Corrales began re-opening business and social activities May 15 in line with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s statewide policies regarding public safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Even as the governor announced the easing of restrictions, the state’s death toll rose to 253 due to COVID-19. Fifty-five were reported killed from the coronavirus disease in the four-day period ending May 15. As of May 18, the State had reported 265 deaths from COVID-19, with 5,938 positive cases.
Although the governor mandated use of face masks or coverings for all people in public, she made it clear no police action is to be expected. Some New Mexicans said they would defy those mandates and restrictions; the threat of armed resistance has arisen elsewhere.
Mayor Jo Anne Roake said she was not aware of such threats here during her May 14 “town hall” on response to the virus. She said she is aware that not all villagers agree with the governor’s shut-down orders, but that confrontations should be avoided. “We need to do this in a way that doesn’t sound punitive. That’s really not going to do it. Wagging your finger in somebody’s face and yelling at them is just not going to work.
“When we first started this, our fire department and first responders have very good relationships with most people in town. So if we have differences, and some people are not in compliance, usually just a gentle reminder gets the job done.
“If it doesn’t, there’s a phone number at the New Mexico government website that you can call if you see something that you feel is just outrageous, or… and our police do not want to do this… we have the option of calling the State Police.” Village Administrator Ron Curry added, “All of the folks who work for the Village of Corrales, we’ve told them about the ‘mask mandate.’ But one of the things we’re concerned about is not turning all of our department heads into compliance officers.
“Because, really, all the compliance officials we have on our payroll are our fire department and our police force. They are the compliance folks, and we have a compliance officer in our Planning and Zoning Department.
“So it’s really up to the citizens of Corrales and the businesses of Corrales to make it happen. Our folks will be polite, but they are not compliance officers. They will wear masks and they will ask politely to other people they are around to wear a mask as well.
“We ask them to be respectful to our residents, and we ask our residents to be respectful to them.”
The following policies were established by Mayor Roake to guide a phased re-opening of commercial and other business activities in Corrales, in collaboration with directives by the governor in mid-May.
• The Stay at Home Directive is extended for individuals until May 15.
– All vulnerable individuals should continue to follow the stay at home guidance.
– All individuals, apart from members of a household, should:
When in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others.
When in public they should use a mask and sanitizers.
Avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.
Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to New Mexico guidelines regarding quarantine.
– Develop and implement appropriate policies, in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance, and informed by industry best practices, regarding:
– Social distancing and protective equipment.
– Temperature checks to ensure it is not over 100.4 degrees and symptom screening.
– Testing, isolating, and contact tracing, in collaboration with public health authorities.
– Use and disinfecting of common and high-traffic areas.
– Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow people with symptoms of COVID-19 to work.
– Collaborate with public health officials when implementing policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following an employee’s COVID-19 positive test result.
– If an employee tests positive for the virus they should self-isolate for 14 days.
– A business with an employee that has tested positive should close temporarily to allow for disinfecting.
● All employees should wear personal protective equipment (PPE); o Face Covering (Mask/Face Shield)
– Use sanitizer frequently or use gloves
● Except as otherwise specified in this guide, the operation of non-essential businesses provided in the Stay at Home Directive is extended until Phase One begins.
– Following the expiration of the Stay at Home Directive, businesses may no longer be designated essential or non-essential, except as otherwise provided in this guide.
Guidance for Vulnerable Population
• All vulnerable individuals should continue to follow the stay home guidance. Family and household members of vulnerable individuals should continue to follow the stay home guidance. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
• Vulnerable individuals include people over 65 years of age and/or those with serious underlying health conditions, including uncontrolled high blood pressure with heart disease, chronic lung disease, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity, pregnant women, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.
• Until the threat of the virus is lessened and we know more about the threat we are facing, we ask everybody to continue to follow the stay home guidance issued by the State of New Mexico. We also request that our residents and guests continue to educate themselves on ways to protect our community. We also request our local food businesses to expand home delivery and curb-side pickup while using personal protective equipment and screening protocols.
General Business Reopening Guidelines
● All employees should wear personal protective equipment (PPE);
– Face Covering (Mask/Face Shield)
– Sanitizer or gloves as needed
● Health assessments (temperature scan to ensure fever is not over 100.4 , flu-like symptoms) should be conducted for all employees at the beginning of each shift.
● Make hand sanitizer readily available for employees and customers.
● In establishments where customers wait in a line, non-household member customers should remain physically distanced.
● Waiting areas where adequate physical distancing may not be maintained should be closed.
● Customers should be encouraged to call for a reservation or an appointment, or establishments should use an online wait listing application.
● Physical distancing of six feet should be maintained between non-congregate customers,
● A reduction in capacity of 50 percent of total occupancy for restaurants and non-essential businesses;
– A reduction of seating in service and waiting areas;
– Management of waiting areas and waiting lines; or
– Systems that reduce the amount of contact time between customers and staff.
● Retail allowed capacity of 20 percent of Fire Code capacity
Phase Two: An increase in capacity to 75 percent of the total occupancy load;
● Group size has increased from 10 people to 50 people.
● All other provisions remain the same as Phase One for general business operations.
Phase Three: Return to normal operations.