Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update – January 13th, 2021

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Grant County Coronavirus Update

January 13, 2021

On this week’s show, Jamie Newton interviews Dan Otero, CEO of Hidalgo Medical Services in Silver City, New Mexico. Beginning with the current status of the pandemic in Grant County and the surrounding region, the interview moves on to the rollout of vaccines and just how people can request and receive vaccinations, Dan Otero’s response to people who consider the coronavirus a hoax and decline COVID-safe practices and vaccinations, and how health care agencies cooperate through the Grant County Emerging Infectious Diseases Task Force and otherwise to promote education, prevention, diagnosis, testing, treatment, and vaccinations for the coronavirus.

HMC Family Support Services can be reached toll-free at 888-271-3596

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

Tune in or stream online at Monday through Friday at Noon and rebroadcast weekdays at 6 pm and  8 am

Or listen to today’s interview in the player below…

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    Coronavirus Update – January 13th, 2021 Marcus Hanson

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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;

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

Grant County Coronavirus Update website –

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

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

Today’s NM COVID-19 Headlines

State News

The number of new coronavirus cases in New Mexico continued to show some signs of leveling off Tuesday, following rapid growth last week.

The state reported 893 new infections Tuesday – the smallest daily number in two weeks.

New Mexico has averaged about 1,355 cases a day over the past week, a 3% decrease from the average a few days ago, according to an Albuquerque Journal analysis.

The state also saw some improvement in its test positivity rate. The share of tests that came back positive fell to 11.9% in the most recent seven-day period tracked by the state, down from an average of 15.6% just a few days ago.

However, the state also reported an above-average number of coronavirus fatalities Tuesday – 30 more deaths, largely older adults. The state has averaged about 29 deaths a day over the past week.

The spread rate, which had been below the state’s goal of 1.05 or lower, reached 1.15 as of Jan. 9. That’s the calculation of how many people each person with COVID-19 will spread the disease to; anything over 1.0 means the cases are increasing.

Health officials reported 715 virus hospitalizations, roughly in line with recent figures.

New Mexico is set to update its color-coded map of public health restrictions today.

In the last update, two weeks ago, only Catron County advanced out of the most restrictive level – to yellow, the middle tier in the “Red to Green” system. The designation meant Catron County restaurants could reopen indoor dining at partial capacity, among other changes.

To reach yellow, a county must hit one of two statistical targets – either a test positivity rate of 5% or less, or fewer than eight new cases a day per 100,000 people. Reaching both goals would put a county in the green.


Grant County News

In Grant County, the Department of Health reported 141 new COVID cases since last week, for a total of 1115 cases –  22 more cases than reported last week . 


In Grant County, there are 440 reported COVID cases recovered, leaving 675 active  cases in the county as of Tuesday. 

Reported by the Silver City Daily Press

As of Jan. 7, Gila Regional Medical Center was at 76 percent of its capacity, with 30 percent of those admitted to the hospital being COVID-19 patients, according to reporting from National Public Radio this week. All six of the hospital’s ICU beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients, and the hospital had an average of five COVID-19 patients in hospital beds each day over the first week of January.

There have been 5 reported deaths in Grant County since last week, bringing the total to 20 local deaths. Two females in their 90’s, a male in his 80’s, and a male and a female in their 50’s.

COVID-19 Vaccination Planning and Implementation

The New Mexico Department of Health released its distribution plan for Phases 1B, 1C, and 2 for the COVID-19 vaccine. That plan is available on the DOH website at

The Department also announced that New Mexico has officially moved into Phase 1B of the vaccination effort. This means that vaccine will now be available to New Mexicans in the following sequence: 

  • Individuals 75 years of age and older 
  • Individuals 16 or older with underlying medical conditions that place them at greater risk from COVID-19
  • Frontline essential workers who cannot work remotely 
  • Vulnerable populations (residents of congregate care settings)

Individuals in Phase 1A can continue to schedule vaccinations as well.

Call center support for vaccine registration option on Department of Health hotline

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

Nearly 300,000 New Mexicans have registered for vaccine at the state’s website:

The registration process is straightforward: users create a profile, enter health and other information, and then wait to receive notification from DOH when the vaccine is available to them.

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.

Food Pantry Schedules

Mimbres Valley Health Action League Mobile Food Pantry

Held the 3rd Wednesday of the month, the next Mimbres Valley Health Action League mobile Food Pantry will be held next week – January 20th –  from  Noon to 2pm at the Roundup Lodge, 94 Acklin Hill Rd. Call 575-574-7674 for more information.

The Commons Gila Valley Mobile Food Pantry

For Buckhorn, Cliff, Gila & Redrock residents is held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. The next food pantry is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 19th, from  2:00 – 4:00 p.m at the Fairgrounds in Cliff.

The Commons Mining District Mobile Food Pantry

Held next Tuesday, January 19th  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 new website at

Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry

Held on the third  Wednesday of the month, the next Senior Citizens Mobile Food Pantry will be held January 20th 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).

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.


Senior and Disabled Adult Food Hotline

If you are a senior or disabled adult and cannot access groceries, please call the state’s Senior and Disabled Adult Food Hotline at 1-800-432-2080. Leave a message with your name, telephone number and city that you reside in and you will be contacted within 2 hours of your call.  

Extension of emergency SNAP benefits for January 2021

New Mexico households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits will receive the maximum amount for their household size for the month of January as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals seeking to apply for SNAP benefits may apply online through or by phone at 1-800-283-4465. Newly approved SNAP recipients will be eligible for the supplemental benefit.

$300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation added to eligible claims starting this  week

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) will start paying some unemployment benefits that are part of the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

Starting with week ending January 2, 2021, claimants who are eligible to receive at least $1 on an unemployment program will also receive an additional $300 on top of their weekly benefit amount. The federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will be provided to eligible claimants weekly until the program end date of March 13, 2021.

For those claimants who received a weekly benefit payment for week ending December 26 from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program with funds still available in their claim, they may start certifying for benefits again this Sunday, January 10, 2021.  The department asks that individuals not call to inquire about the federal extension at this time. The department will provide further information to claimants on our official website ( and through all communication channels as soon as it is available.

Utility Assistance for those in Financial Need

PNM announced it 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, originally slated to end in December 2020, has just 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

Next Round of LISC Rural Relief Small Business Grants Open from January 26th through February 2nd 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is offering Rural Relief Small Business Grants for up to $20,000. Grants support small businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19 across the country, especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital. Applications are being accepted in “rounds” and a new application for each round must be submitted to be considered for funding in that round. The next application round is January 26 through February 2. Visit for more information.     

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.

EIDL loan applications will continue to be accepted through December, 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

Mental Health Resources

Please remember, you are never alone! Your feelings are valid. It’s normal to feel sad, anxious, or upset about the future. 

Reaching out to professionals who can listen to your feelings can improve your life. In New Mexico, you can talk to trained staff: call 1-855-NMCRISIS (662-7474) 24 hours a day/7 days a week. All calls are completely confidential.

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 want 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, or by text from 6:00p – 11:00p MT.

For more information, visit the NM Crisis and Access Line at

Do you need to get tested for COVID?

Please consider doing so if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • 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

Local COVID testing schedule. 

Grant County Public Health Office

Provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. and every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. 

Appointments can be scheduled by registering at

CVS Pharmacy Drive-thru in Silver City

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)

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.  Call 1-575-388-1511 for an appointment. 

At-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva tests 

With 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

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.
  • Finally, if you need emergency medical care, call 9-1-1, not the Department of Health information hotline.

Written by: Marcus Hanson

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