Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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


Attention Tribal Members

Emergencies during after hours and weekend[1]


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[7]!


Extreme weather is on the rise in Mescalero and surrounding areas, click here[8] to know more about heat related issues some individuals may experience and how to protect them and yourself.

Also, if you click here[9], 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 Mescalero Community Center 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[10].

Information on Mental Health Services During COVID-19 here[11].


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[12]

NEW Executive Order 20-09


Executive Order 20-08

Find out more!

Executive Order 20-07 and Summary

Find out more!

Summary of Executive Order 20-07

Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar

Find out more!

Executive Order 20-06 and summary

Find out more!

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 ([21]) and Facebook page.

Current Executive Order 20-05 signed by President Aguilar

Find out more!


Find out more!

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.


Find out more!

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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Find out more!
MESCALERO, NM. 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[32]Download[33]

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[34]Download[35]
Carrizo Walking Trail OPEN[36]Download[37]
April 28, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar[38]Download[39]
Mescalero Tribal Leadership declare State of Emergency[40]Download[41]
Z-Trans Bus Routes MEMO-03-26-20[44]Download[45]
Elderly Food Vouchers and Utility Program 03-25-20[46]Download[47]
Emergency Proclamation & Resolution[48]Download[49]
March 20, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar[50]Download[51]
Community Mitigation Strategies for MAT[52]Download[53]

PUBLIC NOTICES from Tribal Departments & Mescalero Agencies:

Other Important Information:

Easter Egg Hunt at Cedar Creek Canceled[65]Download[66]
Hollowman Air Force Base_News Release 03-31-20[67]Download[68]
City of Alamogordo_PSA 03-31-20[69]Download[70]

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.


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!

Mescalero IHS is conducting COVID-19 testing on the weekends!

12:45 pm – 4:30 pm Saturday & Sunday

**Since Monday the 25th is a holiday, Mescalero IHS will have COVID-19 testing from 12:45pm – 4:30pm also.

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

Dental Care at Mescalero IHS

Find out more!
Dental care will not be available at Mescalero Hospital from Tue, May 26, through Mon, June 29.

All dental care during that time will be referred to Ben Archer in Alamogordo. Ben Archer is currently on dental-emergency status only. If you want to be seen at Ben Archer for a dental emergency between May 26 and June 29, you must be physically present at Ben Archer at 8 A.M. to be seen that day. You must notify PRC (464-3804) beforehand so that your referral will be processed. If you have questions on this process, please call our main line at 464-4441. Ben Archer’s Alamogordo phone is 443-8133.

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![71]

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.[72]

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

Find out more.
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[73].

Related Information from Mescalero IHS:

CDC: What You Can Do:[74]

How to cope with job stress:[75]

CDC recommendation for wearing gloves:[76]

How to Remove Gloves_CDC[77]Download[78]
Gloves Are No Enough_CDC[79]Download[80]
IHS letter to President[81]Download[82]
Mescalero’s COVID-19 Process 03-25-20[87]Download[88]

State Information

Public Health Alerts from AASTEC here[89].

Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 15,291

Update includes three additional COVID-19 deaths

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials on Monday announced 264 additional COVID-19 cases. Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:

  • 59 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 17 new cases in Chaves County
  • 2 new cases in Cibola County
  • 11 new cases in Curry County
  • 82 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 4 new cases in Eddy County
  • 2 new cases in Grant County
  • 2 new new cases in Hidalgo County
  • 5 new cases in Lea County
  • 6 new cases in Luna County
  • 24 new cases in McKinley County
  • 2 new cases in Otero County
  • 9 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 21 new cases in San Juan County
  • 1 new case in San Miguel County
  • 3 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 2 new cases in Sierra County
  • 2 new cases in Socorro County
  • 4 new cases in Taos County
  • 6 new cases in Valencia County

The Department of Health on Monday reported three additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19. They are:

  • A female in her 80s from Chaves County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The individual was a patient at  Spanish Trails Rehabilitation Suites facility in Albuquerque.
  • A female in her 50s from McKinley County.
  • A male in his 90s from San Juan County. The individual has no underlying conditions and was a resident of Crane’s Roost Care Home facility in Aztec.

The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now 548.

Previously reported numbers included one case that was a duplicate in San Juan County – this has now been corrected. Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 15,291 COVID-19 cases:

Bernalillo County: 3,134

Catron County: 3

Chaves County: 179

Cibola County: 251

Colfax County: 9

Curry County: 262

Doña Ana County: 1,487

Eddy County: 144

Grant County: 35

Guadalupe County: 20

Harding County: 1

Hidalgo County: 74

Lea County: 285

Lincoln County: 24

Los Alamos County: 12

Luna County: 128

McKinley County: 3,657

Mora County: 3

Otero County: 79

Quay County: 16

Rio Arriba County: 139

Roosevelt County: 79

Sandoval County: 847

San Juan County: 2,731

San Miguel County: 27

Santa Fe County: 341

Sierra County: 16

Socorro County: 66

Taos County: 57

Torrance County: 49

Union County: 8

Valencia County: 192

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: 2
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 275
  • Otero County Processing Center: 149
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 43

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: 7
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 1
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 458
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1

As of today, there are 172 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 6,363 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 and acute care facilities:

  • The Adobe in Las Cruces
  • The Aristocrat Assisted Living Center in Alamogordo
  • Advanced Health Care of Albuquerque in Albuquerque
  • Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • BeeHive Homes of Farmington in Farmington
  • Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation in Bloomfield
  • Blue Horizon Assisted Living in Las Cruces
  • Bonney Family Home in Gallup
  • Brookdale Juan Tabo Place in Albuquerque
  • Camino Healthcare in Albuquerque
  • Casa del Sol Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa Real in Santa Fe
  • Crane’s Roost Care Home in Aztec
  • Desert Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hobbs
  • Good Samaritan Society in Grants
  • Little Sisters of the Poor in Gallup
  • Mimbres Memorial Nursing Home in Deming
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho
  • Princeton Place in Albuquerque
  • Red Rocks Care Center in Gallup
  • Retirement Ranches, Inc. in Clovis
  • The Rio at Las Estancias in Albuquerque
  • Rio Rancho Center in Rio Rancho
  • Sagecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Las Cruces
  • Sandia Ridge Center in Albuquerque
  • Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Los Alamos
  • Sierra Health Care Center, Inc. in Truth or Consequences 
  • Spanish Trails Rehabilitation Suites in Albuquerque
  • The Village at Northrise in Las Cruces
  • Welbrook Senior Living Las Cruces in 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. Get tested. 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, and/or loss of taste or smell should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).

Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing: 

  • Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
  • Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
  • Asymptomatic people in congregate settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
  • Asymptomatic people who are currently working;
  • Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or loss of taste or smell.

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.

New Mexico Department of Health issues alert for heat-stress into weekend

New Mexicans encouraged to get rest, water, and shade. 

Find out more!
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) encourages everyone statewide to be mindful of heat-related illness and know the signs to watch for during this period of extreme heat. It is forecast that most of the state with exceptions of high mountain regions (over 7,000 feet above sea level) will experience temperatures approaching or even above 100 degrees Fahrenheit lasting through the upcoming weekend.

