There weren’t too many game changes in the Governor’s updated public health order, which will be in effect from now through mid October. Statewide, we were informed that COVID-19 positives are in decline, but not enough.
Swimming pools can now open for ten people at a time. Pools had previously only been open for lap swimming. “Pick Your Own Pumpkin” patches will now be allowable, though the state said it is currently looking into other Halloween activities.
Youth sports conditioning and skills development are now permitted for groups of up to ten individuals, while competitive contact play remains off limits. Camping for New Mexico residents is also now allowed again at state parks, as of Oct. 1.
Oh, and ice skating rinks may now reopen. This clearly does not have a major impact on most of our local businesses and residents.
There was a little bright spot in the presentation by the New Mexico Environment Department, who reported that there have been no restaurant permit suspensions in a month and all suspended permits have been reinstated. Restaurants were lauded for doing a great job implementing safe practices, as they should be.
Eddy County also did not meet the gating criteria in terms of being authorized to return to the hybrid model. Lea and Chaves Counties have also not met the criteria. According to the Department of Health, we averaged 16.30 cases per 100,000, while we are supposed to be at 8 or fewer. We also averaged a positivity rate (in terms of COVID-19 testing) of 8.30%, which is supposed to be at 5%. This data was compiled between Sept. 2 and Sept. 15. We had some bad luck in the timing, as our highest total ever appeared to have been on Sept. 3. Either way, we should hope for and work toward better numbers for the next period.
We continue to receive complaints every single day that our students are suffering by the fact that an online learning program just doesn’t reach everyone. This is truly heartbreaking. There are technical glitches and it is difficult for students, parents or teachers to remedy them. It has now been pointed out to us that some sports can hold ten person practices and schools can also be used for daycare at a 10 to 1 ratio, but we can’t do Algebra at a 10 to 1 ratio. Our school district is doing everything they can, but most kids just need in person instruction. We have also been informed by Rep. Gallegos that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of our students here, and we will keep you updated.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale janway