San Miguel County will hold a special emergency Commissioners’ meeting today, 31 March, at 3:30 p.m. The San Miguel County Courthouse and Chambers are closed and the meeting will be held remotely. Those wishing to view the meeting live online may do so through the free Zoom app provided through the special commission meeting announcement on the Home page of the San Miguel County website. If you wish to view the meeting webcast after the event, you may do so at on the San Miguel County YouTube Channel.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that has passed Congress provides substantial assistance for small businesses to help cover payroll, rent, and utilities during the coronavirus outbreak. A summary breakdown of the provisions included in the act is provided in a press release from Senator Udall’s office this week. A more extended summary of the paycheck protection provision, which allows employers to retain and pay employees, is available on the NM Economic Development Department coronavirus web page. Note that this provision applies to businesses that continue to pay employees even if those employees are unable to perform work due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
New Mexico is continuing to take a pro-active role in responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. According to reports in both the Albuquerque Journal and the NM Political Report, testing for COVID-19 in New Mexico began early and has expanded rapidly, allowing positive cases to be identified, isolated, and traced relatively early in the virus cycle. This helps state health officials provide targeted responses to areas with higher numbers of cases and be better prepared to respond to medical needs in these communities. For a complete and updated list of all 19 testing and screening sites in New Mexico, go the New Mexico Department of Health COVID-19 screening and testing sites page. (Use the arrows to view all 19 sites listed on all 5 web pages.) The New Mexican also reported that the President has promised to provide New Mexico with the U.S. Army Field hospital requested by Governor Lujan-Grisham “as soon as possible.”
As per Governor Lujan-Grisham's announcement this morning, New Mexico schools will be closed for the remainder of the year.
Read the announcement.
Some updates on assistance available to support communities during the COVID-19 outbreak:
Help for businesses
Through new funding made available to its partners by the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation (NMSBIC), additional loans and lines of credit will be extended to businesses in New Mexico that have been impacted by COVID-19. Other benefits provided by this funding include education and access to capital. More information is provided on the New Mexico state web announcement. Note that support is made only through NMSBIC’s partners, so you should not contact NMSBIC directly. To find appropriate funding support for specific business needs, contact one of the organizations listed in the announcement.
Testing for Coronavirus
Testing for coronavirus is widely available in New Mexico, including at Alta Vista Regional Hospital in San Miguel County. Note that testing for COVID-19 at Alta Vista Regional Hospital is now provided at no cost at a drive through facility that is open M-F from 2-3 p.m. A referral by a professional health care provider is required at the time of testing. Health insurance information is also required for testing, but there will be no charge for the COVID-19 test from insurance providers. Those without any insurance who are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 will not be turned away. For more information, contact Alta Vista Regional Hospital at 505-426-3615.
Help for organizations helping to provide access to food and health care
The Santa Fe Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund is offering small grants to non-profit organizations in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, and/or Mora Counties. Initial funding will go to those organizations that are prioritizing support for nonprofits focusing on health/wellbeing and food insecurity, but as funding increases, other services may be supported. All funding is non-restricted. More information and application forms are available on the Santa Fe Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund webpage.
Support for childcare
New Mexico if offering several avenues of support for childcare during the coronavirus outbreak. New Mexico Caregiver Emergency Childcare Grants, made available through the New Mexico Caregivers Coalition, offer funding support for childcare to caregivers or home health care workers who have children between the ages of 0-12 in a child care setting. Grant amount is $100 and may be applied for up to three (3) times. More information and applications are available on the childcare grants webpage on the New Mexico Caregivers Coalition website.
The state is also providing opportunities for friends, families, and neighbors to become emergency child care providers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn about this program on the emergency childcare provider information page on NewMexicoKids.org
If you have information about programs in the area that can help our community during the COVID-19 outbreak, please send it to us and we will share as possible.
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