Coronavirus (COVID-19)

by Mescalero Apache Tribe | March 13, 2020 12:15 pm


Attention Tribal Members


The number to Mescalero BIA Dispatch is 464-4479. Help Law Enforcement by reporting ASAP if you see something. There is little for officers to do when reporting is after the fact.

Again, call BIA dispatch at 464-4479 for ANY suspicious activity or person(s).

Everyone please stay safe and practice social distancing.  

This page is dedicated to providing you and your family with the latest Tribal information as it pertains to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Here, you will find current:

Important information for Tribal Employees about stimulus payment here[6]!


Extreme weather is on the rise in Mescalero and surrounding areas, click here[7] to know more about heat related issues some individuals may experience and how to protect them and yourself.

Also, if you click here[8], you’ll know how to protect yourself and your love ones from the heat if they are vulnerable.

If you need hand sanitizer, surgical masks and/or cloth masks, please come by the Tribal Offices and see our Tribal Security. He will gladly help you with those items from 830am – 2pm Mon. & Thurs.

List of Tribal departments providing essential services during COVID-19 pandemic here[9].

Information on Mental Health Services During COVID-19 here[10].

We are accepting donations!

Find out more.
We are accepting donations of non-perishables, toiletries, or anything you feel is appropriate for individuals in self-quarantine, should the situation arise.

Items can be dropped off at the Administration side door, located at the Tribal Offices. Since the offices are closed to the public, someone will walk in the items for you.

IF monetary donation
Make check payable to: Mescalero Apache Tribe
Mail to: P.O. Box 227, Mescalero, NM 88340
Note: “Coronavirus Relief Donation”

Thank you!

**REMINDER: Emergency Manager and Chief Conservation Officer, Tyner Cervantes recommends waiting for the Official Press Release on any Positive COVID-19 cases from the Governor’s Office or the New Mexico Department of Health only. Any other news reporting outlet may not have the correct information and could cause unnecessary panic within the community.**

Tribal Information

Mescalero Apache Tribe COVID-19 Test Results[11]

Tribal member letter from President Aguilar[12]

NEW Executive Order 20-12


Summary of E.O. 20-12


Important Dates during E.O. 20-12


Executive Order 20-11

Find out more!
Executive Order 20-11 9-9-20[19]Download[20]


Summary-of-Current-COVID-19-Restrictions 9-9-20[21]Download[22]

Executive Order 20-10

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Mescalero Apache Tribe announces second corona virus death

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August 18, 2020. Earlier today, the Mescalero Apache Tribe announced the death of a Reservation resident, an elderly woman, from the corona virus (COVID-19). Tribal President Gabe Aguilar stated, “We are a small community and every death hurts. Our prayers are with the family.” The elderly woman who passed became sick several weeks ago and appeared to be on her way to a full recovery. President Aguilar commented, “She fought hard but in the end, she did not survive.”

This is the second death for the Tribe; the Tribe suffered its first coronavirus death, also an elderly woman, in late May. President Aguilar added, “We know the virus targets the elderly. The Tribe is doing everything we can to protect them and the community as a whole. And, we will keep working at it.” The Tribe has restricted access to the Reservation, mandated the use of facemasks in public and taken a number of other steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 on the Reservation.

The Tribe provides updates on its official website ([25]) and Facebook page.

Executive Order 20-09

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Executive Order 20-08

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Executive Order 20-07 and Summary

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Summary of Executive Order 20-07

Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar

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Executive Order 20-06 and summary

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Executive Order Summary


Mescalero Apache Tribe announces first Coronavirus death 

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May 26, 2020. This morning, the Mescalero Apache Tribe announced the first death of a Reservation resident, an elderly woman, from the coronavirus (COVID-19). Tribal President Gabe Aguilar stated: “The individual that passed was the second resident to test positive. She was tested just hours after our first case was confirmed. It has been only a few days since the virus came to the Reservation. This virus moves quickly and targets our elders.” 

The Tribe is entering its second day of a fourteen-day lockdown. Tribal offices and businesses on the Reservation are closed. Tribal residents will be cited if they do not comply with the lockdown. “The Tribe is being strict for a reason,” President Aguilar commented. “The Tribe has worked hard over the last two months to avoid this. I am heartbroken. The family is heartbroken. But we must keep going. We must come together to stop the virus.”

The Tribe will provide updates on its official website ([34]) and Facebook page.

Current Executive Order 20-05 signed by President Aguilar

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Mescalero Apache Tribe announces second positive test for coronavirus on the reservation

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May 22, 2020. Last night, another Mescalero Apache Reservation resident tested positive for COVID-19. The resident is elderly and is hospitalized. This second positive case arose just hours after the Tribe’s first case.

“At this time, we need to come together as a community. Stay home. Wear a facemask. If you are contacted for testing, then please comply. If you may have been exposed, please contact Indian Health Service or the Tribe immediately,” Tribal President Gabe Aguilar stated. He added, “Our first case was discovered because the person came in on their own – they did the right thing. You need to as well. Think about your community.”

President Aguilar indicated that the Tribe will be issuing citations for violations of the Tribe’s coronavirus restrictions. President Aguilar commented, “We will be pushing for maximum penalties. We are taking this very seriously.”

The Tribe will provide updates on its official website ( and Facebook page.

Mescalero Apache Tribe announces first positive test for coronavirus on the reservation

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May 21, 2020. Earlier today, the Mescalero Apache Tribe was informed that a Reservation resident tested positive for COVID-19. The resident is not exhibiting symptoms and tested voluntarily. The resident will be quarantined and monitored closely.

President Gabe Aguilar asked Tribal members to stay calm: “We are doing everything we can to make sure that the individual that tested positive receives appropriate treatment and that the individual is isolated. There is no immediate threat to your safety. Please continue to follow the Tribe’s Executive Orders and health expert recommendations for social distancing, face masks, and hand washing.”

While most of Indian Country had been hit hard by the coronavirus, the Mescalero Apache Tribe was one of the only tribes in the country to have zero positive cases until today. The Tribe’s COVID-19 Response Unit has been meeting since mid-March to develop isolation plans and make other preparations. President Aguilar stated, “We were blessed to have gone so long with zero cases. I am proud of my community for stepping up. Because of your efforts to stay safe, we were able to prepare for this day.”

The Tribe will provide updates on its official website ( and Facebook page.

