses and nonprofits, as defined in the order, will remain open. These include:
The full list is available here.
Q: Are there additional closings because of this order?
A: Yes. If a business does not fall under one of the “essential” categories, employees must either telework or it must suspend operations.
Q: The new order revises what’s considered a prohibited mass gathering. What’s the new rule?
A: This order defines a mass gathering as any public or private gathering that brings together five or more individuals in a single room or connected space or an outdoor space where people are within 6 feet of each other.
Q: Are there any exemptions to the 5-or-more rule?
A: Yes. If five or more people live together, they are exempt inside their residence. Also exempt are churches, synagogues, mosques or other places of worship.
Q: What’s closed?
Q: How long will this order be in place?
A: This order is in place through 8 a.m. April 10, 2020, unless otherwise amended.
Q: What about government services?
A: This order does not change the status of state and local government operations. Previous orders exempted all persons necessary to maintain the operations of state and local governments. State government has already moved to a largely telework system; local government agencies are strongly encouraged to do the same.
Q: Is there a curfew associated with the order?
Q: My employer has asked me to come to work at a non-essential business – what do I do?
A: The main line at newmexico.gov, 833-551-0518, will soon have a reporting mechanism to report non-compliance to the state.
SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE
Q: My school is providing free grab-and-go meals, instructional materials and supplies, and child care. Are those still open?
Q: Are child care services still open? Can my babysitter still come to the house?
A: Yes. Child care facilities necessary to provide services to workers employed by essential businesses and nonprofit entities may continue to operate. Child care services are also available to serve families with young children when the parents are involved with protective services, behavioral health and/or juvenile justice services.
Child care facilities that remain open must employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements; guidance will be released shortly.
Babysitters may travel to homes to care for the children of parents working in essential sectors.
Q: Can I go to the park?
A: No, you should not.
Q: Will public roads be closed?
A: No. All streets, roads and highways will remain open.
Q: What about public transportation?
A: Public transportation is considered an essential service; it will continue to operate.
Q: How does the order affect people who are homeless?
A: Previous orders exempted those who are homeless, and that has not changed. Like everyone, they are encouraged to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet.
Services that provide for the homeless, like shelters, may remain open.
Q: Can I still get my mail and deliveries?
A: Yes. You will still be able to get mail and other deliveries at your home. Mail is considered an essential government function, and businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are considered essential businesses.
HEALTH CARE AND HELPING SICK RELATIVES
Q: Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?
A: The Department of Health’s March 13, 2020, public health order states that visitors are only allowed at nursing homes and other facilities that care for seniors if they are receiving end-of-life care and the visitor meets certain conditions (i.e. temperature taken at the entrance).
Many hospitals are implementing modified visitation policies at this time. Check with the specific hospital location about what the policy is at this time.
Q: Since health care is a necessary activity, may I keep my appointment for an eye exam or a dental cleaning?
A: Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning and elective procedures should be postponed. If possible, health care visits should be done remotely.
Q: May I still go out to get my prescriptions?
A: Yes. Pharmacies remain open, as do medical marijuana dispensaries.
Q: Can I leave home to care for family members or friends who have disabilities, or who require assistance to care for themselves?
A: Yes. Be sure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue and then washing your hands. If you have any symptoms of a cold, however, please stay away.
Q: Can I still go outside for a hike or walk?
Yes, but you must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet with those outside of your family unit.
Gyms, fitness centers, recreational centers, golf courses, swimming pools and skating rinks are all closed.
New Mexico State Parks have been temporarily closed to protect public health.
Q: Can I walk my dog? Take my pet to the vet?
A: You may walk your dog. You may also take your pet to the vet; emergency veterinary services are exempt from the orders.
Q: Have any other states done this?
A: Yes. As of Sunday, March 22, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois had issued similar orders.