Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update – August 19, 2020

today20 August 2020

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Coronavirus updates for Grant County for Wednesday, August 12, 2020.  Our guest today on Coronavirus Update is Cindy Livingston, mental health therapist for SASS, Sexual Assault Support Services.

Coronavirus Update is a local radio show that provides the latest information you need to know on local community strategies to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and protect yourself, your family and our community during this public health crisis. Brought to you by Gila/Mimbres Community Radio, Gila Resources Information Project, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Grant County and National Center for Frontier Communities.

Send us your updates to

NM Dept of Health COVID-19 Hotline 1-855-600-3453 or visit

Coronavirus Information Hotline at 1-833-551-0518 or visit

NM Crisis & Access Line, 24/7, 1-855-662-7474;

Message from Grant County’s health care providers –video

Donations to Community COVID-19 Response – Grant County Community Foundation

Grant County Coronavirus Update website –

Coronavirus Update is broadcast live on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio 89.1 FM Silver City on Wednesdays at Noon and rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6 pm and Thursdays at 8 am

Or listen to this episode at your convenience via this link…

As of today, Wednesday, August 19, 23,579  people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Mexico, with 723 deaths,  111 currently hospitalized individuals, and 10,802 recoveries according to the New Mexico Department of Health. 

Since last week Grant County has reported 1 additional case with 72 total cases of COVID-19 with 30 recovered and 2 deaths. 

The New Mexico Department of Health announced 79 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest number in a single day since June 18, when the state reported 89 cases. However, the department also announced five additional deaths related to COVID-19.

The 79 additional cases represented 1.34 percent of the 5,903 tests reported since Monday. This is well below the state’s goal of a seven-day rolling average of positive cases of 5 percent.

The seven-day rolling average positivity rate is now 2.47 percent, while the seven-day rolling average of total cases is at 135. 

DOH also reported that 111 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in New Mexico, a decrease of eight since Monday. This could include residents from out of state who are hospitalized in New Mexico, but would not include New Mexico residents who are hospitalized out of state.

In total, 683,053 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the state, with 6,384 having been conducted in Grant County. 

More information at


Grant County Public Health Office will provide free testing every Monday from 8:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. for utility workers and Food Industry Workers.  Appointments are required and must be scheduled by calling Grant County Public Health Office at 575-538-5318 (ext. 4) by noon on the preceding Friday. 

Testing will also be conducted every Tuesday from 8:30a.m. to 11:00a.m. for anyone at the Grant County Public Health Office.

Testing is free, but those who have insurance should bring their card with them.

Throat swab and nasal swab testing options are available.  Appointments can be scheduled by registering on the following website: Once registered, you will receive a code. Please save this code and use it when making your appointment by calling: 575-538-5318 (ext. 4).

The Grant County Public Health Office is located at 2610 N. Silver Street (across the street from the Swimming Pool).

CVS Pharmacy Drive-thru in Silver City is making Self-swab tests available to individuals meeting CDC criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at

Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) in Silver City is doing testing on weekdays except for Tuesday at their clinic at  1007 Pope Street in Silver City and at their Lordsburg clinic on weekdays except for Thursdays at 530 De Moss Street. Call 1-888-271-3596 for an appointment. Testing is free and expanded to everyone via a drive-up testing approach.


The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday authorized emergency use of a new and inexpensive saliva test for Covid-19 that could greatly expand testing capacity.

The new test, which is called SalivaDirect and was developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health, allows saliva samples to be collected in any sterile container. It is a much less invasive process than the nasal swabs currently used to test for the virus that causes Covid-19. Yale intends to provide its “open source” testing protocol to laboratories around the country. Other labs can now adopt the method while using a variety of commercially available testing components that can reduce costs, speed turnaround times and increase testing frequency, according to the FDA. For more information, visit FDA.GOV


New Mexico Health and Human Services and PNM Good Neighbor Fund program are working together to help low income families with as much as $550 to pay their electric bill. Follow the two step process to maximize the amount of utility bill assistance. 

The first step is to contact the health and human services department for the LIHEAP energy assistance program at LIHEAP can help you with more than $400 toward your utilities and is processed in approximately three days. 

The second step is to contact the PNM GOOD NEIGHBOR FUND at 844-378-5792 to get another $150 toward your electric bill, it’s processed in about 2 days. 

Assistance through these programs is only available while it lasts.  Go to for more information.


The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration for funding that would provide an additional $300 per week to New Mexicans receiving Unemployment benefits. 

On Saturday, Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana and New Mexico became the first states approved to pay out the new $300 federal unemployment boost. The extra payment will go to people receiving benefits from regular state unemployment, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and state-administered extended benefits.

The $300 federal payments are intended to replace the former $600 boost provided by the CARES Act that expired July 31. How long it will take for residents to actually receive extra payments will depend on how quickly states can reprogram their unemployment insurance systems to administer the funds. 