Mescalero receives $13.5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding

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May 14, 2020. Recently, the Mescalero Apache Tribe received $13.5 million to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The funding was provided to Mescalero through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), passed by Congress on April 22nd. The CARES Act set aside $8 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (“CRF”) for specifically for tribes. The U.S. Treasury Department released 60% of the CRF funding to tribes last week. The amount of funding received by each tribe was determined by population. “The Tribe is grateful for this money. We closed our casino to stop the spread of the coronavirus in our community and in neighboring communities. Now we have almost zero revenue coming in. We have to keep our community safe until this is over – the need for this money is huge,” stated Mescalero Apache Tribal President Gabe Aguilar.
Mescalero advocated for flexible rules for how the CRF funding could be used. But the Treasury Department issued strict guidelines governing the use of the funding. President Aguilar noted: “The Tribe has many needs and some of these needs result indirectly from COVID-19. These are legitimate needs, but this funding cannot be used.” He continued, “I know people will think that we can spend the money on anything we want – I want it to be clear that this money is restricted to COVID-19 needs”.

In line with these guidelines, yesterday, the Mescalero Apache Tribal Council, using its CRF funds, established an economic support program where each eligible Tribal member over the age of eighteen (18) can receive a $1,000 economic support payment. “This payment can be used to pay for food, electricity and other needs. Everyone is suffering the economic impacts of COVID-19. Please apply as soon as possible,” stated President Aguilar. Payments will be made by June 1, 2020.

The remaining 40% of the tribal funding in the CRF will be allocated depending on the outcome of a lawsuit filed by several tribes against the federal government. The lawsuit revolves around the issue of whether Alaskan Native Corporations are eligible to receive funding from the CRF or not. The Treasury Department has indicated that the remaining funding will be allocated according to factors like the number of individuals employed by and the annual revenue of each tribe. Mescalero opposes the possible distribution of monies from the CRF to ANCs and previously called for the resignation of the Department of Interior’s Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Tara Sweeney, for her involvement in efforts to include ANCs.


**Copies of the application will also be available at the Tribal Offices. APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 26, 2020 BY NOON.

Executive Order 20-04 signed by President Aguilar

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Mescalero reservation roads closed to non-residents

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April 6, 2020. Last week, Mescalero Apache Tribal President Gabe Aguilar issued Executive Order 20-02 effectively closing the Reservation to non-residents. This action comes after the Tribal President proclaimed a state of emergency at the request of the Mescalero Apache Tribal Council.

“We see what is happening in other tribal communities and across the State of New Mexico,” President Aguilar commented. He continued: “We know that people love to visit our beautiful Reservation. This is especially true during this time of year. But the Tribe must do everything it can to encourage people to stay home.”

Non-residents traveling on tribal or BIA-maintained roads, including Carrizo Canyon Road/BIA Route 4 (from the Reservation boundary line by Carrizo Lodge to Highway 70), will be stopped and escorted off the Reservation. In addition, fines and fees could be assessed. This closure does not apply to U.S. Highways 244 or 70.

Executive Order 20-02 remains in effect until further notice.

Q&A on Executive Order 20-02[45]Download[46]

Related Tribal Information:


Lock your home and vehicles! If you see suspicious activity, report it to BIA Dispatch 575-464-4479. Burglaries are increasing around the community.

Parents: Keep your child(ren) at home with you or a responsible adult.

A reminder from Chief Vepley, Mescalero BIA

ATTENTION: With the current shortage of toilet paper, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are turning to other paper products for sanitary needs. The Mescalero Utilities Department is asking that residents please refrain from flushing wipes, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and similar products down the toilet. These products are not flushable and are causing sewer clogs and backups.

May 14, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar[47]Download[48]
Carrizo Walking Trail OPEN[49]Download[50]
April 28, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar[51]Download[52]
Mescalero Tribal Leadership declare State of Emergency[53]Download[54]
Z-Trans Bus Routes MEMO-03-26-20[57]Download[58]
Elderly Food Vouchers and Utility Program 03-25-20[59]Download[60]
Emergency Proclamation & Resolution[61]Download[62]
March 20, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar[63]Download[64]
Community Mitigation Strategies for MAT[65]Download[66]

PUBLIC NOTICES from Tribal Departments & Mescalero Agencies:

Other Important Information:

Easter Egg Hunt at Cedar Creek Canceled[78]Download[79]
Hollowman Air Force Base_News Release 03-31-20[80]Download[81]
City of Alamogordo_PSA 03-31-20[82]Download[83]

Mescalero IHS Information

Canopies at IHS

We have now installed a few covered parking spots for curbside medication pick-up, as well as a few covered spots for patients being seen in clinic. Please be aware that each canopy is meant to fit 2 cars. There is 1 canopy for an over-sized truck at the farthest shaded spot. Please be careful when pulling your car in, as our new painted parking lines have been realigned for the canopies.

Mescalero IHS COVID screening requests for asymptomatic patients:

Starting on Monday, June 22, MSU will provide “drive-through” testing for COVID at our back upstairs/north parking lot. These appointments will be SCHEDULED, as there will be 4 available appointments for 9 A.M., and 4 appointments for 9:15 A.M. These appointments will be available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (that are not federal holidays). Please call our nurse triage line via our main phone number, 464-4441, if you need to schedule an appointment to test for Covid-19.

Mescalero IHS is conducting COVID-19 testing!

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 8am – 4:30pm

*COVID testing on Wednesday’s are 1pm-4:30pm*

Mescalero Hospital will be going back to its former schedule of Wednesday morning closures. This will start on Wednesday, June 3.


There has been community concern about the recall of metformin. We would like to remind you that medication recalls involve specific numbered lots. This is important because the recalled metformin lots are NOT ones that we carry– our specific numbered lots of metformin have NOT been recalled. Please pass this on to anyone you know who is concerned about this. Thank you!

Dental Care at Mescalero IHS

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Mescalero IHS has offered PORCH VISITS and/or DRIVE THRU dental checks & fluoride for children due to family needs during online schooling. For more information, call dental at 464-3832.

CDC update as of 5/12: Learn to minimize your COVID risk if you are in a higher-risk group. This includes those with diabetes, asthma, lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease with dialysis, and more.

Find out more![84]

Reminder from IHS Referral Dept.: Please call them directly at 464-3804 within 72 hours of any ER visit. Emergency rooms do not always notify us of your visit. Thank you!

Prenatal Care

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Care of your baby begins before they are even conceived! See the below NIH resource on pre-pregnancy and pregnancy care for information to read. Mescalero IHS Hospital is still completing prenatal care due to this being an essential service at all times. Call our hospital’s nurse triage line at 464-4441 to ask questions and schedule your prenatal visits.[85]

Referrals and Drop Offs at IHS

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If you are coming to MSU and only need to pick up a referral or drop off a bill, you can use our Curbside Medication Pick-Up parking spots! You won’t even need to leave your car during the process. Please call PRC if you have any other questions about your referral(s).

  1. Call PRC ahead of time to verify your referral is ready for pick-up (if applicable).
  2. When you arrive, park at a spot marked “Curbside medication pick-up”.
  3. The front door attendant will notify our curbside runner when anyone arrives in a curbside medication parking spot.
  4. The runner will come to your car to provide your information to our referral department.
  5. The runner will then come back to your car w/ your printed referral (if applicable).

