Graphic courtesy of CDC
This illustration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
McKinley County, which has one of the fastest-increasing rates of coronavirus cases nationwide, is contemplating a nighttime curfew similar to that recently decreed on the Navajo Nation.
The emergency ordinance, if approved, will take effect immediately after passage.
The ordinance, still in draft form, will be discussed on Monday morning at 9 a.m. at an emergency meeting of the McKinley County Commission.
The ordinance is in response to a sudden spike in the number of coronavirus cases, which jumped from 45 confirmed cases on April 8 to 140 as of Saturday night, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
If an approved emergency order is passed, it will remain in effect until New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham or Health Secretary Kathyleen M. Kunkel declares the emergency has “ceased.”
New Mexico currently has 1,174 positive cases. Bernalillo County has the highest number, with 422 confirmed cases and 13 deaths. McKinley County currently has the fourth-highest numbers in the state.
If the curfew is passed only businesses that sell unleaded gas and diesel fuels, and fast food restaurants with a drive through, will be exempt from the curfew. People whose work is deemed essential by the state, such as law enforcement, healthcare workers, social workers, and delivery vehicle drivers on official business, would also be exempt.
Anyone found violating the curfew would be cited by “any” law enforcement employed in the county.
A citation with a fine of no less than $100 and no more than $300 will be issued to anyone on foot, bicycle, and all vehicles of any type, which includes motorcycles; if seen between 8 p.m and 5 a.m.
Members of the McKinley County Board of Commissioners are Billy Moore, Bill Lee and Tommy Nelson. County Clerk is Harriet K. Becenti.