New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham invoked the state’s Riot Control Act on Friday to essentially lock down the city of Gallup after its mayor requested that she do so on Thursday. Under the act, all roads leading into Gallup are now closed off “to mitigate the uninhibited spread of COVID-19 in that city.”
“Effective at 12 p.m., May 1, all roads into Gallup are closed. Businesses in the city of Gallup will close from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. Vehicles may only have a maximum of two individuals. Residents of the city should remain at home except for emergency outings and those essential for health, safety and welfare,” Grisham’s office said in a press release.
Gallup, a city of nearly 22,000 people about 100 miles west of Albuquerque, has been particularly affected by the coronavirus. As of Friday, McKinley County, where Gallup is located, had 1,027 confirmed cases and 19 deaths, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. The county now has the highest number of cases in all of New Mexico, which has 3,411 cases in total.
According to Grisham’s press release,has “more than 30 percent of the state’s total positive COVID-19 cases and the most positive cases in the entire state, outstripping even far more populous counties.”
“Its infection trend has shown no sign of flattening,” the release said. “The county has reported an additional 207 positive cases in the last two days alone, more than every other county in the state has reported total over the length of the pandemic save three.”
In his letter asking the governor to declare a state of emergency within the city limits, outgoing Gallup mayor Jack McKinney described the city’s outbreak as a “crisis of the highest order.”
“The virus has caused many deaths, stretched medical facilities and resources to their capacity, and adversely impacted the welfare of the city of Gallup,” he wrote on Thursday. “Our community is unable to adequately address the outbreak without the imposition of certain restrictions necessary to regulate social distancing, public gatherings, sales of good, and the use of public streets.” – read more
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