Curbside Medication at IHS

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As of the morning of Wed, April 1– curbside medication pickup has started. You will not need to leave your car during the entire process.

  1. Please call pharmacy ahead of time at 575-464-3844 to order your medications. That way they can let you know if they are currently backlogged for medication wait time.
  2. When you arrive, park at a spot marked “Curbside medication pick-up”.
  3. The front door attendant will notify our curbside runner when anyone arrives in a curbside medication parking spot.
  4. The runner will come to your car w/ a form to privately verify your information w/ pharmacy.
  5. The runner then will come back to your car w/ your medication bag.
  6. You will be required to sign off that you checked your medication bag prior to leaving.

Learn how to use Cloth Face Coverings here[86].

Related Information from Mescalero IHS:

CDC: What You Can Do:[87]

How to cope with job stress:[88]

CDC recommendation for wearing gloves:[89]

How to Remove Gloves_CDC[90]Download[91]
Gloves Are No Enough_CDC[92]Download[93]
IHS letter to President[94]Download[95]
Mescalero’s COVID-19 Process 03-25-20[100]Download[101]

State of New Mexico Information

New Mexico Corona Virus updates here[102].

Testing Locations in New Mexico here[103].

Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center public health alerts here[104].

State of New Mexico Data page for COVID-19:[105].

COVID Safe Practices for New Mexicans here[106].

NMPED COVID-19 update: Confirming 20 new positive cases across New Mexico’s public schools

13 staff members, seven students tested positive

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SANTA FE – The Public Education Department on Oct. 16 announced 20 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Rapid response has been initiated, and all pertinent information has been verified with the schools and school districts. The following new cases have been reported:

  • Four cases in Bernalillo County. Two of the infected individuals are students who were last on campus Oct. 6 and Oct. 15. The other two infected individuals are staff members who were last on school property Sept. 30 and Oct. 7. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive cases.
  • Two cases in Chaves County. The infected individuals are both students who were last on school property Oct. 8 and Oct. 12. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive cases.
  • Three cases in Curry County. All three infected individuals are staff members who were last on school property Oct. 2, Oct. 8 and Oct. 15. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive cases.
  • Three cases in Doña Ana County. All of the infected individuals are staff members who were last on school property Oct. 6 and Oct. 8. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive cases.
  • One case in Lincoln County. The infected individual is a student who was last on school property Oct. 9. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive case.
  • Three cases in Luna County. The infected individuals are all staff members who were last on school property Oct. 2. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive cases.
  • One case in Mora County. The infected individual is a staff member who was last on school property Oct. 8. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive case.
  • One case in San Juan County. The infected individual is a staff member who was last on school property Oct. 14. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive case.
  • Two cases in Sierra County. The infected individuals are students who were last on campus Oct. 2. All staff members and the parents and guardians of all students in the affected school have been notified of the positive cases.

All “close contacts” will be informed of the positive case(s) and instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Affected classrooms and facilities will be cleaned and disinfected. Staff must be tested if symptomatic or a “close contact;” however, staff members will not be required to present a negative test result in order to return to work. Symptomatic staff may return to work after 10 days plus 24 hours after the fever is gone and COVID-19 symptoms have improved. Asymptomatic staff who have been “close contacts” may return to work after a 14-day quarantine.

The PED has collected this data since Aug. 17; since then, 383 total cases have been reported in 192 schools. Of those, 250 have been staff members and 133 have been students. 

Since schools began operating in the hybrid mode on Sept. 8, a total of 264 cases have been reported in 157 schools, including 167 staff members and 97 students.

For additional information about COVID-19 safety in schools, please visit:[107].

New Mexico COVID-19 update: 819 new cases, totaling 35,770

Six additional COVID-19 deaths

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SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Friday announced 819 additional COVID-19 cases. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

  • 178 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 26 new cases in Chaves County
  • 9 new cases in Cibola County
  • 76 new cases in Curry County
  • 146 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 36 new cases in Eddy County
  • 3 new cases in Grant County
  • 54 new cases in Lea County
  • 16 new cases in Lincoln County
  • 30 new cases in Luna County
  • 5 new cases in McKinley County
  • 1 new case in Mora County
  • 23 new cases in Otero County
  • 4 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 8 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 42 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 29 new cases in San Juan County
  • 4 new cases in San Miguel County
  • 39 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 6 new cases in Sierra County
  • 7 new cases in Socorro County
  • 1 new case in Taos County
  • 1 new case in Union County
  • 23 new cases in Valencia County
  • 31 new cases among individuals being held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility
  • 1 new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility
  • 20 new cases among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County

The Department of Health on Friday reported six additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19:

  • A female in her 80s from Bernalillo County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The individual was a resident of Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque.
  • A female in her 90s from Chaves County. The individual had underlying conditions and was a resident of Heartfelt Manor Assisted Living in Roswell.
  • A female in her teens from Eddy County.
  • A female in her 70s from Roosevelt County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
  • A female in her 70s from San Juan County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
  • A male in his 60s from Socorro County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now at 928.

Previously reported numbers included seven cases that have been identified as duplicates (two in Bernalillo County, three in Chaves County, one in Doña Ana County, one in Santa Fe County) – these now have been corrected. Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 35,770 COVID-19 cases:

Bernalillo County: 8,605

Catron County: 9

Chaves County: 1,687

Cibola County: 487

Colfax County: 41

Curry County: 1,231

De Baca County: 1

Doña Ana County: 4,500

Eddy County: 1,125

Grant County: 159

Guadalupe County: 37

Harding County: 1

Hidalgo County: 111

Lea County: 1,767

Lincoln County: 283

Los Alamos County: 37

Luna County: 558

McKinley County: 4,454

Mora County: 13

Otero County: 342

Quay County: 86

Rio Arriba County: 432

Roosevelt County: 373

Sandoval County: 1,664

San Juan County: 3,565

San Miguel County: 132

Santa Fe County: 1,312

Sierra County: 73

Socorro County: 155

Taos County: 165

Torrance County: 91

Union County: 38

Valencia County: 725

County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

 The Department of Health currently reports the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the following facilities:

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 329
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 333
  • Otero County Processing Center: 181
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 44

The Department of Health currently reports the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by the New Mexico Corrections Department at the following facilities:

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 40
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 76
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 5
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 1
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 472
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 25
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 4

As of today, there are 168 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.