Outdoor recreation and activities should be avoided between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. during these high-temperature days.  The Department of Health reminds New Mexicans to never leave children or pets in a parked car even for a few minutes.

“While for many, warnings about leaving children and pets in hot cars may seem like common sense, these accidents happen, with a record number of children (53) dying in hot cars in the U.S. in 2018,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “We’re all vulnerable to extreme heat at one point or another, so please do your best to seek out cool indoor places and stay well-hydrated even in these difficult times with COVID-19.”

Heat stress can have many symptoms like dizziness, nausea, cramping, and weakness and can progress to heat stroke and death, if left unchecked. To help New Mexicans and visitors spot the signs of heat-related illnesses, NMDOH offers tips at:[90]. 

NMDOH has also recently launched its Stay Hydrated New Mexico Social Media Campaign, and has partnered with the National Weather Service Albuquerque to produce this video about high heat and preventing heat-related illness:[91].

Local entities should consider deploying plans for ensuring people have access to drinking water and checking on those who are home-bound. People with disabilities are especially vulnerable to extreme heat events. The combination of physical and social factors means that people with disabilities are, on average, more vulnerable to heat stress, heat exhaustion or death during extreme heat events.

If communities provide cool places for their constituents, assure that facilities comply with CDC guidance on COVID-19 and cooling centers. Full CDC guidance may be found at:[92].

For more information about heat-related illnesses and much more, please visit[93].

New Mexico travel restrictions in effect

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SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico is under a mandatory health advisory issued by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Anyone crossing a border into the state must adhere to the New Mexico public health travel restrictions as outlined in Executive Order 2020-054, seen here[94], until further notice.

Be aware: Businesses and law enforcement agencies are strictly enforcing the following restrictions for in and out of state travelers.

Below you will find some frequently asked questions and answers.

Are the borders closed in New Mexico?

No. The surrounding borders are not closed. State roads remain open.

Will travelers with out of state plates be stopped by law enforcement or turned away at the borders?

No. Unless law enforcement has reason to believe you are breaking the law or not adhering to the health advisory, you will not be stopped or forced to leave the state.

Does everyone in New Mexico have to wear a mask?

Yes. Mask-wearing is mandatory in public for all individuals over the age of two, except when eating, drinking or exercising.

Is there a punishment if I choose not to wear a mask?

Yes. If caught without a mask in public, you are subject to a $100 fine.

What if I live in New Mexico and I want to travel out of state? Do I have to self-quarantine when I return?

The mandatory health advisory is very clear. If you cross over the borders of New Mexico, you must self-quarantine for 14 days when you return home.

Are there any exceptions to the quarantine order?

Yes. Persons who are employed or contracted by an essential business traveling into the state to conduct business activities, persons employed by airlines, those performing public safety or public health functions, military personnel, federal employees, those employed by a federal agency or national defense contractor, emergency first responders, health care workers, those arriving in the state pursuant to a court order do not have to quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of their time in the state, whichever is shorter, though all should follow COVID-safe best practices: Wear a face-covering in public and keep physical distance from others and limit travel outside of the home or place of lodging to only the essentials.

What if I take my family camping in a different state and we spend our time outdoors, away from other people, adhering to social distancing? Do we all have to self-quarantine when we return?

Yes. Even if you spend time outdoors, wearing masks and social distancing in another state, you must self-quarantine when you return to New Mexico for 14 days.

Do out of state visitors have to self-quarantine even if they own a home in New Mexico?

Yes. If visitors or part-time residents plan to stay in New Mexico longer than two weeks for any reason, you must self-quarantine for the first 14 days when coming in from another state.

If you are staying in New Mexico for fewer than two weeks, you also must self-quarantine for the duration of your stay or up to 14 days, whichever is shorter. (For example, if you plan to stay at a hotel for two nights before leaving the state, you must self-quarantine for the duration of your stay.)

Does that apply to people in RV’s as well?

Yes. Travelers must self-quarantine wherever they are staying.

What if travelers are simply passing through New Mexico to get to another destination in a different state?

This is not a time to shop for souvenirs, visit state parks or sightsee. Please recognize that if you are traveling amid a global pandemic you are bringing the risk of a highly contagious and lethal virus with you and taking it with you as you go. You must wear a face-covering if you are in public while in the state. Please limit your activities to only the essentials.

What if I’m a trucker and have to make deliveries in New Mexico?

Most trucking services fall under the logistical transporting functions incorporated in the essential businesses of the state’s operative emergency public health order and are exempt from the quarantine requirement. But all visitors in the state are still required to wear face-coverings and follow COVID-safe best practices.

The NMDOT sincerely appreciates your cooperation. 

COVID-19 testing available for New Mexico utility workers

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Testing slots available from 8 to 11 a.m. every Monday at Dept. of Health field offices

New Mexico’s utility workers have been hard at work throughout the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring critical infrastructure continues to provide reliable drinking water, electricity and wastewater services throughout the state. As part of an effort to keep this essential workforce safe and healthy, as well as to assist the state in identifying, isolating and tracing new cases, the Department of Health has designated special statewide COVID-19 testing hours for all utility workers.

“We are grateful for our utility workers, who continue their hard and important work throughout this pandemic,” said New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “It is imperative they are able to safely and responsibly do their jobs. To that end, I urge all service providers of electricity, natural gas, drinking water, and wastewater to encourage their employees to get tested for COVID-19. An outbreak at such a utility could have devastating consequences for these critical workforces and impact communities throughout New Mexico.”

“Broadscale testing will ultimately result in more lives saved,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “Even as we reopen, COVID-19 is still out there, and we must continue to be vigilant.”

“I am thankful for our employees who have been working tirelessly to provide reliable electricity to the homes, businesses and first responders who need it the most,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of PNM. “With the help of the State of New Mexico, PNM proactively organized several testing centers for our critical employees. Broad testing helps keep our employees safe, and with the added benefit of contact tracing, helps slow the spread of this vicious disease.”

“We wish to thank the Water Authority employees whose dedication and hard work have ensured the continued delivery of safe drinking water and reliable sewer service in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County throughout the pandemic,” said Klarissa Peña, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority Board Chairperson. “In the interest of their health and safety, and that of the public, we are encouraging all our employees to get tested for COVID-19, and very much appreciate efforts by the State of New Mexico to help make that possible.”

“The data provided by testing increases safety in the workplace,” said John Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Generation. “We are grateful to the State of New Mexico for their leadership on this important initiative.”   

Many people who are infected with coronavirus may not experience any symptoms while still having the potential to pass the virus onto others, making largescale testing incredibly important in preventing its spread – and keeping New Mexico on a path toward reopening the economy.

If proactive testing identifies a positive case, the New Mexico Environment Department and Department of Health will contact the employer about the appropriate next steps to take to prevent the spread of the virus, including disinfection and follow-up testing. Proactive testing can minimize disruption to operations.

Testing will be available from 8 to 11 a.m. every Monday, beginning June 15, at the locations listed. Testing is free, but those who have insurance should bring their card with them. Appointments are required and must be scheduled by noon the preceding Friday by calling a local public health office.