States that immediately got to work to reconfigure their systems on August 8 could start administering extra payments by August 29, according to the Department of Labor. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is assistance available to those who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits. 

Information and FAQs on the different types of benefits available and additional resources can be found at


The Town of Silver City released a Notice of Intent to adopt an ordinance regarding the use of face coverings by employees and customers when inside places of business and by all members of the public when in public places. 

Sponsored by Councilor Cynthia Ann Bettison, the public can comment on the ordinance until August 25. Consideration of adoption of the ordinance is currently scheduled for and will not take place prior to August 25, 2020.

The complete ordinance is posted on the Town’s website at Comments may be submitted on the Town’s website, or via email to , or by writing to the Town Council via Town of Silver City, P.O. Box 1188, Silver City, NM 88062. Copies are available at City Hall, 101 W. Broadway.


As students plan return to school with online learning, access to the internet can be a challenge for many Grant County residents, here are some locations where individuals can access free WiFi hotspots throughout the county.

The equipment for the Silver City Public Library’s wireless internet connection was recently upgraded. To connect, find the wireless network name SCPLibrary. There is no password. Please maintain safe distance from others when using the wireless internet outside the library building.

Wireless internet access is available in several other places in the region: 

The Bayard Public Library wi-fi is on. It is network CBCI-DO32-5 and the password is highspeed, all lower case.

At Binary Circuits, 907 1/2 Pope Street between the old LifeQuest building and HMS (electricity is also available)

Other wireless internet sites in area the are available thanks to WNM Communications:

Silver City – Gough Park

Bayard – Bayard Community Center 

Santa Clara –  Splash Park

Cliff – WNM Communications Office 

Hurley –  Ball Park

Mimbres – San Lorenzo Elementary

Lordsburg – R V Taylor Elementary

Glenwood – Library

Reserve – Library & School

Deming at Nacio Park, John T Waites &  at the Splash Park

The New Mexico Public Education Department encourages families with children in school to look into the Internet Essentials program for getting home internet:

Or, see if you are eligible for the Lifeline program for internet discounts: You can get your discount for internet service with a variety of internet companies.

Call the  Silver City Public Library at 575-538-3672  for more information and to ask about borrowing one of their wireless internet hotspots.


Did you know that the census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education?

If you haven’t responded to the 2020 Census yet, now is the time. The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.

Here in Grant County, only 49.9 % of residents have responded to date.   Thank you if you’ve responded to the census, but if you haven’t: Our community needs you to get counted!

The easiest way to get counted is to go online to and fill out the on-line questionnaire. It takes about 10 minutes.

You can also fill out your paper questionnaire that you should have received in the mail.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, all public locations for census taking are closed.

So if you do not have access to the internet or have not received a paper questionnaire, you can call the 2020 Census Assistance line at 1-844-330-2020.

Additionally, Belinda Jones of the El Refugio is offering to help walk anyone through the form. You can reach her at 575-538-2125 extension 17.

Again, to date only 49.9% of Grant County residents have responded, so please get counted today! That’s


The Commons will be holding  free produce distributions today for all Grant County residents from 9am until all produce has been given away. All are eligible, NO DOCUMENTATION necessary.

Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry will be held today from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3755 N. Swan Street, for any senior in Grant County (55 and older).

Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile Food Pantry will be held today from Noon to 2pm at the Roundup Lodge, 94 Acklin Hill Rd. Call 575-574-7674 for more information.

The Commons next regular food pantry distribution  will be on Wednesday August 26th and again on  Saturday September 5th from 10am to 12pm.  The Commons is located at 501 East 13th Street, next door to Knights of Columbus. For more information please contact The Commons at 575-388-2988. 

 The Food Pantry at the Gospel Mission located at 111 South Texas Street in Silver City is open for drive thru only on Wednesdays 8:30 am – 9:30 am. There is a also a Daily soup kitchen: Breakfast takes place from 8:30-9:30 Mon-Fri and Lunch occurs every day from 12-1 pm . Call 575 388-5071 for more information.

St. Francis Newman Center Food Pantry located at 914 W. 13th St. Silver City is open every Monday at 4 pm. Cash assistance for rent, utilities, bus passes and prescription drugs is also provided.  Call 575-388-4933 for more information.


COVID-19 creates stressful times, but we are resilient and will get through it together. It’s normal to feel sad, overwhelmed, anxious and worried about the COVID virus. Everyone reacts differently, and feelings may come and go. Take care of your mental, behavioral, and emotional health. If you or someone you know is experiencing overwhelming depression, anxiety, or grief, reach out to talk to someone free and confidentially anytime, anywhere at 1-855-NMCRISIS that’s (1-855-662-7474).

 The Talk Helpline, 1-855-NMCRISIS, provides immediate assistance, referrals, and someone to talk to in times of overwhelming feelings. Professional counselor staff are trained to help people manage stress reactions, anxiety, dealing with loss and promoting positive coping activities, including those that help strengthen resilience.

More information at

Written by: Allyson Siwik

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Coronavirus Update

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