As of today, there are 19,613 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Department of Health has identified at least one positive COVID-19 case in residents and/or staff in the past 28 days at the following long-term care facilities:

  • Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
  • Artesia Healthcare and Rehabilitation 
  • Atria Vista Del Rio in Albuquerque
  • Bear Canyon Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • BeeHive Homes Volcano Cliffs in Albuquerque
  • Belen Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Belen
  • Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation
  • Brookdale Santa Fe
  • Brookdale Valencia Albuquerque
  • Casa Arena Blanca Nursing Center in Alamogordo
  • Casa del Sol Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa Maria Health Care Center in Roswell
  • Clovis Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Clovis
  • Colfax Long Term Care Center in Springer
  • Desert Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation in Hobbs
  • El Castillo in Santa Fe
  • Good Life Senior Living in Artesia
  • Good Life Senior Living in Carlsbad
  • Good Life Senior Living in Lovington
  • Good Samaritan Society – Manzano Del Sol in Albuquerque 
  • Good Samaritan Society Las Cruces
  • Laguna Rainbow Care in Casa Blanca
  • Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque
  • LifeSpire Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • Lotus Care Homes in Albuquerque
  • Kingston Residence of Santa Fe
  • Mission Arch Center in Roswell
  • MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care in Rio Rancho
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho
  • New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • Ramah Adult Care in Ramah
  • Retirement Ranches in Clovis
  • Retreat Healthcare in Rio Rancho
  • Rio Rancho Center
  • Sandia Ridge Center in Albuquerque
  • Sandia Senior Suites in Albuquerque
  • San Juan Center in Albuquerque
  • Silver City Care Center in Silver City
  • South Valley Care Center in Albuquerque
  • Tercer Cielo in Albuquerque
  • Village at Northrise in Las Cruces
  • Village Retirement Community in Roswell
  • Welbrook Senior Living Las Cruces

The Department of Health has detected community spread in the state of New Mexico and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.

The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.

Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home, especially if you are sick. Wear a mask or face covering when in public and around others.

New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

The Department of Health strongly encourages the following groups to get tested:

  • Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell;
  • Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of people in their infectious period who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
  • Asymptomatic people who live or work in congregate settings such as long-term care facilities and group homes;
  • Patients who are scheduled for surgery and whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure.

New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.

Gov. announces renewed public health regulations, reiterates that more will come if alarming rise of COVID-19 is not slowed

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SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced the state of New Mexico will implement, and in some cases re-implement, several public health regulations later in the week to stem the alarming rise of COVID-19 illnesses statewide[108]. 

The governor also reiterated[109] her stark[110] warnings from recent weeks[111] – as COVID-19 infections have spread rapidly throughout all regions of the state[112], including an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations – that New Mexico may in the near future be compelled to re-enact even more stringent public health controls to blunt the spread of the highly infectious and potentially lethal virus, which has already killed almost 1,000 New Mexicans. 

“Without a vaccine, we have only a few tools against this awful, invisible enemy,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We must wear our masks. We must avoid large groups of people. We must limit our travel outside of the home, particularly our time in enclosed indoor spaces. When we do these things, we can crush the virus, and we protect our families, our communities and our state from being overrun by illness. But the virus is booming in New Mexico right now. The increases we’ve seen here are some of the worst in the entire United States this fall. This kind of overwhelming and dramatic statewide spread signals one thing: Too many of us, succumbing to COVID fatigue, are no longer using those tools. We’re no longer taking those precautions. We are giving the virus too many opportunities to spread. And the enemy is taking advantage.

“When the community spread of the virus becomes uncontrollable – and we are fast approaching that point – our only option is to simply shut down those opportunities for the virus. We’ve made so much progress to sustain reopenings and our limited, safe in-person learning efforts – but that progress is rapidly disappearing. Rollbacks will mean more economic turmoil for so many workers and business owners in our state who have already suffered and sacrificed so much. But it is our only chance to prevent more devastating illness and to save lives. No one wants to come to that point. I detest the very thought of it. We have got to turn it around and fast. So I once again urge, with my whole heart, that New Mexicans in every corner of the state, city leaders, county leaders, business leaders, community leaders all take up the mantle of fighting this invisible enemy, of requiring and encouraging safe behavior, of asking more of ourselves to protect New Mexico. The crisis is not over. The virus is still with us. Let’s step it up, all together, once again.”

The state has missed its reopening gating criteria[113] – a measure of the spread of the virus that signals whether additional day-to-day activity is safe and can be permitted – for several weeks. Absent an improvement in those data, the state of New Mexico will once again restrict indoor dining service and significantly roll back maximum occupancy allowances at other retail and dining establishments.

The state’s operative emergency public health order will expire Friday, Oct. 16; it will be extended, with amendments. 

The governor and state health officials will, effective Friday, Oct. 16, append the following changes to the public health order and associated public health guidance documents:


Any food or drink establishment in New Mexico serving alcohol must close at 10:00 p.m. each night. The governor’s Economic Recovery Council, which has advised her administration on re-opening strategies to strengthen and sustain the state’s workforce and economy through this crisis, made the recommendation for this mandatory closing time. 

“New Mexico hotels and restaurants and our hospitality employees have suffered more from COVID than any other sector,” said Allan Affeldt, hotel and restaurant owner and member of the Economic Recovery Council. “In spite of that, the overwhelming majority of hotels and restaurants are in support of the state’s COVID-Safe Practices and are doing our best to keep our guests and staff safe so our economy can recover faster. Unfortunately, there are some restaurants and bars that blatantly disregard public safety by operating late and in gross violation of safe practices and common sense. These business owners threaten the survival of all businesses in the state and the health of their customers and staff. These problems nearly all occur after hours, when some restaurants are simply acting as bars, where spread of the virus is not inhibited. Because of this, I and many of my fellow hotel and restaurant operators are in full support of a temporary limit on operating hours for late-night restaurants and bars. Together we can get all New Mexico businesses open sooner if we take these simple steps to help limit viral spread.”

Other states – including Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington – have enacted similar closing times for places of business selling alcohol in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in those establishments[114]. The state, which issues liquor and restaurant licenses to food and drink establishments, will rigorously enforce this requirement.


Maximum occupancy restrictions will be reduced to 60 percent for places of lodging that have completed the N.M. Safe Certified training program[115] and to 25 percent for places of lodging that have not completed the training program – a reduction of maximum occupancy from 75 percent and 50 percent, respectively.


The governor will amend her executive order[116] that requires a period of mandatory self-quarantine for individuals arriving into New Mexico from out of state. Individuals arriving from “higher-risk states,” or those with a test positivity rate exceeding 5 percent and a test positivity rate higher than 80 per 100,000 residents, will no longer be exempt from the period of mandatory self-quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival into New Mexico. All individuals arriving from those higher-risk states – a list of which is updated each Wednesday at[117] – must self-quarantine for a period of no less than 14 days or for the duration of their stay in New Mexico, whichever is shorter.