Office nameAddressCityZIP codeScheduling phone number
Midtown PHO2400 Wellesley Dr. NEAlbuquerque87107505-841-4106
Sandoval Co. PHO1500 Idalia Rd.Bernalillo87004505-867-2291
McKinley Co.410 Bataan Veterans Rd.Gallup87301505-722-4391
San Juan PHO355 S. Miller RdFarmington87401505-327-4461 X9
Valencia Co. PHO617 Becker Ave.Belen87002505-864-7743
Santa Fe PHO605 Letrado St.Santa Fe87505505-476-2600
Espanola PHO2010 Industrial Pk Rd.Española87532505-753-2794
Los Alamos PHO1183 Diamond Dr, Ste DLos Alamos87544505-662-4038
Taos PHO1400 Weimer Rd.Taos87571575-758-4719
Las Vegas PHO18 Gallegos Rd.Las Vegas87701505-425-9368
Santa Rosa PHO117 Camino de VidaSanta Rosa88435575-472-3211
Raton PHO226 E. 4th StreetRaton87740575-445-3601
Artesia PHO1001 Memorial Dr.Artesia88210575-746-9819
Carlsbad PHO1306 W. StevensCarlsbad88220575-885-4191
Clovis PHO1216 Cameo St.Clovis88101575-763-5583
Ft. Sumner PHO514 Ave. CFt. Sumner88119575-355-3262
Hobbs PHO1923 N. Dal PasoHobbs88240575-397-2463
Lovington PHO302 N. 5th St.Lovington88260575-396-2853
Portales PHO1513 W. FirPortales88130575-356-4453
Roswell PHO200 E. ChisumRoswell88201575-624-6050
Ruidoso PHO111 Kansas City Rd.Ruidoso88345575-258-3252
Tucumcari PHO310 S. 2nd St.Tucumcari88401575-461-2610
Las Cruces PHO1170 N. SolanoLas Cruces88001575-528-5063
Anthony PHO865 N. Anthony DriveAnthony88021575-882-5858 X4
Sunland Park3807 McNutt Rd.Sunland Park88063575-589-2543 X4
Grant Co PHO2610 N. SilverSilver City88061575-538-5318 X4
Otero Co PHO1207 8th St.Alamogordo88310575-437-9340 X4
Socorro Co PHO214 Neel Ave. NWSocorro87801575-835-0971 X3

New supplemental SNAP increases also being issued in June

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SANTA FE – New Mexico households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will again receive the maximum amount for their household size for the month of June, the New Mexico Human Services Department announced today.

In March, April and May, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. These increases were made to prevent food insecurity for New Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“HSD continues to provide additional food assistance to New Mexicans during this challenging time,” said Karmela Martinez, director of HSD’s Income Support Division which administers the SNAP program, formally known as food stamps. “These additional SNAP benefits are critical to many New Mexican households and will assist many families facing difficulties.”

The June supplemental will be available to SNAP recipients on their regular issuance date, for those individuals whose regular issuance date is June 1-7, they will receive their benefits on June 8,2020.

Individuals seeking to apply for SNAP benefits may apply online through[95] or by phone at 1-800-283-4465.

SNAP benefits are determined by household size and net income amount. The net income amount is determined by taking the household’s gross income and subtracting allowable deductions. Allowable deductions are items like, housing, utilities, childcare costs and medical expenses. The net monthly income is then multiplied by 30 percent, the number that remains is subtracted from the maximum monthly allotment, and the remaining amount is the total allotment for the household size.  Additionally, new SNAP applicants will be approved for the supplemental benefit.

On the next page is a table that reflects the maximum monthly allotment per household size.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP Oct. 1, 2019 – Sept. 30, 2020
Household SizeMaximum SNAP Monthly Allotment
+ Each Additional Person+$146

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.

NMCD announces first COVID related death 

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SANTA FEThe New Mexico Corrections Department today announced the first COVID related death of an inmate in state custody. 

The deceased individual is a 31-year-old male with multiple preexisting conditions that was most recently incarcerated at the state contracted Otero County Prison Facility (OCPF), operated by the Management and Training Corporation. The inmate was recently hospitalized at the University Hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he tested positive for COVID-19. Next of kin has been notified.

The Otero County Prison Facility is undergoing rigorous testing, isolation and quarantine protocol in collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Health. There are 46 total positive cases at OCPF of which 3 are hospitalized. Strict use of protective equipment and sanitation and separation protocol are in effect.

MVD offices are open by appointment only

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The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division is reminding customers that its field offices are open by appointment only.

Most field offices resumed operations on Monday and several were met with lines of potential customers without appointments.

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, operations remain restricted in order to meet social distancing guidelines and protect the health of customers and staff.

Appointments are available only to customers with transactions that cannot be conducted online.

Some locations are accommodating walk-up visits but only during designated hours for customers who are at least 79 years old. Other customers without appointments cannot be served at this time.

Appointments can be made at or by calling 888-683-4636 (888-MVD-INFO). Several offices already are booked through July and are not accepting further appointments at this time.

Staff are employing COVID-safe practices at all field offices, and customers are expected to adhere to them, as well.

Staff and customers will be screened for symptoms and will have their temperatures taken before being admitted to field offices. Face coverings will be required in compliance with the state Public Health Order.

Because of the continued spread of COVID-19 in McKinley, San Juan and Dona Ana Counties, MVD offices remain closed in those counties.

New Mexicans throughout the state are strongly encouraged to continue using MVD’s online services at to renew driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations and take care of many other transactions from the safety of their homes.

Examples of transactions that cannot be completed online include license renewals for people 79 years of age and older, first-time Real ID licenses, first-time New Mexico licenses of any kind, title transfers, and VIN inspections.MVD offices closed March 26 because of the public health threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 30, Governor Lujan Grisham issued an Executive Order temporarily waiving MVD fees and penalties for expired registrations and licenses and directing State Police not to issue citations to New Mexicans whose documents expired during the pandemic.

On April 28, MVD announced it had automatically prepared over 32,000 90-day temporary licenses for people whose license had expired during the pandemic.

Temporary licenses were emailed to anyone for whom MVD had an email address and are available to others at by choosing “Online Services,” then “Eservices,” then “Drivers & Placards.” MVD plans to continue issuing automatic 90-day temporary licenses.

Governor announces limited reopening for dine-in restaurants, indoor malls, gyms, salons and more click here[96] to learn more.

Gov. Lujan Grisham orders state flags to half staff through Memorial Day weekend to honor victims of COVID-19

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SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered all state flags to fly at half staff through sundown Monday, May 25, in honor of and in mourning for the New Mexico victims of COVID-19 and their families, in addition to the standard Memorial Day weekend recognition of military personnel who have lost their lives protecting our nation.

“There are no words for the grief I feel for the New Mexico families and loved ones of those we’ve lost to this heinous virus,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This virus has affected New Mexicans of all ages; New Mexicans young and old have lost their lives. It’s true all across the country. This crisis has claimed so many souls — our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, grandparents, husbands and wives, friends. And we recognize it is ongoing — and we recognize we must all do our part to stem the tide, to mitigate the spread. It is a sacrifice so many New Mexicans have undertaken, to change their behavior to protect others. It is a marvel of generosity and service.

“Of course, this weekend, we recognize another, even higher form of service — that of the military personnel who have given everything to protect us and keep us safe. We are grateful to them every day, and Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect on the debt we owe them, and their families, for the freedoms we too often take for granted.”

State flags will fly at half staff beginning sundown May 22 through sundown of Memorial Day.

