Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update – February 10th, 2021

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    Coronavirus Update – February 10th, 2021 Marcus Hanson

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Grant County Coronavirus Update

February 10, 2021

This week on Grant County Coronavirus Update, Jamie Newton interviews Dr. Fred Koster, MD, a recently retired infectious diseases specialist in Albuquerque, New Mexico about the COVID-19 vaccine, the appearance of coronavirus variants in the U.S. and how to stay safe during the pandemic. 

Interview begins at 19:03

Dr. Koster’s career includes 50 years of immunology and vaccine research, with 35 years of clinical infection control and treatment. In the past 15 years, Dr. Koster has focused on vaccine research in pandemic viruses and severe bacterial infections. The interview begins with the implications of the appearance in the US of more infectious coronavirus variants, assesses various pathways for infection (such as surface contamination and aerosol transmission) with appropriate coronavirus-safe practices, and reviews the evidence that masks do, in fact, reduce the likelihood of transmission. 

Dr. Koster addresses vaccine hesitancy (that is, reluctance to accept vaccination due to anxiety about safety, side-effects, and other concerns), infections by asymptomatic carriers (people who seem well, feel fine, yet can pass the virus to others), and vulnerability to coronavirus infection, with principal risk factors. Dr. Koster discusses how perceptions of risk influence responses to the virus, “long haulers” who continue to experience symptoms and may be disabled after they are released from treatment and classified as recovered, and finally, the great importance of recognizing that a pandemic is a community health crisis that requires vaccines and other effective responses for the vast majority of the population. 


Coronavirus Update is broadcast live on Gila/Mimbres Community Radio KURU 89.1 FM in Silver City.

Tune in or stream online at GMCR.org Wednesday’s at 10 AM

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 info@grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org

Resources:

NM Dept of Health COVID-19 Hotline 1-855-600-3453 or visit cv.nmhealth.org

Coronavirus Information Hotline at 1-833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov

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

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

Grant County Coronavirus Update website – grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org

Grant County, We Need You.  COVID-19 Video Message – link

Grant County Commissioner Alicia Edwards COVID-19 Video Message – link


State News

New Mexico health officials announced the state had a daily count of 413 new cases of the novel coronavirus Tuesday, and 19 more people have died from COVID-19.

The numbers bring New Mexico’s total caseload to 178,280, with 3,430 deaths, including 124 in Santa Fe County. The county had 28 new cases of the virus Tuesday.

There were 369 state residents hospitalized Tuesday for treatment of COVID-19, a number that has declined along with daily counts of positive test results.

As the spread of the illness continues to slow statewide, the state has increased its rollout of coronavirus vaccine. By Tuesday, over 342,000 doses had been administered in the state, including 89,208 booster shots. Nearly 253,000 people have received their first dose, out of almost 595,000 who have registered on a state website for the vaccine.

 State announces 413 COVID-19 cases, 19 new deaths  

Grant County News

In Grant County, the Department of Health reported 70 new COVID cases since last week, for a total of 1366 cases.  

There are 700 reported COVID cases recovered, leaving 635 active cases in the county as of Tuesday, indicating a drop in active cases by 21, and 88 more people recovered.

There have been 3 reported deaths in Grant County since last week, bringing the total to 31 local deaths. 

[cvprovider.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html]


Vaccine Information

New Mexicans with Disabilities Encouraged to Register for COVID-19 Vaccine

The Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) and Department of Health (DOH) have announced that individuals 16 years or older with intellectual and developmental disabilities are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. This group is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and includes individuals who utilize the DD Waiver, Mi Via Waiver, Medically Fragile Waiver, Supports Waiver, as well as any New Mexican on the waitlist for these services.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities may register at VaccineNM.org or by calling 1 (800) 432-2080


The New Mexico Department of Health continues to implement its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

New Mexico is currently in the first portion of Phase 1B – people 75 years and older and persons 16+ years of age with risk of COVID-19 complications. Health care professionals and other workers in Phase 1A remain eligible for vaccination. 