Mass gatherings of more than 5 individuals are once again prohibited. Previously the state had allowed gatherings of more than 10 individuals. A “mass gathering” is defined as any public or private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, organized amateur contact sport, or other grouping that brings together individuals in an indoor or outdoor space. 

The governor and state health officials are scheduled to discuss the extended public health order and other COVID-19 data in the state’s regular COVID-19 public update Thursday; additional details about that event will be disseminated later this week.

State of New Mexico encourages residents to ‘stay inside the triangle,’ limit daily activities outside the home

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SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials this week once again reminded New Mexicans to limit their travel outside of the home in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“Every time we leave the house, we take a risk, because the virus is out there, and it is an awful, invisible enemy,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But if and when we must go out, we should think about how to minimize the number of places we visit, the things we do, the people we come into contact with. If we limit ourselves to three trips or places to go or things to do each day – or fewer! – we will ultimately reduce the opportunities for catching and spreading the virus. And it will make an enormous difference in our state’s overall health and well-being and permit us to get more students safely back in the classroom and more New Mexicans safely back to work.”

New Mexicans are encouraged to think about categorizing their limited daily travel outside the home into the following categories:

COVID-safe self-care options can include going for a solo walk or a run, walking the dog, visiting a park, taking a hike alone or with a small group — all while practicing social distancing from others and wearing a facemask.

The following public health restrictions and guidelines remain in place:

  • Masks are required in all public settings in New Mexico for the benefit of public health.
  • Gatherings of more than 10 are not permitted.
  • A period of self-quarantine is mandatory for visitors and New Mexicans returning from out-of-state from most U.S. states.​[118]

“There’s a safer option and a less-safe option for everything we do outside of the home,” said Human Services Secretary David Scrase, M.D. “I hope all New Mexicans choose the safer option: Takeout or delivery instead of dining in, ordering online instead of browsing through the aisles of a store, visiting a family member or friend over the phone or the computer instead of spending time indoors and in person, going for a jog alone with a mask instead of hiking with a large group of friends. Of course, staying home in the first place is always the safest choice. If more of us make these choices, the safer decisions, we will see fewer illnesses in our state, and we will begin to once again turn the tide in our fight against this virus.”

SNAP benefits

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Individuals seeking to apply for SNAP benefits may apply online through[119] or by phone at 1-800-283-4465.

The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to more than 1 million New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.

State amends guidance for small groups in exercise setting, outdoor activities

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SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced the state will update its guidance within the emergency public health order to permit small groups in exercise settings and safe outdoor activities for New Mexicans.

An amended emergency public health order, which is in effect through mid-October, will permit youth sports conditioning and skills development, with no more than 10 individuals in any one group, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices[120]. Competitive contact play remains off-limits.

In addition, New Mexicans may overnight camp at most state parks in groups of no more than 10. That change will be effective Oct. 1. 

Other changes include:

  • Pick-your-own pumpkin patches will be permitted to operate in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices for agri-tourism businesses[121]
  • Ice skating rinks may operate for athletic training and practice by reservation only
  • Swimming pools may open with no more than 10 individuals in a pool at any one time; previously swimming pools were permitted only to provide lane swimming.

The state’s full complement for COVID-Safe Practices for different industries and activities, compiled with the assistance of the Economic Recovery Council and industry leaders, is available here[122].

“We all want to keep making progress in combating the virus,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “New Mexicans have done incredible work. These changes are hopefully an opportunity for families and kids to safely enjoy more activities. But we’ve got to keep making the right decisions – keep wearing face coverings, keep avoiding large groups and contact with others – and avoid a false sense of security. The results are clear: A safer state, safer communities and fewer dangerous illnesses in New Mexico. We can keep up the great work, I am confident, and my goal will be to make additional moves in this direction this fall.”​

New Mexico’s progress in slowing the incidence and spread of COVID-19 has continued, with the statewide 7-day rolling average of daily cases at 90 as of Sept. 15, well below the gating criteria target of 168[123]. The statewide rate of spread, or r-effective, remains below 1, meaning the virus is spreading slower and not exponentially. Although the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations remain significantly lower than earlier this summer, the southeast region made up the highest percentage of hospital admissions last week, according to the state Medical Advisory Team[124].


The state of New Mexico would like to remind residents that testing for COVID-19 is free and available to all at Department of Health offices and testing sites, many of which have expanded hours of availability. Information about those sites is available at[125].


The state also reminds New Mexicans that a complete count of state residents for the 2020 Census is essential to ensuring billions in federal funds — for education, food assistance, roadway infrastructure, health care and more – are provided for New Mexicans over the next decade. The Census is simple, secure and important – please visit[126] to complete the form or call 844-330-2020.

Department of Health announces COVID-19 testing now open to all workers in New Mexico

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SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announces COVID-19 testing for all workers in the state.

For more information visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 website,[127] updated daily with the latest testing numbers, our testing location directory[128] and the ability to track cases by zip code.

New Mexicans can continue to call the Department of Health’s coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453 with health-related questions.  For non-health-related questions or concerns call 833-551-0518 or visit[129].

Retailers, businesses shall require employees to wear face coverings

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Employers, public need to be prepared for reopening

SANTA FE— Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday urged business owners to begin preparing for the first phase of reopening New Mexico while the state continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department of Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel has amended the state public health emergency order clarifying some of the steps businesses must take in order to operate. 

  • Beginning Wednesday, May 6, all large grocery and large retail spaces (those greater than 50,000 square feet in size) and all restaurants currently operating curbside and delivery service will be required to ensure that all employees have at least cloth face coverings.
  • All employees must wear their face coverings in the workplace at all times when in the presence of others.
  • Beginning Monday, May 11, all essential businesses of any size currently operating under the public health order must also comply with the face covering requirement.
  • All employers are strongly encouraged to acquire the face coverings for all employees over the next week, in preparation for a potential Phase One reopening in mid-May. Otherwise they may not be able to operate in compliance with state requirements.
  • Retailers will not be required to provide face coverings for customers but are encouraged to post signage strongly encouraging customers to wear their own masks. Retailers at their own discretion may require customers to wear masks.

The administration last week issued a set of COVID-safe practices for all employers and an additional set for all retailers (see attached). Other COVID-safe requirements and best practices specific to other industries are under development.

The governor last week extended her stay-at home order to May 15, with modifications allowing some limited, additional retail and recreational opportunities. Further reopening will depend on businesses and individuals doing their part to keep their neighbors safe in order to meet gating criteria.

“If New Mexicans don’t behave safely, we won’t be able to reopen more than we have. Every single one of us has to do their part,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.

Auto insurers in New Mexico refund premiums due to driving less

Click here [130]for more info.

