As the month opens to extended restrictions that ask New Mexicans to stay home and maximize social distancing, it is difficult to shift our focus and remember that April 1, 2020 is also Census Day. While completing the census may seem insignificant in comparison to the dramatic changes we are all experiencing now, it is actually one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves from the broader impact of the COVID-19 virus, which will extend far beyond the current moment of crisis. Numbers collected right now, from the census forms that we complete, will be used to determine funding for critical educational, health, and supplemental assistance programs for the next 10 years. With unemployment increases and economic declines projected nationally for the years following the current pandemic, we will depend on these programs more than ever to help us through the extended economic recovery period ahead. Our census numbers will also be used to determine funding for the rural health clinics that offer the first line of defense against this and any future public health threats. With so much at stake, we need a full, complete census count of all New Mexicans - now more than ever. Complete your census form. If you need help, go to the icountnm website or call 1-844-330- 2020.
On Tuesday 31 March Governor Lujan-Grisham provided updates on the state’s plans for dealing with the surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 that are expected in the coming month. Hospital capacity will be increased at existing sites by adding more hospital beds while new facilities are prepared for opening at previously closed locations. Read the full story in the New Mexico Political Report.
The state has also changed test requirements to make more testing available for more people. The New Mexico Department of Health’s recently updated criteria for testing now allow those WITHOUT symptoms to be tested if they or anyone in their household has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if they are present in nursing homes, homeless shelters, detention centers, or group homes. Consult the latest New Mexico Department of Health announcement for a full list of updated criteria for coronavirus testing.
The local Small Business Administration has provided the following information regarding updates to the application process for the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program. The new application streamlines potential eligibility qualification for a one-time advance of up to $10,000. Please refer to the information attached and below:
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