“New Mexico has two goals: to distribute vaccine as quickly as possible, and to ensure that vaccine goes to those who are most exposed – and most vulnerable – to COVID-19.”

New Mexicans who wish to follow the progress of the state’s vaccination campaign – or who wish to view a map of available provider locations – can visit the state’s vaccination dashboard at cvvaccine.nmhealth.org/public-dashboard.html, which is updated Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).


COVID-19 Vaccine Registration

All New Mexicans are encouraged to register for the COVID-19 vaccine at vaccinenm.org 

There are 4 steps:

  1. Register at vaccinenm.org
  2. Complete your profile

——-> Wait for DMDOH to contact you ←——–

  1. Schedule your appointment
  2. Receive the Covid-19 vaccine

There’s also call center support for vaccine registration using the Department of Health hotline

The New Mexico Department of Health announced that the DOH hotline now offers support for questions surrounding vaccine registration.

Users who have questions or would like support with the registration process – including New Mexicans who do not have internet access – can dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.

Users who have other vaccine-related questions can call 1-855-600-3453 and simply press option 0 for vaccine questions.


Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine helps your body learn how to defend itself from the disease.  You may feel uncomfortable for two or three days after you receive the vaccine. After being vaccinated, you may feel some side effects such as:

  •         Muscle pain
  •         Soreness in your arm
  •         Body aches
  •         Chills
  •         Feeling tired
  •         Fever

Side effects are a sign that your body is building up protection from COVID-19. They may be uncomfortable, but they are much less harmful than having COVID-19.

For more information on vaccine side effects, visit – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html


Red to Green

The state’s red-to-green public health order in which counties are evaluated over a two-week period for daily cases and test positivity rate will be updated today. Counties not meeting daily case thresholds of eight or fewer cases per 100,000 population and test positivity rates below 5% follow the strictest red guidelines; those meeting one of these benchmarks have some expanded capacity; and green counties—those meeting both requirements —have the fewest restrictions.  

Grant County is currently in the yellow category.  

  • Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions
  • Essential retail spaces: 33% of maximum capacity
  • Food and drink establishments: 25% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoors dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 10 p.m. each night
  • Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 20 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)
  • Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed
  • All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 125 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
  • Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 33% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises
  • Places of lodging: 60% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals
  • Mass gatherings limit: 10 persons, 80 vehicles

 

https://cv.nmhealth.org/public-health-orders-and-executive-orders/red-to-green/


Safe Ways to Have Fun

Penny Park, other Silver playgrounds to reopen

According to the Silver City Daily Press,  Penny Park and all playgrounds in town are now open to the public as of February 8. People using any of the town’s parks must abide by the state’s public health orders and the town’s local ordinance. Face coverings and social distancing are required.

Source: Silver City Daily Press, February 8, 2021 


Resources

Food Assitance

SNAP / EBT Benefits Expanded Through February

New Mexico households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits will receive the maximum amount for their household size for the month of February as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the New Mexico Human Services Department.

The emergency assistance will increase a household’s monthly benefit up to the maximum food benefit amount for their household size (see table below). SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these additional food benefits as they will be placed directly on their EBT cards.

SNAP recipients with a regular issuance date of Feb. 1-6, will receive a supplement on Feb. 6, 2021. SNAP recipients with a regular issuance date of Feb. 7-28, will receive their benefits and the supplement on their regular issuance date.

Since March of 2020, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP food benefit for their household size have received an increase bringing their food benefits to the maximum amount each month. These increases were made to help reduce food insecurity for New Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals seeking to apply for SNAP benefits may apply online through www.yes.state.nm.us or by phone at 1-800-283-4465. Newly approved SNAP recipients will be eligible for the supplemental benefit.

Source: hsd.state.nm.us/2021/02/02/23319/


Double your SNAP Benefits at Silver City Farmers Market 

Silver City Farmers’ Market accepts EBT and Pandemic-EBT cards and offers Double Up Food Bucks to double your SNAP benefits. Use your EBT card and get half off all purchases. 

Winter Farmers’ Market is held weekly every Saturday 9 am — 12 pm,  at the corner of Pope St. and College Avenue in the old Life Quest parking lot.