Related State Information:

Healthcare Coverage: Applies to EVERYONE off and on the reservation[131]Download[132]
Evictions: For residents living OFF THE RESERVATION ONLY[133]Download[134]
Warning about COVID-19 Scams[135]Download[136]
NMDOT discourages shopping in groups[137]Download[138]
  • Individuals Experiencing Financial Hardship, click here[141].
  • Video: Homemade face coverings[142]
  • State to use emergency alert system for important communications[143]

National Information

Current Virus updates from the CDC with guidelines and recommendations here[144].

Testing Information provided by CDC here[145].

Click here[146] for CDC recommendations for Halloween!

How to Make Your own Face Covering

CDC guidance on determining when someone is recovered:[147]

Guidelines to follow from the CDC on how to clean and disinfect your home.

Find out more!
A Few Important Reminders about Coronaviruses and Reducing the Risk of Exposure:

  • Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection.
  • Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading infection. EPA-approved disinfectants are an important part of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. If disinfectants on this list are in short supply, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions).
  • Store and use disinfectants in a responsible and appropriate manner according to the label. Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together–this can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.
  • Do not overuse or stockpile disinfectants or other supplies. This can result in shortages of appropriate products for others to use in critical situations.
  • Always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be needed based on setting and product. For more information, see CDC’s website on Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities.
  • Practice social distancing, wear facial coverings, and follow proper prevention hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and using alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

CDC recommends guidelines whenever running essential errands during stay at home order

Click here[148] for more details!

National Indian Health Board

NIHB helps answer some of the most asked questions regarding testing in Indian country. Learn more about vulnerable populations, caring for elders, what the difference is between social distancing, isolation, and quarantine and much more. Read more here[149].

Related National Information:

Fact Sheet_COVID-19-Non-congregate-Sheltering[152]Download[153]
FBI-Public Service Announcement _Scams[154]Download[155]
  • Families Living in Close Quarters with Extended Family:[156]
  • Sharing the Facts: Stop the Spread of Rumors[157]
  • Prevent Getting Sick:[158]
  • Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure:[159]
  • If you are Sick:[160]
  • Caring for Someone at Home:[161]
  • FBI warns parents, educators, caregivers and children about the dangers of being online

School Information


Tularosa High School registration for the 2020-2021 school year

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If you have a student that is currently enrolled in grades 9-12 it is required that you go to the high school to fill out registration forms. This will assure that the high school will have a chrome book and materials ready for your student to begin distant learning when the school year begins.

Please look closely for registration dates and times:

  • Monday August 3rd, 9:00 am to 11:30 am students with the last names beginning A through D.
  • Monday August 3rd 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm students with the last names beginning E through H.
  • Tuesday August 4th, 9:00 am to 11:30 am students with the last names beginning I through M.
  • Tuesday August 4th, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm students with the last names beginning N through R.
  • Wednesday August 5th, 9:00 am to 11:30 am students with the last names beginning S through Z.
  • Makeup registration will be held Wednesday August 5th, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm.

If you have any questions, please call Tularosa High School.

Information provided by Ramona Collazo, [email protected]

Mescalero Apache Schools: Distance Learning During COVID-19

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HS Graduation Plan

We are preparing for graduation like we have done every year except it might not be May 14th.  The date will be determined based on the COVID-19 guidelines and Tribal closure rules.  We want our seniors to have this special day and will continue to work to make this happen. We are still working with Herff Jones to get graduation orders to each senior that did not receive it before the closure.  Parents can call the Principal at 464-5033 if they need any individual information or Ms. Morales, Counselor at 464-5031.

MS/HS Distance Learning Plan

Middle school has put together packets that went out April 13th and 14th with the exception of a few teachers who are accessing students online or through phone calls.  High School is doing the same.  At risk students have packets, all other students are receiving information through Google Classroom, email or phone calls.  In some cases, some students will have packets who do not have internet access.  I will know more at the end of this week when teachers turn in their time as I have asked them to give me information regarding students who are working and those who are not.  HS teachers are working to continue the dual credit courses assigned to students this semester.

Elementary Plan Continuing Education

  • Teachers will build homework packets for 2 weeks at a time.  Each grade level will provide actives and supplies for students to do work in Math, Reading, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies.

Dates for distribution and pickup are April 13th, April 27th and May 11th.

  • Kinder, 2nd and 4th grade teachers will work on Mondays to complete packets and work on getting rooms ready for next school year.  Grades 1st, 3rd, and 5th will work on Tuesdays.
  • Teachers will call all students to let them know where and when the packets will be available, and a call will also go out to parents and students. 
  • Teachers have submitted their individual plans on how they are going to work with parents and students.  Every situation is unique and teachers are using a variety of methods to communicate.  Email, FaceTime, Phone Calls etc. 
  • As the principal, I’m randomly checking with parents to ensure they are getting the help they need and making sure teachers are reaching out to their parents and students.


MAS has applied for over $900,000. 00 to upgrade our school with the latest technology. Our plan is to be able to provide a computer to every student enrolled, provide internet access with hotspots and upgrade our existing servers.  Once the money arrives, we will begin to roll out our plan as school is coming back to normal-this may take some time. 

Mr. Cervantes has worked this past week to provide every student with an email address through Outlook for those who already have internet and devices at home. 

Future Plan

We will also begin to work on a plan to reopen school.  It might entail having certain grade levels return on certain days of the week and then continue to work at home on their computers.  Just like cities are planning how to reopen, Mescalero schools must plan this as well. Do we open all at once or slowly? That is the million-dollar question.  MAS is keeping up on what other States/Tribes are doing to ensure the safety of everyone involved and will make an informed decision when the time comes.

Information provided by Mary Ross, Superintendent


Related Education Information:

Attention Tribal Employees

This section is for Tribal Employees who may not receive important information in a timely manner as it pertains to their department.

NMDWS applies for “Lost Wages Assistance” funds

(Albuquerque, NM) – Today, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration for funding that would provide an additional $300 per week payments to New Mexicans receiving Unemployment benefits. U.S. Department of Labor guidance allows for existing Unemployment Trust Fund payments delivered by NMDWS to count as 25% matching funds for the program. 

“Politics don’t matter in a crisis; my focus and our state’s focus has been and will continue to be delivering resources to New Mexicans in need,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “I maintain that a Congressional aid package is needed to bolster unemployment funds for New Mexicans, but we will take every opportunity to help families and workers throughout this pandemic.”

“Governor Lujan Grisham is asking all of us to work together and find any resources to help New Mexicans through this tough time,” said Bill McCamley, Secretary of the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Department. “Though it is unclear at this time when funding will become available, or how much funding is available, the Department will work hard to distribute funds to New Mexicans as quickly as possible. Our friends and neighbors need resources to pay for rent, utilities, food, childcare, and many other services and we will get as much money as possible into their pockets.”

NMDWS looks forward to receiving a response from FEMA to begin planning and implementing the distribution of additional funds quickly to New Mexicans who need it. There is no need for claimants to contact NMDWS at this time. We will announce more information once it becomes available.   