State seeks applicants for contact-tracing jobs

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SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health and the State Personnel Office began accepting applications Friday to fill 200 to 250 contact-tracing positions around the state as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic moves into the next phase.

The positions range from entry-level through supervisory. Work will be done remotely, and hiring will be done virtually. Qualifications include experience in a health-related field or work with communities on social service matters, social work or case management.

Those hired will work with approximately 150 Health Department personnel already engaged in contact tracing, many of whom have been temporarily reassigned from other public health roles in the department. 

Those hired will be assigned to one of five regional contact-tracing teams statewide, with larger teams deployed to the regions with higher numbers of cases.

Additional positions are likely to become available over the summer as New Mexico continues to increase contact-tracing capacity.

The goal is to ensure that every individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is identified, isolated, monitored and supported through the isolation period and that all known contacts are also contacted, tested for COVID-19 and monitored.

Effective and timely case investigation and contact tracing are central to New Mexico’s effort to contain the virus and move into each of our three phases of economic recovery.

To apply for a contact-tracing position, applicants should log into the State Personnel Office website at[97] and navigate to “View Job Opportunities and Apply” at the top right. The contact tracing positions will be at the top of the state job listings.

Online purchasing now available for New Mexico SNAP households

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SANTA FE – The Human Services Department is pleased to announce that New Mexico families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are now able to use an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to purchase eligible foods online starting today.

In early May, The USDA approved New Mexico’s application for the online program, Amazon and Walmart are the authorized online SNAP retailers for all states.

To get started with online purchasing, SNAP participants just need to connect directly with the online retailer. It is important to note SNAP benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items, however, benefits cannot be used to pay for other associated charges such as delivery fees.

“Allowing SNAP households to purchase eligible foods online will relieve some of the stress New Mexicans face related to COVID-19,” said Human Services Department Deputy Secretary Angela Medrano. “It also means that more New Mexicans can stay home and help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The Human Services Department applied for the new online purchasing program from USDA Food and Nutrition Service to strengthen food security for New Mexico families during the “stay at home” directives while the state fights the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of our SNAP recipients are at risk and face tremendous difficulty finding and purchasing food and New Mexico is continuing to find better ways to serve them,” said Karmela Martinez, Income Support Division director.

New Mexicans in need of food assistance, cash assistance or health insurance can apply for benefits online at[95]. To check the status of your case on YESNM website, click “Check My Benefits” or call 1-855-309-3766. To speak to a customer service representative, you can call the Customer Service Center 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.

Governor signs modified, extended public health order easing some restrictions and requiring face coverings

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SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday urged New Mexicans to stay the course in the state’s fight against the spread of COVID-19 as a modified emergency public health order eases restrictions on retail operations and requires everyone to wear a cloth face covering in public, among other changes.

The new emergency health order, modified to acknowledge incremental progress against the novel coronavirus, takes effect Saturday as the previous order expires; it remains in effect through May 31, when further reopening could occur.

The new emergency order, in recognition of increased risk of transmission with additional economic openings, requires everyone to cover their faces in public, with exceptions for eating, drinking and exercise. Reusable cloth face-coverings are easy to make with common household items (see explanatory video here[98]).

“I know this is not popular, but seat belts, child safety seats and airbags weren’t popular either when they were first adopted, and we know they save lives,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Please: Wear a mask. It’s compassionate. It protects others, including frontline workers of all types, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude. Let’s protect them and each other and our families.”

The extended order, attached to this news release and posted online at[99], also allows all retailers, beginning Saturday, to operate at 25 percent of their maximum occupancy as determined by fire code. In the interest of consistency, this now includes larger, “big box” retailers. A retailer is defined as any entity where the end-user or consumer is able to purchase a product within the retail space and does not include theaters, performance spaces, entertainment venues and does not yet include high-intensity contact services like dine-in at restaurants and bars, salons, gyms and tattoo parlors.

Houses of worship beginning Saturday may also operate at 25 percent occupancy, according to the public health order, authorized by Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel.


The emergency public health order mandates compliance with COVID-safe practices[100], a series of requirements and best practices for businesses and other services – compiled with industry input and the oversight of the governor’s Economic Recovery Council – that will assure the safety of employees and customers. Those COVID-safe practices are available for dissemination and download at and and at the link provided here[101]. (The documents include COVID-safe practices for dine-in restaurant services, although those are not yet permissible, in order to allow restaurants and bars and other eateries to prepare for what practices will be required upon a later limited re-opening.)

“If New Mexicans don’t help us as we ease restrictions, we’ll see cases rise, and as they rise, we’ll have to shut down again. That’s the only tool I have,’’ the governor said. “If I can’t get New Mexicans to protect vulnerable populations, to protect our seniors and children and minority populations and homeless populations and essential workers and health care workers and first responders and so many more, I will do whatever it takes to protect them. But you can help me. And if we all do this together, we can keep easing restrictions in a safe manner and go on living in a COVID-19 world.”  

On May 1, New Mexico State Parks allowed eight state parks to reopen for day use only. As of May 15, as the state continues to evaluate which areas are safe and can be regulated in line with public health needs, the agency has added nine more: Oasis, Oliver Lee, Clayton Lake & Dinosaur Trackways, Pancho Villa, Mesilla Valley Bosque, Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Coyote Creek, City of Rocks, Rockhound. Before visiting a state park, check[102] for hours of operation, visitor capacity guidelines, available facilities and group size restrictions.

Motor Vehicle Division field offices will reopen in a limited fashion June 1 with COVID-safe practices for appointment-only services that can’t be completed online — for example, first-time REAL IDs, services for seniors, driving tests and VIN inspections. Early morning appointments will be reserved for seniors. Both employees and customers will wear face coverings. Staff will disinfect vehicles inside and touchpoints outside before and after driving tests/VIN inspections, and both employee and customer will be required to wear face coverings and gloves for those services. 

 The changes are part of New Mexico’s phased plan for a safe and gradual reopening based on “gating criteria[103]” that show a generally decreasing transmission rate, adequate testing, contact tracing and hospital capacity, and adequate supply of personal protective equipment.

The new order moves most of New Mexico from the Preparation Phase to Phase 1 based on small improvements in the transmission rate and the other gating criteria. However, the state continues to see statewide spread of the highly contagious virus. As of Friday, New Mexico had 5,662 reported positive cases and 253 reported fatalities associated with the virus. Two hundred and twenty three New Mexicans remain hospitalized. 

“As we ease up on some restrictions, to make sure we don’t have another outbreak, everyone needs to wear your mask and keep your distance,” said Dr. David Scrase, Human Services Department secretary.

In line with the gating criteria, the amended public health order will again relax several restrictions on low-intensity contact services to relieve additional economic pressure.


  • New Mexicans must remain home except for outings essential for health, safety and welfare, especially elderly and vulnerable individuals. If you must leave home, gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited and 6 feet of physical distance from others must be maintained.
  • Locations and services where high-intensity contact is unavoidable — such as gyms, salons, indoor malls, tattoo parlors and dine-in service at restaurants and bars — remain temporarily closed. Limited in-person operations for those types of businesses could be included in the next modification of the public health order, as soon as early June, depending on New Mexico’s rate of COVID-19 transmission, testing capacity and other gating criteria.
  • Other high-intensity contact services that must remain closed include indoor malls, massage and tattoo parlors, theaters, casinos.
  • A 14-day quarantine order remains in place for out-of-state airport arrivals.
  • Vacation rentals are prohibited to out-of-state residents.
  • Visits to long-term care and other congregate care facilities remain restricted.


