County COVID-19 Update

While the New Mexico State government has been gradually opening businesses to the public, many parks and recreational areas remain closed. 

Socorro County Manager Michael Hawkes and Socorro County Emergency Management’s Gail Tripp have released the latest COVID-19 situation report.

The situation as of the week of May 18, 2020:

The Socorro County Commission is implementing a modified version of the New Mexico Business Coalition Plan to get New Mexicans back to work. The County offices are open in a limited capacity with processes in place to ensure the staff and costumer safety. The Clerk’s office is doing early voting.

The County of Socorro, NM State EOC and the National Guard are working in collaboration to support the Alamo reservation with water, food and ppe supplies. The State will be evaluating the water system in Alamo this week to begin a plan to repair the current system so it will function.

The County has received its water hauling number for the New Mexico Environmental Department on its 6,000-gallon tanker to help support these efforts. The County has received and delivered 10 gallons of hand sanitizer, five gallons to Alamo, 2.5 gallons to La Joya, and dispensed bottles to several offices in the county.

The modified Public Health Emergency declared by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for COVID-19 is in effect through May 31:

• Unless a healthcare provider instructs otherwise, all individuals shall wear a mask or multilayered covering in public settings, except when eating, drinking or exercising.

• Requirements for all employers: Arrange workplace to allow for six feet of distance between workers; have all employees wear face coverings while in the presence of others; have handwashing materials and sanitizer available to all employees; screen all employees for coronavirus symptoms before they enter the work place. Direct those experiencing symptoms to free testing from the Department of Health; follow maximum occupancy requirements; employees should continue to work from home whenever possible.

• All gatherings over five individuals are prohibited.

• Close contact businesses and recreational facilities remain closed.

• All other non-essential businesses may open provided that the total number of people does not exceed 25 percent of maximum occupancy and adhere to pertinent CSPs.

• Restaurants limited to take-out and delivery only.

• Houses of worship may conduct services provided that the total number of people does not exceed 25 percent of maximum occupancy.

• Places of lodging shall not operate at more than 25 percent of maximum occupancy.

• All casinos shall remain closed, excluding casinos on Tribal land.

• Animal shelters, zoos and other operations providing animal care may operate, with the minimum number of employees necessary while maintaining social distancing.

• Golf courses may operate for golf only provided they comply with COVID-Safe Practices.

• Outdoor tennis courts may operate provided they comply with COVID-Safe Practices.

• State parks my open for day-use only and subject to staff availability. Camping areas and visitor’s centers shall remain closed.

• Summer youth programs may operate on a limited basis provided they adhere to CSPs.

• Grocery stores and other retailers are directed to limit the sale of medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products, and hygiene products to three items per individual.

• Indoor shopping malls, retail shops, recreational facilities, theatres are still closed.

• Other high-intensity contact services that must remain closed include indoor malls, massage and tattoo parlors, theaters, casinos.

• A 14-day quarantine order remains in place for out-of-state airport arrivals.

• Vacation rentals are prohibited to out-of-state residents.

• Visits to long-term care and other congregate care facilities remain restricted.

• Day-only fishing allowed at Escondida Lake for a maximum of 69 people.

The governor has outlined a phased reopening of the economy.

We are currently in Phase One:

• Vulnerable individuals are instructed to keep staying at home.

• Some non-essential businesses permitted to re-open in compliance with Covid Safe Practices.

• Certain businesses will stay closed.

Phase Two (and beyond):

• Additional businesses permitted to re-open in compliance with Covid Safe Practices.

• Large gatherings and events are still restricted for the foreseeable future.

Other changes to be announced.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health as of press time:

• Total cases testing positive in Socorro County - 49

• Deaths - 4

• Tested - 904

• Breakdown by Zip Code:

• 2 cases in 87801 (City of Socorro)

• 6 cases in 87036 (overlapping into Torrance County)

• 3 cases in 87062 (Veguita region)

• 1 case 87823 (Lemitar/Polvadera)

• 41 cases in 87825 (Alamo/Magdalena/Gila)

• 2 cases in 87832 (San Antonio region)

COVID-Safe Practices:

Stay at home. Avoid unnecessary travel.

Maintain a six-foot distance from others.

Wash your hands frequently.

Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands.

All meeting to take place remotely whenever possible

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Watch for symptoms of COVID-19; fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, headache, chills, repeated shaking with chills.

Socorro County Emergency Services Department continues to coordinate non-congregate sheltering to assist with the public need should it arise. Socorro County Emergency Services Department continues to distribute PPE as requests are filled at the State Emergency Operations Center.

Socorro County offices will remain closed until at least May 31. Essential staff is operating in the departments that are needed.

