Here are the latest coronavirus updates from San Juan County, Four Corners region
FARMINGTON — COVID-19 is an infectious coronavirus that was first documented in humans in December in China.
The disease was first documented in New Mexico on March 11. San Juan Regional Medical Center announced the first San Juan County case on March 21.
Officials say the best way to prevent the spread of the illness is to wash your hands frequently, cover your coughs and limit your exposure to other people by practicing social distancing.
Coronavirus cases by county
Updates for Sunday, March 29
3 p.m.: New Mexico’s number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases is now 237. The state health department announced 29 new positive tests today. Four of those new cases were in San Juan County, bringing the county’s number of cases to 22.
The death toll remains at two statewide, and 22 people infected with the virus are hospitalized in this state, according to a release from the office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health,” the release stated.
Updates for Saturday, March 28
11:50 p.m.: Starting on March 30, the Navajo Nation will be under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily as part of the tribal government's efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez will talk about the curfew – which was advised by health care and emergency experts – during a town hall on March 29, according to a press release from his office.
The town hall will start at 1 p.m. and will broadcast on radio station KTNN AM 660 and on the Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer Facebook page.
Cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation have increased to 115, and the total number of deaths remains at two, according to the president's office.
San Juan County in New Mexico has 12 cases, McKinley County in New Mexico has six cases, Cibola County in New Mexico has one case, Navajo County in Arizona has 57 cases, Apache County in Arizona has 18 cases, Coconino County in Arizona has 19 cases and San Juan County in Utah has two cases.
4:43 p.m.: State health officials on March 28 announced 17 more positive tests for COVID-19 in New Mexico and one additional death, according to a release from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office.
New Mexico has recorded 208 positive tests for COVID-19, including the 17 newly-reported cases.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 in New Mexico rose to two after a man “in his 80s” in Bernalillo County who had been hospitalized died on March 27, the release stated.
“The individual had multiple chronic underlying health conditions,” the release said.
According to the Department of Health, the most recent cases are:
• 11 new cases in Bernalillo County
• 3 new cases in Chaves County
• 1 new case in Doña Ana County
• 1 new case in Eddy County
• 1 new case in San Juan County
“As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health,” the release said.
On March 28 there were 19 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in this state, the release stated. “This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.”
Updates for Friday, March 27
9 p.m.: The Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President is reporting two deaths related to COVID-19.
No further information about the deaths were included in the office's press release, but the number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 92 for the tribe and in the following counties:
• Navajo County, Arizona: 49
• Apache County, Arizona: 18
• Coconino County, Arizona: 6 (changed from March 26, due to clarification of one individual's residency)
• McKinley County, New Mexico: 5
• San Juan County, New Mexico: 11
• Cibola County, New Mexico: 1
• San Juan County, Utah: 2
"Our condolences and prayers go out to the families of the two individuals who have passed on. We also pray for all of those who are fighting to recover from the virus," President Jonathan Nez said in the release.
The president also commended the ongoing work by health care personnel and first responders.
"To our Navajo people, let's help our health care workers by staying home and isolating ourselves as much as possible. Our public safety officers are needed in our communities every day, and we don't want to have to take them away from those duties to force people to stay home – we don't have to go to that extent if people simply listen to the health care experts," he said.
Vice President Myron Lizer also urged tribal members to stay home and to practice preventative measures.
"Each day, we are experiencing more and more similar circumstances like what's going on in places like New York City, but we are fighting every day to get additional resources that our health care workers need. We know they need to be protected and we are doing our best to help," Lizer said.
The release states that the tribe's need for personnel, protective wear, hospital beds and other crucial resources and supplies at health care facilities on the reservation continue to increase each day.
The public health emergency order to tribal members to stay at home remains in effect.
It also calls on all non-essential businesses to close to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The Navajo Department of Health has a website about COVID-19 at www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. The Navajo Health Command Operations Center can be reached at 928-871-7014.
5:30 p.m.: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham address New Mexicans in a Facebook live video at 5 p.m.
Lujan Grisham said there are about 17 people hospitalized in the state with coronavirus and six of them are in critical care, or on ventilators. She said 47% of the 191 confirmed cases in New Mexico are people 45 years old or younger.
In addition, she said 47% of the confirmed cases are travel related, which means they contracted the virus outside of the state. Another 20% of the cases are connected to the travel-related cases, such as family members. She said approximately 20% of the cases remain under investigation and 15% appear to be community spread.
"Every New Mexican needs to act as if they were positive for COVID-19," she said.
She said people should remain at home and only go to the store when necessary to get groceries, medicine or household repair items.