  • All retailers may operate according to COVID-Safe Practices (“CSPs”) at 25 percent fire code occupancy. (A “retailer” is any business that sells goods directly to the ultimate consumer or end-users and does not include wholesalers or suppliers, not does it include entertainment venues such as movie theaters, concert halls, or amusement parks);
  • Large retailers like big-box stores and grocery stores may also operate at 25 percent capacity as determined by fire code.
  • Non-essential businesses (other than retailers; such as office spaces, call centers) generally may operate according to CSPs at up to 25 percent of pre-crisis staffing levels. All employees should continue to work from home wherever possible;
  • Houses of worship may operate at 25 percent occupancy;
  • Masks will be required of everyone in public places, with exceptions for eating, drinking and exercising and medical requirements.

The mask requirement is based in part on a recent study that found if 80 percent of us adopt a simple homemade face mask, we could reduce deaths from COVID-19 by 17-45 percent over two months, according to Dr. Scrase.

“All of us wearing masks could save thousands of lives,” he said.

The three counties – McKinley, San Juan and Cibola – in the state’s northwestern public health region that remains a COVID-19 hotspot are exempt from the new order but will be allowed to move into the preparation phase that began two weeks ago for the rest of the state. That means that in those counties, non-essential retailers may provide curb-side pickup or delivery; golf courses, pet and veterinary services may open; and gun stores may operate by appointment. However, the order to stay home except for essential outings remains in place.

Assuming continued progress on the gating criteria (reduced transmission rates and adequate capacity for health care and supplies), higher-intensity contact could be phased in when the new order expires. That might include partially reopening salons, barbers, gyms, indoor malls, and dine-in at restaurants with limited occupancy and COVID-safe practices in place. Additionally, occupancy restrictions on houses of worship, motels and hotels could possibly expand in early June.

MVD field offices to reopen on limited basis June 1

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SANTA FE—New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division offices will reopen on an appointment-only basis on June 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday.

In this first phase of reopening, MVD offices will accept appointments only for transactions that cannot be completed online.  On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, only customers 79 and over will be served from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. in larger offices (a listing of senior- hour locations will be available at

New Mexicans are strongly encouraged to continue using MVD’s online services at[104]  to renew driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations and take care of many other transactions from the safety of their homes.  Online transactions totaled 91,806 in April 2020, up 84% over April 2019.

Examples of transactions that cannot be completed online include license renewals for people 79 years of age and older, first-time Real ID licenses, first-time New Mexico licenses of any kind, title transfers, and VIN inspections.

Customers will be able to schedule appointments at or at 888-683-4636.

MVD offices closed March 26 because of the public health threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 30, Governor Lujan Grisham issued an Executive Order temporarily waiving MVD fees and penalties for expired registrations and licenses and directing State Police not to issue citations to New Mexicans whose documents expired during the pandemic.

On April 28, MVD announced it had automatically prepared over 32,000 90-day temporary licenses for people whose license had expired during the pandemic. Temporary licenses were emailed to anyone for whom MVD had an email address and are available to others at by choosing “Online Services,” then “Eservices,” then “Drivers & Placards.”  MVD plans to continue issuing automatic 90-day temporary licenses.

“We’re prepared to get back to business helping New Mexicans in person, and we will ensure that our procedures protect our community from the spread of COVID-19. I appreciate the patience of our customers, as well as the innovation of MVD staff,” said New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke.

MVD will employ COVID-safe practices at all field offices, and customers will be expected to adhere to them.

  • Employees will wear face coverings at all times.
  • Customers will be required to wear face coverings, as per the state’s public health order.
  • Driving tests and VIN inspections will have stringent requirements. Vehicle interiors and exterior touch points, such as door handles, will need to be disinfected before and after entry. Employees and customers will be required to wear face coverings.
  • The number of people allowed to wait for their appointments in the offices will be restricted.

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. This includes: all government employees (state, county, municipal, federal, etc.), utility and construction workers, grocery and pharmacy employees, retail and wholesale, anyone in food service or other service industries, and any New Mexican at work who would like access to a test, symptomatic or not.

“It is important to the Department of Health and this administration to increase testing for all New Mexicans and provide access to COVID-19 testing to as many persons as possible,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “In addition to ‘by-appointment-test-and-go’ opportunities at all public health offices in the state, we have expanded our ‘open drive-up testing’ sites and we are also available for on-site testing.”

Starting tomorrow, May 12, Lovelace Hospital in downtown Albuquerque will be open to anyone in the public that needs or wants a test. The drive-up clinic is open from 9 am-3 pm.

All testing is still FREE OF CHARGE to anyone getting the test, and anyone can get tested, whether they have insurance or not.  Please remember to bring your insurance card with you when you get tested and to limit two people per vehicle to avoid unnecessary risk for viral spread.

“Increased testing allows for increased case surveillance and contact tracing which helps us mitigate community spread and keep New Mexico safe,” added Secretary Kunkel.

The state continues to discourage all travel, including shopping and recreational activities between neighboring states.

Testing for coronavirus by the state has increased greatly from limited testing in early March to around 20,000 a week at present, with the goal to test 7,500 persons a day.

Because the department knows COVID-19 infected people without symptoms can unknowingly transmit the virus, more testing is necessary to know where cases are occurring for early identification, isolation and thus further preventing ongoing spread.

For more information visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 website,[105] updated daily with the latest testing numbers, our testing location directory[106] 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[107].

Non-essential dental services may resume

State health officials say Phase 1 reopening guidelines will be in effect

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SANTA FE – New Mexico dentists in all but three counties may resume providing non-essential dental care provided they agree to comply with guidelines developed to protect the supply of personal protective equipment, state health officials announced Friday.

The Phase I Reopening Guidelines[108] for dentists were developed by the New Mexico Medical Advisory Team in collaboration with the New Mexico Dental Association. They include a personal protective equipment burn rate calculator dental providers can use to determine how quickly they are using up personal protective equipment like masks, face shields, gloves and gowns.

San Juan, McKinley and Cibola counties are exempt as they continue fighting a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The guidelines were developed to ration and preserve the state’s supply of personal protective equipment in response to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on April 30 a public health order[109] to protect New Mexico’s supply of personal protective equipment healthcare workers need to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is the responsibility of each individual provider to use professional discretion and judgment in evaluating which health care services can be delayed and which should be provided, taking into consideration the best interests of the patient.

Dental providers must submit the required form attesting they will comply with the guidelines. They can download the required form[110] and submit[111] it online at under the clinician information link.

State of New Mexico feeding thousands of children, seniors, tribal members during pandemic

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SANTA FE – State government agencies have delivered more than 5.4 million meals to children and youth, more than 293,000 meals to seniors and, separately, more than 400,000 pounds of food items to those communities most in need throughout New Mexico since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the initial issuance of “stay at home” directives. The state has also increased the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollments and benefits to families and has implemented innovative, collaborative efforts to deliver meals to tribal communities across the state.

