City Readies for New State Public Health Order, Continues Increased Enforcement

Targeted compliance effort, adapting facilities and services to combat recent spike of COVID-19

Nov. 13, 2020

The City of Albuquerque is continuing its targeted compliance effort and adapting City facilities and service to combat the recent spike of COVID-19. The City is preparing to implement the latest changes to the State’s Public Health Orders that take effect on November 16, while ensuring continuity in essential services for the most vulnerable and working to keep local business including restaurants afloat. In the coming days, the City will announce possible changes at Animal Welfare, Cultural Services, Parks, Transit and other departments.

“We are at another critical point in this fight to keep Albuquerque healthy, and we need everyone to step up and do their part,” stated Mayor Keller. “We’ll continue to focus our efforts on support for struggling local businesses, working families who don’t have the luxury of staying home, and vulnerable populations like seniors—but no one can solve this alone. Stay home anytime you can, wear a mask when you go out, and practice social distancing. If we’re going to get this back under control, we’ve all got to make thoughtful, informed decisions for our families and our community.”

The City is also continuing its enforcement blitz on requirements in the State- and City-issued public health orders designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Over the past several weekends, officers and inspectors from multiple City departments have conducted thousands of compliance interactions and issued notices of violations to businesses and individuals who refuse to follow basic public health considerations.

Last week, the City conducted 355 compliance interactions with businesses and individuals, 23 of which were in regards to face coverings. Since October, the City has conducted nearly 3,000 compliance interactions. The enforcement team continues to send members out to investigate, educate, and issue notices of violation, while APD may issue citations.

For the next phase of the compliance effort, officials will be particularly focused on the City’s requirement that grocery stores must provide special hours for seniors and other high risk individuals and also limit the number of items of certain goods and supplies that customers may purchase.

Throughout the pandemic, the City has provided grants and other assistance to local businesses.

Albuquerque, like almost the entire state and country, is seeing large spikes in coronavirus rates. Over the spring and summer, the city had emerged as a model for controlled spread, testing access, and economic resilience. While still outperforming other metropolitan areas, Albuquerque’s initial success is at risk with every new spike.

City leaders will announce updates and impacts to City services at the next COVID update in the coming days.