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Emergency Declaration Requently Asked Questions

The answers to frequently asked questions about Mayor Keller's Emergency Declaration

On March 17, 2020, Mayor Tim Keller declared a local State of Emergency in Albuquerque due to the disastrous effect of COVID-19. On March 30, Mayor Keller enacted a second emergency declaration to redistribute funds for the City’s Micro Business Relief Fund, to enable City departments and the City Clerk to accept electronic signatures, and to provide relevant departments the ability to cross-deputize other agencies to enforce the declaration. On April 10, 2020, Mayor Keller enacted a third emergency declaration to provide further guidance and restrictions related to businesses, local events, and grocery retailers. These regulations will be in effect at least until May 10, 2020.

On April 17, Mayor Keller enacted a fourth emergency declaration. The fourth declaration puts the same provisions in effect for a period of the next 30 days to at least mid-May.

City Services and Events

Are City Events Cancelled?

  • All non-essential City sponsored events and private events at City facilities on or before May 15, 2020 are canceled.

Will Trash Collection Continue as Normal?

  • Trash and recycling collection will continue as normal. We strongly ask that you refrain from illegal dumping of trash or debris.

Public Works Projects

Will Road Construction Projects Continue?

  • The Department of Municipal Development will work diligently to shorten the pre-construction timelines for projects in order to efficiently move forward with priority public works projects.

Public Boards and Meetings

Are Public Boards, Commissions, and Committees Allowed to Meet?

  • These entities are encouraged to meet virtually.

Businesses/Grocery Retailers

How do the Updated Orders Affect Businesses?

  • During this emergency period, the City of Albuquerque will not issue permits or upgrade permits for businesses who are trying to categorize themselves as essential. Cannabidol (CBD) and other similar businesses do not fall under the New Mexico Department of Health’s business exception for medical cannabis sales and must close immediately.

Can grocery stores use single-use plastic bags?

  • Yes, single-use plastic bags are permitted throughout the declaration period.

Can I still use my reusable shopping bags?

  • Yes, although grocery employees will not be handling bags brought from home. If you choose to bring a reusable bag, be prepared to bag your groceries unassisted.

Can grocery stores charge a fee for bags?

  • Grocery stores shall not impose a fee or charge for providing bags at this time.

How will grocery store workers be protected?

  • Grocery store employees will have access to handwashing stations and will take regular breaks to wash their hands throughout their shift. Facial coverings and other barriers should be provided to employees to the degree that they are available.

How will shoppers be protected at grocery stores?

  • Handwashing facilities will be made available to the public at all times in grocery stores. Disinfectant wipes will also be available at store entry for shoppers to wipe down their carts or other materials as available. Wipes will also be available at high touch areas such as the cash register. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the store for customer use.

What are stores doing to keep everyone safe?

  • There will be designated employees whose job is to monitor cleaning activities throughout the day to ensure proper CDC cleaning guidelines are followed. Grocery stores are instructed to frequently sanitize high touch areas such as shopping carts throughout the day.

Can food service bars operate?

  • No; all salad bars, hot food bars, food sampling services shall be discontinued.

How will grocery stores enforce social distancing?

  • Stores must limit the number of shoppers to 20% of the designated occupancy and count the number of customers entering and leaving the store to maintain the allowed occupancy.
    • Curbside and home delivery options are strongly encouraged. Grocery stores must implement 6’ of social distancing whenever possible, including marking distancing measurements for lines and check out areas.
    • Lines shall begin 6’ from the checkout counter, with 6’ of space between shoppers in line.
    • Employees will remind shoppers of social distancing in the store.

Do stores need to have special hours for elderly and high-risk individuals to shop?

  • Yes, stores should implement hours designated exclusively for high-risk individuals to shop. This includes seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions. During these shopping hours, the store shall not exceed 15% of its occupancy.

What are shoppers’ requirements?

  • To the best of your ability, only buy the essential items needed and do not shop in excess.
    • Limit trips to the store and the number of shoppers from each household as best as possible.
    • Ideally only send one member of your household to the grocery store.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after shopping.
    • Maintain the 6’ of social distance and always cover your cough and sneeze in your elbow.

How does this affect the Clean and Green Retail Ordinance?

  • The City will not enforce the Clean and Green Retail Ordinance during this time. Retailers can use single-use plastic bags during this time.

Enforcement

How Will These Orders be Enforced?

The Albuquerque Police Department can enforce these orders and any person that does not comply may be subject to civil penalties. The State of New Mexico has the authority to enforce its own orders.