The Socorro Public Health Office at 214 Neel Avenue provides COVID -19 screening every Wednesday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Call the Health Office at 575-835-0971 (option 3) to schedule an appointment.

The City of Socorro is operating in a limited capacity. Phone calls are being taken but all offices are closed. Payments are being accepted over the phone, online, in the dropbox, or by mail.

Go to https://www.socorronm.gov/ to look up individuals to contact them.

The City’s timeframe for closure is based on the guidelines of the Governor’s office.

Coverings over the nose and mouth and social distancing are still required in all businesses.

The Village of Magdalena is operating normally. Offices are open but they are encouraging the public to conduct business by phone.

New Mexico Tech is producing hand sanitizer and working with the County to distribute at various locations to be announced on the County website and Facebook. Some sites could include the Senior Centers and hard to reach locations throughout the County.

The Socorro County Sheriffs’ office is closed, but deputies are patrolling and phones are being answered.

The Socorro Police Department is closed, but offices are patrolling and phones are being answered.

The Magdalena Marshal is operating normally.

Socorro county transfer stations are operating normal business hours.

The Socorro County Senior Center is operating normal hours with curbside and home delivery available.

Puerto Seguro is providing meals for the homeless from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Environmental Protection Agency is providing a list of disinfectants to fight COVID-19. Got to https://www.whca.org/files/2020/03/EPA-List-ofDisinfectants.pdf

Socorro General Hospital

The hospital is flexing some clinical positions to expand its critical care workforce. They also have outdoor triage tents set up to use if they become necessary. They are working and coordinating daily with other system leaders and the New Mexico Department of Health.

Socorro General Hospital does not have a drive-through testing site, but they are able to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing, which are then sent to Tri-Core Laboratories. Patients must be screened before being tested.

To have symptoms screened for a COVID-19 test, community members can visit https://pres.today/covid for a free video visit or online visit or contact the state Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453. If you have been screened and require testing, please contact your local healthcare provider.

If you are a patient at Socorro Medical Group Clinic, call the clinic at 575-838-4690 and you will be met outside for triage. Specimens can be collected from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. every day. If you have symptoms and need emergency care, please call the Emergency Department at 575-835-8370 before arriving.

Socorro General Hospital has implemented a new visitor policy at this time to protect their patients and workforce, the hospital is not allowing visitors at this time.

Socorro General Hospitals Home Care is currently in full operation to meet the needs of those in the community that needs Home Health Care.

Presbyterian Medical Services is still open serving patients in Socorro County. They advise that if patients are sick and would rather not come into their clinics, phone visits with providers are available for both Medical and Behavioral Health Services.

The following Presbyterian Medical Health Centers are open for business:

• Socorro Community Health Center. Office phone: 575-835-4444 to schedule an appointment. The center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• Magdalena Area Health Center. Office phone: 575-854-3162. Cell phone: 505-362-0232 to schedule an appointment. The Center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• Veguita Area Health Center. Office phone: 505-864-6644 to schedule an appointment. Providers are available from both Medical and Behavioral Health Services

Alamo Health Clinic is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m Thursday; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. They are testing for COVID-19 and have a triage tent outside. They are asking people to call before coming to schedule an appointment.

Alamo School is serving meals from 10 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday in the campus parking lot. The Early Childhood Center is providing meals in their parking lot, 10 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday.

Bhasker Medical Clinic is open to serve their patients in Socorro and Socorro County. Their office hours are Monday-Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday hours may vary. To schedule an appointment, call 575-835-2940. On arrival at the clinic call the office number to be met outside for an initial screening.

Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home is open to provide rehabilitation and skilled care that require 24-hour nursing supervision. Currently, they are closed to visitors to protect their patients and the workforce. They are in desperate need of surgical and N95 masks and gloves. All supplies are adequate at this time.

Positive cases statewide as of press time:

• Bernalillo County: 1,218

• Catron County: 2

• Chaves County: 31

• Cibola County: 103

• Colfax County: 5

• Curry County: 41

• Doña Ana County: 309

• Eddy County: 17

• Grant County: 16

• Guadalupe County: 19

• Harding County: 1

• Hidalgo County: 1

• Lea County: 18

• Lincoln County: 3

• Los Alamos County: 6

• Luna County: 8

• McKinley County: 1,953

• Otero County: 8

• Quay County: 5

• Rio Arriba County: 33

• Roosevelt County: 27

• Sandoval County: 495

• San Juan County: 1,376

• San Miguel County: 10

• Santa Fe County: 124

• Sierra County: 1

• Socorro County: 49

• Taos County: 23

• Torrance County: 18

• Union County: 3

• Valencia County: 68