News release provided by NMDWS.

Work search waiver scheduled to end on July 18th

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Claimants on PUA will not be required to search for work

(Albuquerque, NM) – In March, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) waived the work search requirements for Unemployment Insurance claimants who had lost their job or had hours reduced as a result of COVID-19. This waiver will end on July 18, 2020.

Claimants receiving benefits will be required to verify that at least two work searches occurred each week when submitting their certification. In upcoming weeks, NMDWS in coordination with New Mexico Workforce Connection offices, will be providing guidance, training, and workshop options to claimants that will satisfy the work search requirement for the week in which they attend.

Individuals receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers – are not required by federal law to conduct work searches and will continue to receive a waiver. While the U.S. Department of Labor requires work searches for claimants receiving standard unemployment benefits, they have not instituted the same requirement for claimants on PUA.

In addition to the above change, NMDWS is advising all claimants that the last payable week for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional benefit of $600 per week, will be the week ending July 25, 2020.

Statement from NMDWS Cabinet Secretary Bill McCamley on overpayment letters sent to PUA claimants

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Beginning the final week of May, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions began issuing notice of overpayment letters to recipients of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor requires that the Department issue letters when Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud is suspected. As such, the letter uses strong language that suggests adverse actions are going to be taken against the claimant and these notices are automatically generated by our Tax & Claims System. Because this process is automated, several received the letter for reasons that do not rise to the level of intentional fraud. For example, PUA claimants who did not provide 2019 tax documents received the notification. The notices were also generated for PUA claimants who may have mistakenly listed an income total that varied from their tax documents.

On behalf of the agency, I sincerely apologize that the notices caused concern and frustration at an already stressful time. To provide clarification on what claimants need to do next, we are sending out direct communication that provides guidance on how individuals can provide the Department with the information necessary to clear any pending issues or alleviate a hold on their claim. Although notices are necessary and required to avoid a misuse of taxpayer resources, where appropriate, we can supplement and/or replace them with clarifying information that helps claimants comply with all aspects of UI requirements.

Our work over the past several months has always been focused on getting New Mexicans the benefits and resources to which they are entitled as quickly as we can. But we can always do better and are committed to begin an examination of how we can communicate more clearly and effectively to New Mexicans in this troubling time. 

Bill McCamley

Secretary, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

NMDWS receives grant for employment recovery for displaced workers

All CARES Act benefits are 100% federally funded

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(Albuquerque, NM) – The U.S. Department of Labor has approved a National Dislocated Worker Grant in the amount of $3 million to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). The funding will provide employment recovery for displaced workers significantly affected by the spread of COVID-19, which will ultimately enable businesses and New Mexico residents to begin to recover from the negative economic impact to our state.

With funding received from the grant, NMDWS has identified several areas of focus:

  • Addressing shortage of healthcare workers in the state. Allocating funds to be utilized in providing training for needed workers to respond to the health crisis, including direct care and public health response (ie, contact tracing, outreach);
  • Partnership with the New Mexico Economic Development Department to provide customized training for businesses who plan to re-tool their operations, ie, manufacture PPE, sanitizing equipment/supplies, or training on deep cleaning techniques to meet demand statewide; and
  • Partnership with the Bernalillo County Commissioners and the Central Workforce Development Board to address employment for non-violent offenders scheduled for early release due to COVID-19. A transitional jobs program will be initiated to promote successful transition into work, including case management, job readiness, soft skill development, and training.

“The proposed funds will support New Mexico businesses and job seekers as they innovate job site practices to promote healthy and productive workplaces, as well as target individuals who – with additional training and education – could bolster their earning potential,” said NMDWS Deputy Secretary Yolanda Montoya-Cordova.

13 weeks of extended Unemployment benefits now available

All CARES Act benefits are 100% federally funded

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(Albuquerque, NM) – An additional 13 weeks of benefits is available to individuals who have exhausted their regular state Unemployment Insurance claim with a benefit year that ended on or after July 1, 2019.

The additional weeks of benefits are provided by Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Once a claimant’s benefit year ceases, they can then establish a new benefit year to requalify for regular unemployment.

PEUC is for individuals who have exhausted 26 weeks of regular Unemployment Insurance benefits; are able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work; or are partially unemployed.

Eligible individuals will receive the same amount of Unemployment Insurance benefits as the previous weeks they received. They will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional $600 to their weekly benefits up until July 25, 2020 (Max. $1,061 in New Mexico).

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), FPUC, and PEUC benefits are 100% federally funded and employers will not be charged for any benefits paid under a CARES Act program.

There are two ways to file for PEUC:

  • Online by going to the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System at[176]. Individuals can then access the UI Tax & Claims System.
    • On the left navigation menu, individuals will click on “Apply for Federal Extension Benefits”
  • By phone at 1-877-664-6984. The department will continue to operate under extended hours for the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center with the hours of  7am – 7pm Monday through Friday.

If an individual qualifies for benefits under regular state unemployment Insurance they will not be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

REMINDER: It is not necessary to call the Department to confirm that your claim has been filed or to check the status. If there are any unresolved issues impacting your claim or if we have questions, we will contact you.

Important note: None of the benefits described above, nor unemployment benefits of any kind, are available to employees who quit without good work-related cause, refuse to return to work, or refuse to receive full-time pay. Refusing to return to work could result in a disqualification for benefit eligibility. Attempts to collect unemployment benefits after quitting a job without good work-related cause is considered to be fraud. The CARES Act specifically provides for serious consequences for fraudulent cases including fines, confinement, and an inability to receive future unemployment benefits until all fraudulent claims and fines have been repaid. Employers are encouraged to utilize the New Hire system to report those employees who fail to return to work.

Additional information for workers affected by COVID-19, including frequently asked questions, can be found at[177]. For the latest announcements and updates, follow NMDWS on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

New Guidance about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Beneficiaries from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul

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“The Treasury Department launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for eligible individuals who do not normally file a tax return, and also announced that it would begin making automatic payments. However, for some people receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration–specifically those who have dependent children under the age of 17–it is to their advantage to go to this portal to ensure they also get the $500 per dependent Economic Impact Payment. I encourage them to do this as soon as possible, and want to provide the following details:

People who receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits and who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who have qualifying children under age 17 should now go to the IRS’s webpage at[178] to enter their information instead of waiting for their automatic $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. By taking proactive steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If Social Security beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

The same new guidance also applies to SSI recipients, especially those who have qualifying children under age 17. To receive the full amount of the Economic Impact Payments you and your family are eligible for, go to the IRS’s Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info page at[178] and provide information about yourself and your qualifying children.

Additionally, any new beneficiaries since January 1, 2020, of either Social Security or SSI benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, will also need to go to the IRS’s Non-Filers website to enter their information.