“I am incredibly grateful to the state employees from every community across this state who have stepped up in this crisis to make sure New Mexicans have access to nutritional food and clean water,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “We are truly all in this together as one state government to serve the people of this state, from our tribal neighbors to the elderly to families in need and so many more.”

Keeping New Mexicans fed and increasing food security for children, youth and seniors has been achieved through extensive collaboration between the Governor’s Office, the state’s Emergency Operations Center, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management along with multiple state government agencies, tribal governments, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), New Mexico farmers, food banks, meal suppliers, local governments, corporate foundations and other funders. The New Mexico National Guard has been a critical partner in making food deliveries.

The state Public Education Department and Children, Youth and Families Department continue to provide meals for children at school and community sites through federal United States Department of Agriculture waivers that made “grab and go” meals prepared in school cafeterias possible. More than 102,000 children and youth per day are receiving these meals, which they pick up at local schools or in other community locations. 

PED also worked with the new Early Childhood Education and Care Department to apply for the waivers and both agencies will follow through with uninterrupted meal provision through the regular NM Summer Meals Program, which was the model for the pandemic meals to go efforts.

The state Indian Affairs Department and the CYFD are also working with the USDA to deliver meals to children and youth living in Tribal communities through a new Meals-2-You home delivery pilot program.

To date, Meals-2-You, which is supported by PepsiCo’s Food for Good Foundation and Baylor University, has delivered more than 42,000 meals to children who live in tribal communities in New Mexico. In most cases, food for each child is delivered to the tribe, nation or pueblo’s emergency management team for distribution. Additional waivers granted by the USDA allowed for two weeks’ worth of nutritious breakfasts and lunches to be delivered at a time.

Recognizing the impact of the closure of Gallup on food and water supply, state agencies sprung into action to make sure that marginalized New Mexicans do not go hungry.

With a mission of “do right and feed everybody,” the USDA also has partnered with the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department to replicate this meal delivery program to provide meals to at-risk seniors both across New Mexico and on sovereign land. The ALTSD has provided more than 293,000 meals.

All children, youth and families enrolled in the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have also received the maximum available benefit for the months of March and April. The Human Services Department has worked to increase SNAP enrollment for eligible families statewide, with a spike in applications by more than 40 percent in the month of April for this food support, enrolling an estimated 316,685 additional individuals. The department also provided an increased monthly stipend to households that did not receive the maximum SNAP benefits during the months of March and April with an average increase of $120 per household.

New Mexico families will receive more than $97 million in additional food benefits – enough to feed about 245,000 vulnerable children – following federal approval of a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program.

New Mexico households with children who receive free or reduced-price meals will receive benefits of $5.70 per child, per day for the 70-day period from March 16, 2020 when public schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through June 19, 2020. New Mexico households can receive Pandemic-EBT as well as continue to receive food distributions from their child’s school site. This will be deposited directly to existing EBT cards for families already receiving aid.

The Pandemic-EBT program will also benefit families that did not previously qualify for free or reduced-price meals but may now qualify due to changes in their household’s circumstances as a result of the restrictions implemented for non-essential businesses because of the COVID-19 response. Those families should contact their school district food service office to apply for benefits. If determined eligible, their children will receive Pandemic-EBT, and the benefit will be issued for the month determined eligible through June.

Families in need of free breakfasts and lunches for children under the age of 18, can find the closest meal distribution location here​[112]. Disabled adults or seniors in need of food assistance can call 800-432-2080. Tribal members should reach out to their local emergency operations center for information on food and water distribution on Tribal land.

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.

State extends modified stay-home order

Find out more here[113]!

All Together NM Fund announces $550K in food grants

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COVID-19 relief fund to help buy, distribute much-needed food

SANTA FE – A state COVID-19 relief fund started last month is awarding grants totaling $550,000 to address the surging demand for food assistance from unemployed New Mexicans.

The All Together NM Fund announced Friday that it has awarded $400,000 in grants to five food banks that serve communities – including tribal communities – across the state. Amounts were based on a formula used by the state to distribute food assistance. 

The New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations, which originated the All Together NM Fund, will also award $150,000 through a competitive grant process to support food distribution agencies across the state. 

“Thank you, New Mexicans, for your quick and generous response to help others by contributing to this fund,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “With so many New Mexicans who were already on the edge and are now unemployed, the need right now is nearly incalculable. Those who are still working and who can afford to do so are stepping up to help, and while that doesn’t surprise me, it certainly makes me proud.”

The largest grant – $289,000 – went to Roadrunner Food Bank with operations based in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, which has already spent three times its annual budget for the year.

“We know that the food security system is strong in New Mexico, but funds to support this work are being quickly drained due to exponential increases in demand,” said Bill Smith, president and CEO of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. “Through these grants, we are helping alleviate the financial strain that threatens food availability across our state,” he said.

Here is a breakdown of the first-round food grants:

  • ​The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico (based in Clovis): $13,200
    • Serves Curry, DeBaca, Guadalupe, Quay, and Roosevelt Counties
  • ECHO Food Bank (based in Farmington):$24,400
    • Serves San Juan County
  • The Community Pantry (based in Gallup): $28,000
    • Serves Cibola and McKinley Counties
  • The Food Depot (based in Santa Fe): $45,200
    • Serves Colfax, Harding, Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos, and Union Counties
  • Roadrunner Food Bank (based in Albuquerque and Las Cruces): $289,200
    • Serves Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Sandoval, Sierra, Socorro, Torrance, and Valencia Counties

The many donors who made these grants possible with gifts large and small include:

  • Stanley E. Fulton Family Foundation
  • McKinnon Family Foundation
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
  • Intel Foundation
  • Pattern Energy
  • Blattner Energy, Inc 
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
  • Illinois #3 Foundation
  • RALI New Mexico
  • PhRMA
  • Virgin Galactic
  • Isora Foundation
  • Comcast
  • Swire Coca Cola

The New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations established the All Together NM Fund in March to help New Mexico respond to and eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Santa Fe Community Foundation administers the fund.

Other coalition members are the Albuquerque Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, and the Taos Community Foundation. The governor’s office is helping the foundations identify the state’s most urgent needs.

Donations to the fund are tax-deductible and can be made through the website,[114], by texting “together” to (505-333-4714, or by mail to the Santa Fe Community Foundation, PO Box 1827, Santa Fe, NM 87504. Please note “All Together NM Fund” on the check itself.  

Gifts of stock, property and electronic fund transfers may be made by calling the Santa Fe Community Foundation at 505-988-9715 ext. 7006.

NM food industry unites to deliver food to needy

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Industry partners with Agriculture Department to provide pandemic help

SANTA FE – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexico’s food industry has supplied tons of food to Indian communities across the state and is gearing up to provide more wherever needed.

Participants include private food producers, the Departments of Agriculture, Indian Affairs, Aging & Long-Term Services, Human Services and Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the National Guard, New Mexico State University, the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center at New Mexico State University, the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association, the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau and others.

The project began at the Lujan Grisham administration’s Emergency Operations Center, where many agencies are coordinating efforts to assist New Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After learning of a need on the Navajo Nation, Marshal Wilson, assistant director of the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Production Services Division, called Mesilla Valley Produce, which grows, packs and ships produce. Mesilla Valley Produce’s president, TJ Runyan, agreed at once to help.

