RIO ARRIBA COUNTY NEWS
Following Gov. Lujan-Grisham’s declaration of a public health emergency yesterday, Rio Arriba County officials and staff have stepped into high gear to safeguard public health. County Manager, Thomas Campos found a cache of medical-grade protective gear and arranged for it to be distributed it to clinics throughout the county in an effort to keep medical professionals protected and prepared.
RIO ARRIBA COUNTY SERVICES CHANGES:
To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 to our most vulnerable populations, the County will be discontinuing services at adult day care and senior centers, effective March 13 until April 30.
For Adult Day Care, County staff are currently organizing home food delivery along with activity kits. A drive up service at County Senior Centers is also being set up to distribute “to go” meals. Additionally, the County is planning to call all those who regularly attend senior centers to provide updates. For those without phones, police may be asked to do ‘welfare checks’ to make sure people are ok.
“County offices will remain open at this time in both Espanola and Tierra Amarilla and staff will be attending the public to ensure essential county services and operations“ noted Campos. He added county officials were working closely with State and Federal authorities to implement all recommended preventative measures to reduce the spread of the virus.
OFFICIAL PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES:
The Chief of EMS, Alfredo Montoya said, “Rio Arriba County currently has no cases of COVID-19. As we work through these times it is extremely important to remain calm and follow guidance from healthcare officials and emergency services providers.”
There are two ways you can stay updated on the latest county information:
- KDCE Radio Covid-19 Updates – Monday through Friday following the 7:30 morning news.
- EMS Emergency Alert System – We will be sending out tailored local community text and email alerts as needed through our county EMS Disaster Alert System. For phone alerts: text your zip code to 888777 or for emails sign up here:https://local.nixle.com/signup/widget/i/6807.
Commission Chair, Leo Jaramillo, called for county residents to sign up for the free EMS alerts system to stay current with important updates issued by County Health and EMS officials. “The best way to protect yourself and your family is to stay informed and to take common sense health precautions like washing your hands and covering coughs and sneezes” he said, adding, “Together we can ensure we remain safe and healthy during this outbreak.”
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ILL:
If you’re sick with flu like symptoms stay home. Flu like symptoms include: fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue. Provide self-care until you are either fever-free for 24 hours without medications or until you need emergency care.
If you have an emergency need that requires an ambulance, call 911. Tell the dispatcher you are having flu like symptoms so that the Ambulance Staff can prepare with protective gear.
For Emergency Room visits, please call ahead to Presbyterian Hospital (505) 753-7111. Hospital staff will direct you to the appropriate entrance. Please wear a surgical mask, if you have one, when around other people and before you get to the ER. If you need someone to accompany you, keep it to one person.
If you would like to discuss your signs and symptoms with a medical provider, first call your primary care provider or your insurance provider’s Nurse Hotline Number (on the back of your insurance card). You can also arrange for e-visits or online video chats with an RN or MD. The State Corona Hotline 855-600-3453 can also be contacted for guidance.
MASS GATHERINGS PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER
A Public Health Order was issued early Thursday, March 12 by Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Kathy Kunkel that temporarily prohibits mass gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19. This impacts any public or private gathering of 100 or more individuals in a single room or connected space where they would be in close proximity to one another. Examples include sporting events, concerts and conferences.
Q: How will this help?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes, producing respiratory droplets that can reach others who are within about 6 feet. Canceling or postponing large gatherings is a prudent public health measure to prevent spread of the virus.
Q: What does that include?
Auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms or convention centers, meeting halls and theaters as well as sporting events, concerts and conferences.
Q: Are there exemptions?
Yes. Exemptions include shelters, retail and grocery stores, typical office environments, businesses, courthouses, restaurants and bars, correctional and detention facilities, all educational institutions, hospitals and other health care facilities and places of worship – as long as they are operating under normal business hours.
Q: Does this affect funerals and weddings?
No, weddings and funerals are exempt. Individuals should determine for themselves whether they would like to gather for these type of events.
“During this time, may we take common sense precautions and may we trust God to protect us!” remarked Commissioner James Martinez, of District II.