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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

First Coronavirus case hits Doña Ana County, other updates

Posted

According to the Centers of Disease Control, www.cdc.gov, the national confirmed COVID-19 cases increased from 10,442 March 19, to 15,219 March 20. There have been 201 deaths.

In New Mexico, confirmed cases increased from 35 to 43, including the first confirmed case in Doña Ana County. In Texas, cases increased from 143 to 194, with three confirmed in El Paso County. Information from Mexico is more difficult to track, but Ciudad Juarez has so far confirmed two cases.

Here are three symptoms the CDC says may appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19: fever, cough, shortness of breath. Also considered at risk are people who have recently traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Portland. 

Federal and state officials are urging individuals to seek testing only if symptoms are present. The goal is to lighten the load on an already overburdened healthcare facility system.

New Mexicans with health-related questions can call our coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated and finalized as a one-stop source for information.

SCREENINGS IN LAS CRUCES

  • The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)’s Public Health Division will be providing drive-thru COVID-19 Monday, March 23 at the following location:
    Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine parking lot
    3501 Arrowhead Dr.
    9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (or until supplies last)

It is critical to know before attending these screenings that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection do not need testing for COVID-19. We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.

Priority screening will be provided for the following:
· People experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, or shortness of breath;
· People who have traveled from Europe (to include Italy), China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, and Portland

LATEST REGIONAL NUMBERS

New Mexico

3,814 people tested

43 positive (1.1%)

0 deaths

1 in Doña Ana County

Source: https://cv.nmhealth.org

Texas

4,109 people tested

194 positive (3.7%)

5 deaths

3 cases in El Paso County

Source: www.dshs.texas.gov

OTHER RECENT NEWS

  • Several grocery stores are offering special shopping hours for seniors.  Many have adjusted their hours, typically opening early, to allow these individuals to beat the crowds and reduce their risk of exposure, as the virus is more dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised, and many essential items have been difficult for seniors to find. The early hours have the additional benefit of allowing seniors to shop while shelves are well stocked. Stores include the following in Las Cruces:

Walmart -Beginning on March 24 through April 28, Tuesdays (only) stores will open one hour early, for those 60 years of age or older.

Target –Wednesdays (only) stores will open one hour early, for those individuals who are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

Dollar General –Opening one hour early every day, for seniors.

Albertson’s – throughout New Mexico – Tuesdays and Thursdays (only), opening from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM, for seniors and at-risk populations.

Big Lots – Reserving first hour of every day for seniors and those most vulnerable to COVID-19 virus.

  • Casa de Peregrinos food pantry remains open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at 999 W. Amador Ave., Suite F on the Community of Hope campus.
  • COVID-19 screenings, presented by the New Mexico Department of Health, in Las Cruces Friday, March 20, lasted two hours before testing supplies ran out.
  • From the Internal Revenue Service: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns has been extended to July 15, 2020. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. For those who can’t file by the April 15, 2020, deadline, the IRS reminds individual taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request a six-month extension to file their return.

Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals. For more information, contact your accountant or visit www.irs.gov.

  • The Bureau of Land Management has temporarily suspended entrance fees on public lands across America. These include locations near Las Cruces, such as Dripping Springs, Aguirre Spring Campground. To look at BLM lands in New Mexico, check here:https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/recreation-activities/new-mexico.
  • The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces has temporarily suspended the public celebration of Mass, including weddings. All parish events such as baptism and marriage preparation classes, group meetings, etc. are suspended. Funerals will be celebrated in a private manner with only the immediate family present (less than 10 people).
  • Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a consumer safety advisory, warning New Mexican consumers of various scams related to the coronavirus outbreak. This advisory comes in the wake of many reports to the Office of the Attorney General of consumer price gouging and COVID-19 scams emerging in New Mexico. Any New Mexican that is suspicious of price gouging or scamming activity is urged to immediately file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General atnmag.gov. Possible scams include the following:
  • COVID-19 HOTLINE SCAM Please be aware there are several phishing scams where the caller impersonates a representative from the COVID-19 Hotline or other medical entity. The scammer is asking for personal information like social security and date of birth, telling callers they must have that information in order to release COVID-19 testing results. remind the public that we will never ask for your social security number. Any confirmation of a positive COVID-19 swab test will be made by the clinic where you were seen or the New Mexico Department of Health. 
  • GENERAL PHONE SCAMS If anyone makes an empty promise that requires up front payment, demands personal or financial information, or asks you to pay them with a gift card, this is likely a scam. Do your research. Please remember that real legal notices are sent in writing and are not communicated over the phone. 
  • DOOR-TO-DOOR SCAMS Recently, there have been reports of groups or individuals going door-to-door falsely claiming to be doing in-home testing for coronavirus. Some scammers may claim to be from the government or authorized by the government.  
  • COVID-19 CURE SCAMS There is no FDA-approved cure for coronavirus. Any company claiming that their product can prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus without competent medical research supporting their claims is breaking the law. There is no credible evidence that coronavirus can be cured by drinking bleach, drinking colloidal silver, taking herbal supplements, or using other homeopathic remedies. When in doubt, consult a medical professional.
  • IMPLIED CLAIMS SCAMS In order to evade liability, some companies will merely imply that their products prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus. Read claims carefully so you understand what is being promised and what is not
  • E-MAIL PHISHING SCAMS Do not click on links sent to you by people you don't know. In the wake of disasters like the coronavirus outbreak, scammers will often email or text consumers claiming to offer things like free vaccines or free testing kits. Scammer will also attempt to collect personal information by impersonating a government agency like the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and others. Never provide your personal information to someone you don't know.
  • FUNDRAISING SCAMS If anyone asks you for a donation to a coronavirus-related charity, do your homework before donating. Visit the Attorney General's Charities webpage to search for legitimate charities  (https://www.nmag.gov/charities.aspx) and do not donate to anyone asking for cash, gift cards, or for money to be sent to them via wire transfer. 
  • GENERAL DISINFORMATION SPREADING Know how to spot disinformation. Many websites will post misleading or inflammatory information about coronavirus in order to drive up page views and make money from advertisers. Here is a list of websites that have been reported for posting or publishing false information about the coronavirus outbreak:https://www.newsguardtech.com/coronavirus-misinformation-tracking-center/. For legitimate information, visit the State of New Mexico's comprehensive resource site (newmexico.gov);  the CDC's website (www.cdc.gov); or the World Health Organization's website (www.who.int).