“By the next morning, his truck was in Albuquerque, and food was being unloaded,” Wilson said.

Runyan said after talking to Wilson, he reached out to growers he thought would have fruit and vegetables in storage. They responded by procuring 80,000 pounds of beans, rice, potatoes, onions, watermelons and apples.

“I was pretty amazed with how quickly it happened, and I was proud of our staff,” Runyan said. “Our team is small, but we were efficient. As a New Mexico company, I’m honored to be able to pitch in and help.”

The New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau also helped. It connected the Emergency Operations Center with J&D Produce, based in Edinburg, Texas, which donated a truckload of onions, and with Colorado Farm Bureau member James Henderson, who provided potatoes.

The National Guard unloaded the food at its armory in Rio Rancho, then distributed it to five staging points on the Navajo Nation over Easter weekend.

Meanwhile, Department of Agriculture workers (who are also employees of New Mexico State University), as well as employees from the Departments of Human Services and Homeland Security and Emergency Management, were coordinating with food supplier/distributor Sysco New Mexico to procure food boxes for the San Felipe and Zia Pueblos.

“As many of you know our tribal communities are also some of our most vulnerable communities, through partnerships like these we can continue to ensure deliveries of food, water and other essential supplies to our tribal citizens throughout the state,” said Indian Affairs Department Secretary Lynn Trujillo. “Thank you to all who contributed to getting this food out to our tribal communities.”

In an ongoing effort during the pandemic, the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association is coordinating donations, purchases from small- to medium-size growers, and deliveries.

“We’re trying to not only assist with securing shelf-stable items, but to provide access to fresh produce as well,” said Michael Venticinque, the association’s value chain coordinator, who is leading those efforts.

Also, for the month of April thus far, the Aging & Long-Term Services Department delivered 27,608 food boxes to seniors and disabled adults (including 127 from Adult Protective Services).

New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte said these efforts prove New Mexicans and neighboring states can work together to provide food for those in need.

“In times of crisis, it’s amazing how people come together to help,” Witte said. “This is truly a situation in which New Mexicans are feeding New Mexicans. This is also a reminder of how important farmers are and a reminder of how our local agriculture community is able to provide food to New Mexicans.”

NM Department of Workforce Solutions announces benefit applications to begin next week for Self-Employed

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(Albuquerque, NM) – New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions announced today that the application for unemployment insurance benefits for self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers will become available on Sunday, April 26, 2020. These benefits are being offered through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. 

Workers who became unemployed, had hours reduced, or had an inability to work as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for this unemployment assistance.

People who may qualify for PUA include individuals not eligible for regular unemployment benefits:

  • the self-employed;
  • independent contractors;
  • gig economy workers;
  • church employees;
  • individuals who were previously found monetarily ineligible;
  • nonprofit and governmental workers; and
  • workers who have exhausted regular unemployment compensation benefits

 Applying for PUA is a two-step process that individuals can begin immediately.

Step 1: Individuals will first need to file a regular Unemployment Insurance claim to determine if their income is covered by the regular state Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. If deemed ineligible, they will be cleared to apply for PUA benefits.

Step 2: Once a claimant is deemed ineligible for regular benefits, they will be provided access to apply for PUA benefits through an application link that will appear on their  Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System homepage. This application will become available on Sunday, April 26.

Self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, are encouraged to begin filing claims online at[115].

Those who have already filed a claim for regular UI benefits do not need to file a new claim. Beginning Sunday, April 26, eligible workers will be able to access the PUA application through their online claim. Claimants will be asked to submit additional information required for PUA eligibility including proof of earnings and proof of employment. 

When applying for PUA, individuals will need to provide their income information for their most recently completed and filed tax year (either 2018 or 2019) in order for NMDWS to determine their PUA weekly benefit amount.

Acceptable forms of proof of earnings include copies of income tax return forms such as the following:

  • Form 1040
  • Form 1040A
  • Form 1040EZ
  • Form 1040NR
  • Form 1040NR-EZ
  • Form 1040 Schedule C, E, F and SE
  • Form K-1

PUA is payable for weeks of unemployment, partial unemployment, or inability to work caused by COVID-19 related reasons beginning on or after January 27, 2020. PUA is not payable for any week of unemployment ending after December 31, 2020. Claimants must certify weekly, and once these claims are processed, all eligible weeks will be paid retroactively.

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 directly.

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[116]. For the latest announcements and updates, follow NMDWS on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

New Mexico State University’s Seed to Supper Program provides access to seeds for New Mexicans during COVID-19 pandemic

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NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service efforts help with access to seeds, gardening guidance during public health emergency

LAS CRUCES – New Mexicans have the opportunity to plant seeds and grow a vegetable garden while staying home and social distancing, thanks to New Mexico State University’s Seed to Supper[117] program.

Part of NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service, the Seed to Supper program provides free seeds and gardening guidance to New Mexicans who register for the online course or who participate offline with a paper-based booklet on introductory gardening techniques. (The booklet is available in both English and Spanish.)

Seed to Supper is federally-funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and was created by NMSU’s Ideas for Cooking & Nutrition (ICAN) program.

New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte said this is a perfect opportunity for families during the spring planting season.

“This program aims to support physical distancing and bolster New Mexicans’ access to healthy food during the COVID-19 health emergency,” said Witte. “It’s also an excellent educational opportunity for families to learn about agriculture in our state.”

New Mexicans who wish to participate in this free program can sign up at this link[118], or call 1-877-993-3637 during business hours to speak with someone or leave a message. Participants will receive: 

  • Four packets of vegetable seeds appropriate to their region of New Mexico. Options may include leafy greens, melons, root vegetables and squash. 
  • A “Quick tips” guide on how to start a vegetable garden at home (including guidance for families whose housing arrangements require container gardening).

“Now is the perfect time to learn to grow your own food, and we can help,” said Sally Cassady, ICAN Food Systems Specialist with the NMSU College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. “Start with something simple, like growing lettuce in a container. Your confidence will grow along with your garden, and soon you’ll be enjoying your own harvest – in your own home.”

The majority of the program’s financial support comes from federal SNAP funds. For New Mexicans who wish to participate but are not eligible to participate in SNAP, booklets will be provided by NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service.  

“Part of the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the Cooperative Extension Service’s mission is to provide research-based information to improve New Mexicans’ lives,” said Dean Rolando Flores, Chief Administrative Officer at the College of ACES. “We are proud to offer this resource to help all New Mexicans during this pandemic.”

NMSU Extension offices are located in every county in the state. Visit the Extension[119] website to locate the office in your county.

Are you a small business owner and have employees without a health plan?

New rules are in place to make it even more easier for small businesses to offer health plans for their employees. Read more here[120].

Healthcare coverage of COVID-19 testing in New Mexico

No health insurance plan in New Mexico may charge patient co-pays, deductibles or coinsurance for COVID-19 diagnostic testing services; and no test site or lab may bill any New Mexico patient for any portion of the cost of testing for COVID-19. Read more here[121].

Medical Assistance Division, Santa Fe, NM

Auto insurers in New Mexico refund premiums due to driving less

Click here [122]for more info.

State of New Mexico Data page for COVID-19:[123].

