City Gives Updates on Local Covid Rates and Enforcement Heading Into Holiday Shopping Season

Enforcement team working with malls to set occupancy limits and develop monitoring plan

Dec. 8, 2020

Over the past seven days, City of Albuquerque compliance officials conducted 678 compliance interactions with businesses and individuals regarding State- and City-enacted Public Health Orders (PHO).That pushes the total compliance interactions, which include warnings, notices of violation, and/or citations, to more than 1,700 in the past month.

The compliance team worked with officials at both Coronado Mall and Cottonwood Mall to set occupancy limits and develop plans for continued monitoring to ensure they are within the 25 percent capacity limits established in the Public Health Order. As the holiday shopping season continues in earnest, City leaders are working hard to help businesses understand the requirements of the Public Health Order to keep them open. The team also continues to perform spot checks with all business types to ensure they’re complying with the Public Health Order in addition to responding to 311 reports of potential violations.

At a briefing Tuesday, Fire Marshal Gene Gallegos reminded businesses that the expansion of outdoor service areas must be approved by the appropriate local government agencies.

“Tents may be utilized if approved by both the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Planning Department,” said Fire Marshal Gallegos. “Tent areas must be open on at least three sides when in use by the public. Tent sidewalls may be added when the facility is not in use. To keep warm, open flames or other devices emitting flames cannot be utilized underneath a tent or within 25 feet of any membrane structure.”

With the winter holidays upon us, Albuquerque is in the midst of a critical stage for controlling the spread of the virus. The continued spike in cases has tightened the gap between Albuquerque and cities that we had been outperforming earlier in the pandemic, and the holidays will put the city to the test.

At today’s briefing, Mayor Tim Keller said, “We have a path out of this, Albuquerque, and it’s because we have so much testing. But folks have to follow that quarantine rule when they’re positive or when they’ve been exposed and until they get a negative test. And so that is our call to action in many ways in the city of Albuquerque.”

Although the City faces a very different kind of holiday season this year, Mayor Tim Keller and the City's Cultural Services Department have worked to bring something special to a familiar stretch of Route 66. The Route 66 Shop & Glow will provide shoppers with an illuminated curbside experience featuring River of Lights sculptures on loan from the New Mexico BioPark Society.
In addition, local artists have been commissioned to design and install illuminated art displays in shop windows. Shoppers picking up holiday purchases or dinner will be greeted by glowing snowmen, flowers, icicles, animals, and more along the path where the Twinkle Light Parade would have taken place. The Route 66 Shop & Glow will light up Central nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. throughout December.
West on Central Ave., holiday shoppers can enjoy the giant Christmas tree and brand new lighting in Old Town. While the Old Town Holiday Stroll was cancelled, Old Town continues to be open for business with a number of local stores offering online ordering options and restaurants offering take out and curb-side pickup.

The ABQ BioPark recently announced the reopening of the Botanic Garden with both daytime and nighttime hours through mid-January. The garden will reopen to guests starting Saturday, December 12. Daytime hours of operation will be Wednesdays-Sundays from noon-4 p.m. Nighttime hours will run from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., also on Wednesdays-Sundays. Although the ABQ BioPark can't share River of Lights with the community this year, nighttime hours will give visitors the opportunity to experience the garden decorated with a number of lights and sculptures from the event.

View slides from todays presentations.