New Mexican prepare for increased safety restrictions beginning November 16th

As you may have already heard, the State of New Mexico has announced a two-week period of heightened restrictions beginning Monday, Nov. 16. Additionally, counties will have to meet gating criteria in order to re-open following Nov. 30.  These restrictions will be similar to what happened in the spring, with a few changes.

First, we want to assure you that this decision will not interrupt essential City of Carlsbad services. Processes such as transit, solid waste pickup, water, police and fire will not be interrupted. We will always maintain our commitment to our residents. We have outstanding employees who continue to provide essential services.

The second point we’d like to make is that we became aware of these restrictions at the same time you became aware of it. We are rapidly doing our best to understand and interpret the new order. We are also doing our best to apply these orders to city facilities while also trying to explain it to the public. Please feel free to call or email us if you have questions. We also may have to make adjustments as we become aware of additional information.

As of now, In compliance with the amended public health order, the following facilities will be closed for the time being – the Bob Forrest Sports Complex, the Carlsbad Public Library,  the Riverwalk Recreation Center, the Lake Carlsbad Golf Course and the Rio Pecos Tennis Complex.

Of greatest concern is what this latest set of restrictions will do to our small businesses. According to the state order, close contact businesses – such as barbershops, hair salons, gyms, group fitness classes, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys and nail salons, must reduce their in-person workforce by 100 percent. Indoor recreation facilities must also remain closed. Outdoor recreation facilities, such as golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts and New Mexico state parks are ordered closed for the duration of the public health order.  Restaurants can provide curbside pickup and delivery.  You can view the public health order yourself by visiting https://cv.nmhealth.org/ and clicking on the appropriate button.

There are a few differences from the spring shutdown – Churches are restricted to 25% or less of their maximum capacity (or 75 persons, whichever is smaller) and it appears that medical procedures have not been impeded. The COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are very high across the entire state right now- that is not in dispute.  However, we have serious concerns as to whether ordering these restrictions on small businesses and restaurants – for the third time this year, will do too much permanent damage. Please do everything you can to support small businesses through online purchasing and pick-up whenever possible. As a reminder, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce keeps track of local businesses offering takeout.

It was not immediately clear what the gating criteria will be for each county in terms of re-opening after Nov. 30. The governor’s slide says that the state “will implement a three-tier county-by-county system using county-level public health data” to establish re-opening benchmarks for each county. We can only promise to keep you informed as more information becomes available to us.

From the office of Mayor Dale Janway

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