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Mayor Keller Gives Update on COVID Status in Metro Area

City monitoring hospital capacity; partnering with State for targeted enforcement blitz

Oct. 21, 2020

Mayor Keller today gave an update on the status of the coronavirus in the metro area, including the City’s work with hospitals to monitor regional capacity during the recent surge. In the metro area, there were 1,185 new cases last week, up from 589 the prior week. With a spread rate of 1.3, and 26.7 new cases per 100,000 individuals in the metro region, Bernalillo County is outside the gating criteria. The week prior there were only 17.4 new cases per 100,000.

The City is also partnering with the State of New Mexico for a targeted enforcement blitz. The focus will be on occupancy limits, mass gathering limits and masks usage, especially at sports bars, big box stores and parties.

“There are two paths, both equally important that we must walk. The first is enforcement and education, aiming for compliance in our office buildings, nursing homes, businesses and restaurants. The second is about taking personal responsibility by making conscientious, informed decisions to protect yourself and the people you love. This doesn’t mean eliminating faith, family and friends from our lives, but it does mean making thoughtful choices and doing some things differently. We know that seeing people outdoors at a distance with masks on is less risky than being indoors with others for more than fifteen minutes. By taking responsibility for choices like these, we can protect not just ourselves and our loved ones, but our entire community. This pandemic has shown just how truly connected we are to each other.”

The recent surge in COVID cases has led to concerns about hospital capacity.

A PNG of the ABQ Hospital Capacities: Oct. 21, 2020.

“At UNMH, we are closely following the situation here locally and around the state,” said Dr. Alex Rankin, Associate Chief Medical Officer at the University of New Mexico Hospital. “We are collaborating with metro area hospitals to ensure New Mexicans get the care they need. We know this is going to be hard and we’re all in this together. UNM is ready to take care of all of the patients that come through our door.”

“We need to make certain that we are remaining consistent – wearing mask, socially distanced, getting a flu shot,” said Dr. Vesta Sandoval, Chief Medical Officer for Lovelace Health Systems. “We need to do everything we can for our community’s health. I’m thankful for the collaborating with all of the hospitals around the state. We are all doing our best to move patients to the appropriate level of care and keep patients safe. If we all work together, we can do this. We were able to control the spread earlier in the year, and we just need to refocus to be able to accomplish this.”

“The rise in cases continues to be a concern in Albuquerque as well as nationally,” said Ryan Mast, Environmental Health Director. “Going into colder weather, flu season, and upcoming holidays, it is more important than ever that we practice social distancing, wear a mask, and stay home as often as possible to reduce transmission.”

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Emergencies challenge the delivery and management of emergency public information, warning and emergency protective action notifications. The Albuquerque Joint Information Center (JIC) functions as a coordinated Albuquerque Metro Area public information system that will gather and analyze data related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in New Mexico and serve as a source of accurate and comprehensive information.