By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
On Friday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham invoked the state’s Riot Control Act, authorizing her to enact further temporary restrictions to mitigate the uninhibited spread of COVID-19 in small city of Gallup (population appox. 22,000) in McKinley County.
This follows requests by both outgoing Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney and new Mayor Louis Bonaguidi, who was sworn into office 2:30 p.m., April 30.
Effective at 12 p.m., May 1, all roads into Gallup are closed. Businesses in the city of Gallup will close from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. Vehicles may only have a maximum of two individuals. Residents of the city should remain at home except for emergency outings and those essential for health, safety and welfare.
Gallup city police and McKinley County sheriff’s department will partner with New Mexico State Police and Department of Transportation to enforce the emergency order and road closures. The New Mexico National Guard will also provide support to this effort in a non-law enforcement capacity.
The Gallup emergency is effective immediately and will expire at noon on Monday, May 4.
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“I recognize this request is unusual and constitutes a drastic measure, and the emergency powers set out under the Riot Control Act should be invoked sparingly,” said Mayor Bonaguidi. “However, the COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Gallup is a crisis of the highest order. Immediate action is necessary.”
McKinley County as of Saturday had reported 1,116 positive cases of COVID-19, while the state total is 3,732–the most positive cases in the entire state, outstripping even far more populous counties. Its infection trend has shown no sign of flattening.
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