Food Pantry Schedules

As a reminder the Food Pantries at the Gospel Mission and St. Francis Newman Center are open every week……

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. Emergency  Dry Food Boxes are available once a month to individuals upon request.   There is also a Daily soup kitchen: Breakfast takes place from 9:00-10:00 Mon-Fri and Lunch occurs every day from 12-1 pm. Showers and clothes are also made available to those in need.  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.

The Commons Mining District Mobile Food Pantry is held the 3rd Tuesday of the month, and is open February 16th  1 – 3 pm, for Santa Clara, Bayard, Hanover & Hurley residents at Bataan Memorial Park in Santa Clara. For more information on the Commons Food Pantries please contact The Commons  at (575) 388-2988 or visit their website at thecommonsgrantcounty.org   

Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry is held on the third  Wednesday of the month, and the next Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry is on February 17th 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).

Gila Valley Mobile Food Pantry is held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.  It will open Tuesday February 16, 10:00am – 1:30pm, at the Fairgrounds in Cliff, for Buckhorn, Cliff, Gila & Redrock residents.  Line up between 10:00 to 12:00 to sign-up, pick up is scheduled from 12:30 to 1:30.

Please Note: If the truck is late, the pantry will end when boxes are fully distributed.  If the truck is early or on time at 12:00 pm and people are waiting, the pantry will start a little earlier.

Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile Food Pantry is held the 3rd Wednesday of the month.  It is open Wednesday, February 17, 12pm – 2pm, at the Roundup Lodge, 94 Acklin Hill Rd. Call 575-574-7674 for more information.


Unemployment Assistance

Weekly certifications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs under the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) will begin on February 7, 2021. On that date, the link to file an initial claim, reopen your claim, or file your weekly certification will appear on your Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimant homepage. 

On that date, eligible claimants will be able to certify for retroactive payments starting with the week ending January 2, 2021. Each eligible week will also include the additional $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payment along with the weekly benefit amount received. 

If you are an individual filing or certifying for benefits, you can log into your Unemployment Insurance account at www.jobs.state.nm.us


Utility Assistance For Those In Financial Need

PNM is extending help for families, small businesses and nonprofits struggling to pay their electric bill. The PNM COVID Customer Relief Fund helps eligible customers pay down, or even pay off, their past-due PNM bill.

The funding has been extended to March 31, 2021, due to the number of customers that are still experiencing financial hardship from the pandemic. Apply by calling PNM at 855-364-2950 between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday or go to www.pnm.com  


Business Assistance

If you need assistance in navigating the process for the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP or any other relief programs, please contact the Las Cruces office of Senator Martin Heinrich at (575) 523-6561 for assistance. You can also visit his Covid-19 Resource Center at www.heinrich.senate.gov/coronavirus


Paycheck Protection Program

The next round of new PPP funds  is open for applications.

This latest round will be much easier for small businesses to access, with some necessary flexibility to allow businesses to address their specific needs and still get their loans forgiven. That includes new provisions that allow restaurants, hotels, and other businesses in related services to calculate a higher PPP forgivable loan amount in order to aid industries that have been severely impacted by state and local restrictions. Also eligible for this round of PPP are housing cooperatives, local newspapers and TV and radio broadcasters, and 501(c)(6) nonprofits, including local chambers of commerce and tourism organizations.

>>>You can find more information about how to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program at sba.gov 


COVID disaster loan extended through 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for the COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021.

If you are a small business, nonprofit organization of any size, or a U.S. agricultural business with 500 or fewer employees that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, you can apply for the COVID-19 EIDL.

EIDL loan applications will continue to be accepted through December 2021, pending the availability of funds. Loans are offered at a 3.75 percent interest rate for small businesses and a 2.75 percent interest rate for nonprofit organizations, with a 30-year maturity and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin.

Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can apply for the program at sba.gov/disaster.


Mental Health Resources

In New Mexico, you can talk to trained staff if you have mental health or substance abuse concerns: call the NM Crisis and Access Line at 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) 24 hours a day/7 days a week. You are not alone and it is normal to feel anxious and worried! You can confidentially reach out to talk to someone anytime and anyplace. 

