As many of you have probably already heard, citing a fall surge in positive COVID-19 cases, the state is adding several amendments to its emergency health order, effective Friday.
Restaurants are now required to complete a safe certification-training program by Oct. 30 in order to continue to provide indoor dining. They are also required to agree to spot testing for employees and keep a customer logbook. There is a new chart listing businesses who have incurred more than one “rapid response” over a two-week period. Businesses who incur four “rapid responses” in that time will be required to shut down for two weeks.
Additionally, retail establishments, including grocery stores and big box stores, must close by 10 p.m. The state is also closing its museums and historical sites on Friday.
Many of these new rules ultimately put an extra burden on restaurants and other small businesses who are just trying to stay afloat during what has already been an incredibly difficult year. None of this is the fault of our small businesses, but they certainly seem to be shouldered with much of the burden. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance in terms of interpreting these policies. The training program can be accessed here: https://nmsafecertified.org/
Meanwhile, during Eddy County’s Commission meeting Tuesday, letters were read by local students begging for school to be reopened. Eddy County’s commission passed a resolution asking for emergency safety orders to be modified to allow in-person education. The resolution suggested that local superintendents be allowed such decision-making powers.
Blogger Joe Monahan also commented this week on the difficulty students are having with online learning, noting that the Governor’s office could not get the Facebook feed to work for yesterday’s press conference.
“Now she knows how thousands of school kids have felt this year as they wrestled at home with computer and broadband issues. Frustrated,” Monahan wrote.
There were 20 new positive COVID-19 cases reported for Eddy County in Tuesday afternoon’s update. Additionally, the state reported COVID-19 related deaths for two female Eddy County residents, both in their 80s with underlying conditions. We offer our condolences to both families.
Let’s close with some good news. According to the Eddy County Clerk’s Office, 35% of registered voters in Eddy County had already voted by this Monday. We have been told that’s an incredibly high percentage for two weeks before an election. Voters are being asked to make choices ranging from President to state senate and representative positions, and Eddy County residents are turning out. There are also two proposed Constitutional Amendments to consider and three bond issues.
Early voting lasts through Oct. 31 and you can, of course, vote on Election Day. Please visit https://www.co.eddy.nm.us/219/Elections-Voter-Information for sample ballots and additional information.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway