Emergency declaration extended for Gallup, NM as city works to contain COVID-19 virus

Local

This photo provided by Patrick Sandoval shows signs inside the Walmart in Gallup, N.M., on Friday, May 1, 2020, to advise shoppers that non-essential items aren’t available for purchase. (Patrick Sandoval via AP)

SANTA FE, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has extended a modified emergency declaration that was requested by the mayor of Gallup through noon on Sunday, May 10, as that city continues to work to contain the COVID-19 virus.

The extended order means businesses will continue to be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and that only two people could travel together in a car. Gallup residents are also being told to remain at home except for emergency outings through noon Sunday.

New Mexico officials said that roads into Gallup will remain closed for non-residents until 8 p.m. Friday, May 8.

Per the mayor’s request, the order states that Gallup residents must wear at least a cloth face-covering when situated in an essential business, essential nonprofit, or government building until the order expires.

Gallup is the county seat of McKinley County, which has just 3.5 percent of the state’s population but about 30 percent of the state’s COVID-19 cases, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

McKinley County reported 1,337 positive cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon and 29 COVID-related deaths.

This is the second extension since Gallup Mayor Louis Bonaguidi first asked the governor to invoke the Riot Control Act effective at noon on May 1, a law authorizing the governor to enact further localized restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“I have no doubt that the actions we have taken together have helped turn the tide in our community and we will, in coming days and weeks, continue efforts in Gallup until we see positive results and until this virus is defeated,” Mayor Bonaguidi said in a letter requesting the new extension.

Gallup city police and McKinley County sheriff’s department have partnered with the New Mexico State Police and Department of Transportation to enforce the emergency order and road closures. The New Mexico National Guard has also provided support in a non-law enforcement capacity.

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