 

If you want to hurt yourself, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Call 911 if you are in an EMERGENCY SITUATION.  If you feel like you’re going to hurt yourself, it is an emergency!

If You Just Want Someone to Hear You Out…

Call the Peer-to-Peer Warmline at (855) 466-7100.  They are available to talk every day from 3:30p – 11:30p MT.  They are available by text from 6:00p – 11:00p MT


COVID Testing

Do you need to get tested for COVID? Are you experiencing 

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

COVID testing schedule

The HMS Mobile Clinic will be doing Covid Testing and offering Flu shots for Adults only:

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Lake Roberts

Sapillo Creek Fire Department

860 NM Hwy. 35 Scenic, Silver City

10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

The Grant County Public Health Office: 2610 N. Silver Street Silver City, NM, across the street from the Swimming Pool, Front Parking Lot) provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:00-10:00a.m., and from 2-4pm. Testing is free, but insurance will be requested upon registration at https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/  

Once registered, you will receive a code. Please save this code and arrive during the designated times. Please remain in your vehicle and wear a mask.

Testing may be delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather

Hidalgo County Public Health Office: 530 DeMoss Street, Lordsburg, NM (back parking lot)

Testing will be conducted every Thursday from 9:00-11:00a.m. Please remain in your vehicles. Testing is free, but insurance will be requested upon registration at at https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/

Once registered, you will receive a code. Please save this code and arrive during the designated times. Please remain in your vehicle and wear a mask.

Testing may be delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather

CVS Pharmacy Drive-thru in Silver City: 610 Silver Heights Blvd., Silver City, NM.  

Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window

Patients must register in advance at CVS.com Self-swab tests will be made available to individuals meeting CDC criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. Testing is free, but those who have insurance should bring their card with them.

Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) testing is now available  Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 2:30pm (closed 12-1pm for lunch) in both Silver City  at 1007 Pope Street, and at their Lordsburg clinic on 530 De Moss Street.  

Testing expanded to everyone at both sites via a drive-up testing approach. Testing is free, but those who have insurance should bring their card with them. Call 575-388-1511 for an appointment in Silver City, 1-888-271-3596 for an appointment in Lordsburg.

Albertsons- Silver City, New Mexico

Saliva Test- Cost $120.00 (not covered by insurance). Procedure: Recipients register online via the Albertson’s website, then receive a tube for saliva collection. The specimen is then mailed to a lab and results are sent back within three to five days.

At-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva test opportunities

At-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva tests offer accurate laboratory-confirmed results returned within 24-48 hours of receipt of the sample.

The free tests are available to New Mexico residents regardless of exposure risk– whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, and whether they have come into close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual or not.

To order a test, and for more information, visit learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/.


The State Department of Health reminds New Mexicans of the following:

  • Please be patient after receiving your COVID-19 test. As cases rise, so do testing demands. After receiving your COVID-19 test, monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are having symptoms or if you tested because of an exposure, assume that you are infectious and self-isolate even if your symptoms resolve. You can spread the virus without knowing you are positive and without having symptoms.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, even if you are asymptomatic do not leave your home to do errands, work, or to see friends. If infected with COVID-19, you must not leave your home unless you are seeking out emergency medical care. Find more information regarging testing positive at https://cv.nmhealth.org/how-to-isolate-when-positive/
  • Finally, if you need emergency medical care, call 9-1-1, not the Department of Health information hotline.

 

Remember that every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19

  • Stay home, especially if you are sick. 
  • Wear a mask or face covering when in public and around others. 

These are all true even if you have recovered from the virus or have been vaccinated.

Please continue to visit our website, grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org, links to the information included in this update  plus more local, state and federal information and resources to help keep you, your family and our community safe in these times. 

While you’re there, you can  also join our mailing list to receive these updates via email

And don’t forget that you can send us your updates via our email address at info@grantcountycoronavirusupdate.org  or on Facebook at grant county coronavirus update

 

Written by: Marcus Hanson

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