Lastly, for Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability beneficiaries who do not have qualifying children under age 17, you do not need to take any action with the IRS. You will automatically receive your $1,200 economic impact payment directly from the IRS as long as you received an SSA-1099 for 2019.

For SSI recipients who do not have qualifying children under age 17, we continue to work closely with Treasury in our efforts to make these payments automatically. Please note that we will not consider Economic Impact Payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

The eligibility requirements and other information about the Economic Impact Payments can be found here:[179]. In addition, please continue to visit the IRS at[180] for the latest information.

We will continue to update Social Security’s COVID-19 web page at[181] as further details become available.”

To get more Social Security news, follow the Press Office on Twitter @SSAPress[182]

Related Employee Information:

Extension of Furloughs 04-28-20[187]Download[188]
Access to Tribal Offices 04-21-20[189]Download[190]
Release of Non-Essential Employees 03-20-2020[191]Download[192]

  1. Mescalero IHS: #mescaleroihsinformation
  2. Tribal: #tribalinformation
  3. State: #stateinformation
  4. National: #nationalinformation
  5. local School information: #schoolinformation
  6. here: #newguidance
  7. here:
  8. here:
  9. here:
  10. here:
  11. Mescalero Apache Tribe COVID-19 Test Results:
  12. Tribal member letter from President Aguilar:
  13. 2020-10-14-Executive-Order-20-12:
  14. Download:
  15. 2020-10-14-EO-re-New-Restrictions-SUMMARY:
  16. Download:
  18. Download:
  19. Executive Order 20-11 9-9-20:
  20. Download:
  21. Summary-of-Current-COVID-19-Restrictions 9-9-20:
  22. Download:
  23. Executive-Order-20-10:
  24. Download:
  26. Executive-Order-20-09-08-07-20:
  27. Download:
  28. 2020-08-07-Summary-of-New-EO-1:
  29. Download:
  30. 06-11-20-Tribal-Member-letter-from-President-Aguilar:
  31. Download:
  32. 06-12-20-Summary-of-EO:
  33. Download:
  35. Executive-Order-20-05-05-23-20:
  36. Download:
  37. Application-for-Economic-Support-Payment-FINAL:
  38. Download:
  39. 20-39-Establishing-Economic-Support-Payment-Program:
  40. Download:
  41. Executive-Order-20-04:
  42. Download:
  43. Executive-Order-20-02:
  44. Download:
  45. Q&A on Executive Order 20-02:
  46. Download:
  47. May 14, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar:
  48. Download:
  49. Carrizo Walking Trail OPEN:
  50. Download:
  51. April 28, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar:
  52. Download:
  53. Mescalero Tribal Leadership declare State of Emergency:
  54. Download:
  55. Burn-Ban-Fire-Restrictions-03-31-20:
  56. Download:
  57. Z-Trans Bus Routes MEMO-03-26-20:
  58. Download:
  59. Elderly Food Vouchers and Utility Program 03-25-20:
  60. Download:
  61. Emergency Proclamation & Resolution:
  62. Download:
  63. March 20, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar:
  64. Download:
  65. Community Mitigation Strategies for MAT:
  66. Download:
  67. VAWA memo (07-29-20):
  68. Gas Company NEW TEMP HOURS (07-28-20):
  69. Tribal Court NEW TEMP HOURS (07-28-20):
  70. Tribal Court PUBLIC NOTICE (06-23-20):
  71. Mescalero Education Department (06-23-20):
  72. Tribal Court Announcement (05-27-20) :
  73. Accounting PUBLIC NOTICE (05-26-20):
  74. Mescalero VAWA PUBLIC NOTICE (05-26-20):
  75. Elderly Program (05-26-20):
  76. First COVID-19 confirmed case in Lincoln County, NM:
  78. Easter Egg Hunt at Cedar Creek Canceled:
  79. Download:
  80. Hollowman Air Force Base_News Release 03-31-20:
  81. Download:
  82. City of Alamogordo_PSA 03-31-20:
  83. Download:
  86. here:
  90. How to Remove Gloves_CDC:
  91. Download:
  92. Gloves Are No Enough_CDC:
  93. Download:
  94. IHS letter to President:
  95. Download:
  96. Coping-with-stress-3-30-20:
  97. Download:
  98. Mescalero-IHS-COVID-19-Parenting-3-30-20:
  99. Download:
  100. Mescalero’s COVID-19 Process 03-25-20:
  101. Download:
  102. here:
  103. here:
  104. here:
  106. here:
  108. alarming rise of COVID-19 illnesses statewide:
  109. reiterated:
  110. her stark:
  111. warnings from recent weeks:
  112. spread rapidly throughout all regions of the state:
  113. state has missed its reopening gating criteria:
  114. to slow the spread of COVID-19 in those establishments:
  115. N.M. Safe Certified training program:
  116. her executive order:
  118. A period of self-quarantine is mandatory for visitors and New Mexicans returning from out-of-state from most U.S. states.​:
  120. in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices:
  121. COVID-Safe Practices for agri-tourism businesses:
  122. is available here:
  123. criteria target of 168:
  124. according to the state Medical Advisory Team:
  128. our testing location directory:
  130. here :
  131. Healthcare Coverage: Applies to EVERYONE off and on the reservation:
  132. Download:
  133. Evictions: For residents living OFF THE RESERVATION ONLY:
  134. Download:
  135. Warning about COVID-19 Scams:
  136. Download:
  137. NMDOT discourages shopping in groups:
  138. Download:
  139. Special-Grocery-Hours-to-accommodate-seniors:
  140. Download:
  141. here:
  142. Video: Homemade face coverings:
  143. State to use emergency alert system for important communications:
  144. here:
  145. here:
  146. here:
  148. here:
  149. here:
  150. COVID-19-Noncongregate-Shelter-FAQ:
  151. Download:
  152. Fact Sheet_COVID-19-Non-congregate-Sheltering:
  153. Download:
  154. FBI-Public Service Announcement _Scams:
  155. Download:
  157. Stop the Spread of Rumors:
  162. Updated-Registration-Poster:
  163. Download:
  164. School-Closure-Extension-FAQ:
  165. Download:
  166. Early-Childhood-Resources:
  167. Download:
  168. Requirements-and-Recommendations-to-Support-Homeless-Students:
  169. Download:
  170. National Indian Education Association:
  182. @SSAPress:
  183. MEMO-return-to-work-on-monday-june-8:
  184. Download:
  185. Memo-to-Employees-05-24-20:
  186. Download:
  187. Extension of Furloughs 04-28-20:
  188. Download:
  189. Access to Tribal Offices 04-21-20:
  190. Download:
  191. Release of Non-Essential Employees 03-20-2020:
  192. Download:

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