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(EDITOR’S NOTE: The below information is current as of 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 23. As we know, the news regarding Coronavirus and responses is changing by the minute. We will work to update as needed.)
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today executed a new public health order which suspends operations of businesses and nonprofits considered nonessential. The order also limits the size of gatherings to five people.
Restaurants will remain closed to inside diners, but may continue serving meals via delivery or pickup.
“Basic retail is no longer allowed in the state of New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. “And we don’t want to see New Mexicans in groups larger than five. We have to take social responsibility for one another. If you don’t take this seriously, we can’t slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Businesses considered essential include medical and healthcare, law enforcement and first responders. Lujan Grisham gave a “huge shout-out” to all those workers, as well as truck drivers, gas station operators and every public worker using gloves and doing cleaning and sanitizing, and to “everyone who’s feeding our vulnerable population.”
Regarding the inevitable economic impact, the governor said she is working with Congress daily, on conversations with the White House and working with the state’s legislative leadership. She said there is a lot of legislation and programs coming to help businesses and individuals weather the economic storm, adding they should “provide real benefits to working families immediately.”
A lot of the recent New Mexico cases are among people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
“This virus is vicious and can attack any number of people,” Lujan Grisham said. “If we do this together, we will be alright, and we will get through it and we will minimize the impact.”
Cases continue to rise
According to the Centers of Disease Control, www.cdc.gov, the national confirmed COVID-19 cases increased from 26,747 March 22, to 33,404 March 23. There have been 400 deaths.
In New Mexico, confirmed cases increased from 65 to 83, with 10 cases in Doña Ana County. In Texas, cases increased from 304 to 352, with eight deaths. El Paso County has confirmed six cases. Information from Mexico is more difficult to track, but Ciudad Juarez has so far confirmed five cases, four with travel from Europe and one with travel from California.
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.
Stay-at-home vs. shelter-in-place
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham stopped short of calling New Mexico’s public health order a “shelter in place,” opting instead for the term “instruction to stay home.” Regardless of the terminology, New Mexico became the 13th state to issue such an order.
The previous 12 were California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.
Chances are more states will follow shortly, if not already.
5,973 people tested
83 positive (1.4%)
10 in Dona Ana County
Source: NM Dept of Health (https://cv.nmhealth.org/)
10,055 people tested
352 positive (3.5%)
6 cases in El Paso County
Source: Texas Dept of Health (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates.shtm#coronavirus)