Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update – January 6th, 2021

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Grant County Coronavirus Update

January 06, 2021

On this week’s show, Jamie Newton talks to  Dr. Renee Despres, a public health consultant who lives in Silver City, and who is a co-founder and co-coordinator of the Grant County Emerging Infectious Diseases Task Force. Dr. Despres explains the status of the coronavirus surge in Grant County, and summarizes the background and accomplishments of the Task Force. She addresses questions many people have about the effectiveness of the new vaccine, providing practical information on the vaccination program in New Mexico and availability of vaccinations in Grant County.

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 6th, 2021 Marcus Hanson

Right click and select “Save Link As” to download

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

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in New Mexico has fallen 26% over the past month, including a substantial drop in the past week.

The state reported 703 virus hospitalizations Monday, down from a peak of 947 in early December. The decline has been especially steep over the past week – with about 100 fewer patients in hospitals now than in the final days of 2020.

The falling hospitalizations come as the state Department of Health encourages New Mexicans to register online to be notified when they’re eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To preregister, visit

More than 230,000 people have signed up in the past two weeks – more than one in 10 New Mexicans. State health officials say they believe the registration system is the only one of its kind in the country. The site now allows New Mexicans to fill out a comprehensive profile with their medical conditions and employment information to help the state manage vaccine distribution. 

Besides the improvement in hospitalizations, New Mexico’s latest COVID-19 trends are mixed. The share of tests that come back positive has generally held steady at 12%, according to the state’s most recent figures.

New Mexico has now reported 2,594 total COVID-19-related deaths, including 20 new fatalities announced Tuesday.

New Mexico reported 1,201 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday. That brings the seven-day average down by two cases to 1,233, according to an Albuquerque  Journal analysis. COVID-19 hospitalizations, meanwhile, jumped about 5% from Monday to Tuesday and now total 740, according to Department of Health data.


Local Numbers

In Grant County, the Department of Health reported 119 new COVID cases since last week for a total of 974 cases – almost 49 more cases than reported last week.

In Grant County, there are 383 reported COVID cases recovered, leaving 591 active  cases in the county as of Tuesday. 

There have been 2 reported deaths in Grant County since last week bringing the total to 15 local deaths. Both deaths were reported on New Year’s Day,  a male in his 80s and male in his 90s. Both were hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

COVID-19 Vaccination Planning and Implementation

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is leading the State of New Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccination planning and implementation in close collaboration with other state agencies, as well as public, private and tribal partners throughout the state.

The vaccine is prioritized for frontline health care workers in hospital settings. The state will then provide the vaccine to other frontline healthcare workers and first responders, as well as staff and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.  This is in line with federal recommendations.

The state is slated to announce the next eligible groups — categorized as “1B” — today.

To date, more than 250,000 New Mexicans have registered online for the vaccine.  The system sorts residents by priority, notifying people when they are eligible to make a vaccination appointment.

The health department yesterday announced enhancements to the vaccination pre-registration site it launched last month. Now registrants on can provide more personal medical and employment information. Those who pre-registered should receive a text notifying them they can expand their profiles. The state will also be launching a vaccine call center in the coming days to provide additional information and support.

Health Secretary-designate Dr. Tracie Collins will provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, which will stream live at 3 pm today on the NMDOH Facebook page.

Area food pantries taking place this 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.

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.  

 Silver City Farmers’ Market will have a mid-winter Pop-up Farmer’s Market 

this Saturday 9 am — 12 pm Downtown at the corner of Pope St. and College Avenue in the old Life Quest parking lot. Silver City Farmers’ Market accepts EBT and offers Double Up Food Bucks to double your benefits. Grass Fed local Meat, Winter greens, root vegetables, fresh baked bread, tortillas, tamales and more will be available. Cash, Debit and EBT are accepted.

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



Housing Cost Assistance Through The Mortgage Finance Authority

The Mortgage Finance Authority’s COVID-19 Housing Cost Assistance Program helps pay the housing costs of income-eligible New Mexico households and residents of tribal lands who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Recipients will receive as much as $1,500 per month for up to three months to pay past-due rent or mortgage payments. In addition, payments on real estate contracts, mobile or manufactured home liens and the land or lots on which they are located may also be covered.

MFA has extended its Covid-19 rent or mortgage assistance until January 8.

Details of all qualifying criteria and application can be found on MFA’s website: Applicants also may call 505.308.4206 or toll free at 866.488.0498 for more information. 

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 are familiar with how you are feeling 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. You can confidentially reach out to talk to someone anytime and anyplace. 


If you feel like you want to hurt yourself, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Call 911 if you are in an EMERGENCY SITUATION. If you feel like you are going to hurt yourself, this 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

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

Local COVID testing schedule

The Grant County Public Health Office provides free testing every Tuesday from 8:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. and every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm. 

Appointments can be scheduled by registering at 

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) testing is now available  Monday through Friday 830 am to 230pm (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 does demand for testing. After you receive your COVID-19 test, monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are having symptoms or tested because of an exposure, you should 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 you are 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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