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(EDITOR’S NOTE: The below information is current as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. 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 44,183 March 24, to 54,453 March 25. There have been 737 deaths.
In New Mexico, confirmed cases have not been updated from Tuesday’s state total of 100 and Doña Ana County’s total of 13. However, the state announced its first COVID-related death, an Eddy County man in his late 70s, with multiple chronic underlying health issues, tested postive. In Texas, cases increased from 410 to 974, with 12 deaths. El Paso County has confirmed 11 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.
NEW MEXICO (info from March 24)
6,842 people tested
100 positive (1.4%)
13 in Dona Ana County
Source: NM Dept of Health (https://cv.nmhealth.org/)
13,235 people tested
974 positive (7.4%)
11 cases in El Paso County
Source: Texas Dept of Health (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates.shtm#coronavirus)
NM grocery stores continue modified hours for seniors
Many New Mexico grocery stores have adjusted hours, typically opening early, to allow seniros 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.
Participating stores include:
Walmart – Through April 28, Tuesdays only, stores will open one hour early, for those 60 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– Mondays and Thursdays only, opening from 7-9 a.m. for seniors and at-risk populations.
Big Lots – Reserving first hour of every day for seniors and those most vulnerable to COVID-19 virus.
Congress finalizes stimulus package
Members of the U.S. House and Senate are working on the details of a $2 trillion pandemic stimulus bill to address the economic effects of coronavirus.
The bill is expected to include direct payments to Americans (typically $1,200 per person), suspenstion of student loan payments through Sept. 30, a $500 billion loan program for businesses, federal aid for contractors and ‘gig’ workers, protections against foreclosures and evictions, more funding for food assistance and many other programs.
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.
Las Cruces Public Schools has also closed its playgrounds.