Related State Information:

Healthcare Coverage: Applies to EVERYONE off and on the reservation[124]Download[125]
Evictions: For residents living OFF THE RESERVATION ONLY[126]Download[127]
Warning about COVID-19 Scams[128]Download[129]
NMDOT and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe discourage Pilgrimages[130]Download[131]
NMDOT discourages shopping in groups[132]Download[133]
  • Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 1,484[136]
  • Individuals Experiencing Financial Hardship, click here[137].
  • Video: Homemade face coverings[138]
  • Governor, Department of Health answer questions from faith based communities[139]
  • Gov. Lujan Grisham orders self-isolation for air travelers to NM[140]
  • NM State Police is not making traffic stops to verify the public or their travel is essential[141]
  • State to use emergency alert system for important communications[142]

National Information

How to Make Your own Face Covering

CDC guidance on determining when someone is recovered:[143]

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[144] 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[145].

Related National Information:

Fact Sheet_COVID-19-Non-congregate-Sheltering[148]Download[149]
FBI-Public Service Announcement _Scams[150]Download[151]
  • Families Living in Close Quarters with Extended Family:[152]
  • Sharing the Facts: Stop the Spread of Rumors[153]
  • Prevent Getting Sick:[154]
  • Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure:[155]
  • If you are Sick:[156]
  • Caring for Someone at Home:[157]
  • 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[115]. 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[116]. 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[172] 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[172] 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:[173]. In addition, please continue to visit the IRS at[174] for the latest information.

We will continue to update Social Security’s COVID-19 web page at[175] as further details become available.”

To get more Social Security news, follow the Press Office on Twitter @SSAPress[176]

Related Employee Information:

Extension of Furloughs 04-28-20[181]Download[182]
Access to Tribal Offices 04-21-20[183]Download[184]
Release of Non-Essential Employees 03-20-2020[185]Download[186]

  1. Emergencies during after hours and weekend:
  2. Mescalero IHS: #mescaleroihsinformation
  3. Tribal: #tribalinformation
  4. State: #stateinformation
  5. National: #nationalinformation
  6. local School information: #schoolinformation
  7. here: #newguidance
  8. here:
  9. here:
  10. here:
  11. here:
  12. Mescalero Apache Tribe COVID-19 Test Results:
  13. Executive-Order-20-09-08-07-20:
  14. Download:
  15. 2020-08-07-Summary-of-New-EO-1:
  16. Download:
  17. 06-11-20-Tribal-Member-letter-from-President-Aguilar:
  18. Download:
  19. 06-12-20-Summary-of-EO:
  20. Download:
  22. Executive-Order-20-05-05-23-20:
  23. Download:
  24. Application-for-Economic-Support-Payment-FINAL:
  25. Download:
  26. 20-39-Establishing-Economic-Support-Payment-Program:
  27. Download:
  28. Executive-Order-20-04:
  29. Download:
  30. Executive-Order-20-02:
  31. Download:
  32. Q&A on Executive Order 20-02:
  33. Download:
  34. May 14, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar:
  35. Download:
  36. Carrizo Walking Trail OPEN:
  37. Download:
  38. April 28, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar:
  39. Download:
  40. Mescalero Tribal Leadership declare State of Emergency:
  41. Download:
  42. Burn-Ban-Fire-Restrictions-03-31-20:
  43. Download:
  44. Z-Trans Bus Routes MEMO-03-26-20:
  45. Download:
  46. Elderly Food Vouchers and Utility Program 03-25-20:
  47. Download:
  48. Emergency Proclamation & Resolution:
  49. Download:
  50. March 20, 2020 Tribal Member letter from President Aguilar:
  51. Download:
  52. Community Mitigation Strategies for MAT:
  53. Download:
  54. VAWA memo (07-29-20):
  55. Gas Company NEW TEMP HOURS (07-28-20):
  56. Tribal Court NEW TEMP HOURS (07-28-20):
  57. Tribal Court PUBLIC NOTICE (06-23-20):
  58. Mescalero Education Department (06-23-20):
  59. Tribal Court Announcement (05-27-20) :
  60. Accounting PUBLIC NOTICE (05-26-20):
  61. Mescalero VAWA PUBLIC NOTICE (05-26-20):
  62. Elderly Program (05-26-20):
  63. First COVID-19 confirmed case in Lincoln County, NM:
  65. Easter Egg Hunt at Cedar Creek Canceled:
  66. Download:
  67. Hollowman Air Force Base_News Release 03-31-20:
  68. Download:
  69. City of Alamogordo_PSA 03-31-20:
  70. Download:
  73. here:
  77. How to Remove Gloves_CDC:
  78. Download:
  79. Gloves Are No Enough_CDC:
  80. Download:
  81. IHS letter to President:
  82. Download:
  83. Coping-with-stress-3-30-20:
  84. Download:
  85. Mescalero-IHS-COVID-19-Parenting-3-30-20:
  86. Download:
  87. Mescalero’s COVID-19 Process 03-25-20:
  88. Download:
  89. here:
  94. here:
  96. here:
  98. see explanatory video here:
  100. COVID-safe practices:
  101. Those COVID-safe practices are available for dissemination and download at and and at the link provided here:
  103. gating criteria:
  106. our testing location directory:
  108. Phase I Reopening Guidelines:
  109. public health order:
  110. form:
  111. submit:
  112. here​:
  113. here:
  117. Seed to Supper:
  118. this link:
  119. Extension:
  120. here:
  121. here:
  122. here :
  124. Healthcare Coverage: Applies to EVERYONE off and on the reservation:
  125. Download:
  126. Evictions: For residents living OFF THE RESERVATION ONLY:
  127. Download:
  128. Warning about COVID-19 Scams:
  129. Download:
  130. NMDOT and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe discourage Pilgrimages:
  131. Download:
  132. NMDOT discourages shopping in groups:
  133. Download:
  134. Special-Grocery-Hours-to-accommodate-seniors:
  135. Download:
  136. Updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases: Now at 1,484:
  137. here:
  138. Video: Homemade face coverings:
  139. Governor, Department of Health answer questions from faith based communities:
  140. Gov. Lujan Grisham orders self-isolation for air travelers to NM:
  141. NM State Police is not making traffic stops to verify the public or their travel is essential:
  142. State to use emergency alert system for important communications:
  144. here:
  145. here:
  146. COVID-19-Noncongregate-Shelter-FAQ:
  147. Download:
  148. Fact Sheet_COVID-19-Non-congregate-Sheltering:
  149. Download:
  150. FBI-Public Service Announcement _Scams:
  151. Download:
  153. Stop the Spread of Rumors:
  158. Updated-Registration-Poster:
  159. Download:
  160. School-Closure-Extension-FAQ:
  161. Download:
  162. Early-Childhood-Resources:
  163. Download:
  164. Requirements-and-Recommendations-to-Support-Homeless-Students:
  165. Download:
  166. National Indian Education Association:
  176. @SSAPress:
  177. MEMO-return-to-work-on-monday-june-8:
  178. Download:
  179. Memo-to-Employees-05-24-20:
  180. Download:
  181. Extension of Furloughs 04-28-20:
  182. Download:
  183. Access to Tribal Offices 04-21-20:
  184. Download:
  185. Release of Non-Essential Employees 03-20-2020:
  186. Download:

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