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Mayor Keller Unveils City’s Plans for Phased Re-Opening

City re-opening in step with State orders, outlines changes to programs, services, facilities

May 14, 2020

Mayor Tim Keller and City of Albuquerque officials announced new details on how the City plans to re-open in phase one.

“As we work to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re beginning to re-open local government services and help businesses re-open in phase one,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Thanks to the continued efforts to flatten the curve in Albuquerque, we are ready to step up and begin some re-opening. Now our city is ready with a plan for how to reopen in a phased manner with COVID-safe practices.”

“It would be easier to stay closed, but we know that’s not an option for our city for many reasons. It’s not an option for many of our residents; folks just cannot afford to stay home if they are allowed to go back to work. Second, sadly, home is not always safe. We need a place for kids to go where they can be seen and get access to services. And finally, home is not always healthy. We need to have open spaces for people to be in a healthier environment than home might be,” said Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair. 

Mayor Keller outlined the plans to re-open following announcements from the State on Wednesday that all retail will be opening at 25 percent, big box stores remaining at 20 percent, and houses of worship at 10 percent. Entertainment venues and personal services remain closed at this time.

The City has protocols in place that direct staff to observe social distancing and deliver essential services. The City will limit overall capacity in buildings and facilities, and strictly follow CDC guidance and State public health orders on gathering sizes. Sign-in and reservation requirements enable contact traceable quarantine, and quarantine protocols are in place at each site. In accordance with the State’s public health orders, staff and the public will be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and facilities will be regularly and extensively cleaned. Daily screening, including temperature testing, are used at each site.

Things changing now and in the next phases with limited capacity, COVID-safe measures in place and no special events include the following:


  • Office buildings (City Hall, Plaza del Sol) will begin to re-open to more employees and to the public on a limited basis
  • Parks facilities
    • Shooting Range, Horsemen’s Complex, racquet sports facilities, Maloof Air Park, Open Space Visitor Center
  • Limited in-person services by appointment at the Small Business Office, Film Office, Solid Waste, Transit, Construction Permitting
  • Environmental Health in-person inspections and responsive enforcement expand


  • Some outdoor cultural facilities with timed ticketing will open in June
    • Tingley Beach (free)
    • BioPark (zoo, aquarium, botanic gardens) outdoor spaces
  • Libraries and indoor cultural facilities


  • Gradual expansion of capacity and openings, implementing lessons learned

Child, youth, and summer programs to open in the coming weeks during phase one with varying limitations in place include:

Community Center Programs Registration:

  • Lottery to take place May 11 – 20
  • Parents will be notified May 26 – May 29

Aquatics Programs Registration:

  • Private lessons at West Mesa and Los Altos register June 1, programs begin June 15
  • Group swim lessons register June 15, programs begin July 6

Recreation Programs Registration:

  • In-person for tennis lessons at Jerry Cline and Sierra Vista Tennis Centers when open
  • In-person for pickleball lessons at Manzano Mesa Pickleball Complex when open

Open Space programs Registration:

  • Register for Summer Series hikes and events beginning May 15 by email and telephone

Cultural Programs Registration:

  • Register now for programs including Camp BioPark, Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps, Explora, and the Summer Reading Program

The programs beginning in phase one will operate at a 5:1 ratio and in accordance with State guidelines and best practices.

“These programs are for people who are going to work and do not have other forms of childcare, these are places for kids to stay safe. We appreciate the Governor for appreciating the need for our City to step up with these programs. We know it is important for childcare and re-opening to go hand-in-hand,” said Mayor Keller.

The following essential services have remained open during this time, and will continue to operate as they have:

  • Police and fire services, including fire stations and police substations
  • Emergency childcare for essential workers (school-aged plus early childhood)
  • Solid Waste collection services and convenience centers
  • Senior meal sites for meal pick-up and delivery
  • Health and Social Service Centers in each quadrant
  • Key ABQ RIDE routes on Saturday-type service
  • Small Business Office, Film Office, and Economic Development by appointment and phone
  • Construction Permitting, Fire Marshal Plan Review and Development Plan Review by appointment and phone
  • Animal Welfare adoptions and animal surrender by appointment or in emergencies
  • Civilian Police Oversight, and many of the City’s Boards and Commissions by appointment, phone, and using virtual meetings
  • Drive Up Wi-Fi Programs, GovTV, YouTube and the suite of OneABQ Media
  • Office of Civil Rights and Consumer Protection open and processing complaints

During today’s briefing, Mayor Keller also signed a fifth emergency declaration. This declaration extends the previous emergency declarations, which allowed for the following:

  • Closures of certain facilities
  • Events cancelled
  • Electronic signatures permitted
  • COVID-safe practices at grocery stores
  • Extending ability for businesses to use plastic bags

Additionally, the new declaration reinforces the State’s public health order requiring coverings in public settings and underscores the importance of wearing a face covering while using public transit.

The presentation that City officials used during today’s briefing can be found here.