The governor said the coronavirus in New Mexico could peak in mid-April.
Lujan Grisham said people can get health-related information about coronavirus at cv.nmhealth.org or by calling the hotline at 855-600-3453.
Non-health related information, like volunteer opportunities and unemployment information, can be found at newmexico.gov or by calling 833-351-0158.
5:10 p.m.: The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department announced that all family visits for foster care children must be done by phone or video teleconferencing for the next 30 days.
The New Mexico Supreme Court directed CYFD to suspend in-person visitation due to the coronavirus.
"Suspending in-person visitations is an incredibly difficult decision for the Department, as we know it will cause heartbreak for many children and families working towards reunification," said CYFD Secretary Brian Blalock in a press release. "Everyone in the state must do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is one of the most painful decisions in service of slowing the spread. Though there may be increased physical separations, we will work to build increased family connections in these uncertain times."
4 p.m.: New Mexico is reporting 55 new cases today, including three new cases in San Juan County, two new cases in McKinley County, five new cases in Sandoval County and one new case in Rio Arriba County.
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, there are now 17 cases in San Juan County and 191 cases in New Mexico.
Meanwhile, San Juan Basin Public Health is reporting 12 cases of coronavirus in La Plata County, Colorado and one case in Archuleta County, Colorado.
3 p.m.: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order requiring all people traveling into New Mexico via plane to self-isolate for 14 days.
"Because some individuals infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, travelers may be unaware they are carrying the virus," Lujan Grisham said in the order. "For this reason, persons arriving in New Mexico’s airports must self-isolate for a period of time sufficient to ensure that the public health and safety is not jeopardized."
1:30 p.m.: San Juan Regional Medical Center announced it is making changes to some of its operations to reduce person-to-person contact. These changes go into effect on March 30 and include:
- Temporary closure of San Juan Regional Medical Center Audiology
- Temporary closure of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Outpatient Center. Highest priority patients will be seen at the adult clinic at 301 S. Auburn Ave.
- Reducing operating days at the Adult Rehabilitation Outpatient Center, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
More information about those changes is available by calling 505-609-6575.
The the San Juan Health Partners Family Medicine Clinics in Aztec and the walk-in clinic in Bloomfield will consolidate operations and will not be providing in-person services. Instead, they will serve patients by phone. People can contact the clinics at:
- San Juan Health Partners Family Medicine, 102 Llano Street: 505-334-9441
- San Juan Health Partners Family Medicine, 120 Llano Street: 505-334-3404
- San Juan Health Partners Walk-in Clinic, 100 North Church Street: 505-609-6675
10:10 a.m.: The New Mexico Public Education Department and Lujan Grisham have announced schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
The governor had previously ordered schools to close through the end of next week.
"Schools will not be required to make up the missed instructional days between March 16 and April 3, but for the remaining weeks of the school year to be waived, districts must develop both technology-based and non-technology-based continuous learning plans," Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said in a press release.
Updates for Thursday, March 26
7 p.m.: The Navajo Nation is reporting 71 confirmed cases of coronavirus, an increase from 69 cases on March 25. Those cases include 42 in Navajo County, Arizona, seven in Coconino County, Arizona, and nine in Apache County, Arizona, as well as seven in San Juan County, five in McKinley County and one in Cibola County.
4:10 p.m.: The state of New Mexico is now reporting 136 cases, which includes 24 new cases. There are six new cases in San Juan County. Those include:
- A teenage girl
- A woman in her 30s
- A man in his 30s
- A woman in her 40s
- A woman in her 50s
- A man in his 60s
There are a total of 14 confirmed cases in San Juan County, including seven Navajo Nation cases. For more information, go to cv.nmhealth.org.
In a Facebook live video, San Juan Regional Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Underwood said unless a test falls into a priority category it can take up to five to six days to get results.
Meanwhile, San Juan Basin Public Health is reporting the first identified case in Archuleta County, Colorado.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reporting five confirmed cases in La Plata County. There are no confirmed cases in Montezuma County, Colorado or in southeast Utah.
3:40 p.m.: Red Apple Transit has suspended its Aztec route, according to the City of Farmington. The bus system had previously announced it was suspending its red route and Kirtland route. The dial-a-ride service is available only in the afternoons.
2:40 p.m.: The New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations has created a fund to help the state respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from the governor's office. The All Together New Mexico Fund will be administered by the Santa Fe Community Foundation.
The initial money in the fund includes pledges of more than $1.1 million from Ian and Sonnet McKinnon; Intel; Pattern Energy; Blattner Energy; and Tri State Generation and Transmission Association.
People wishing to make tax-deductible donations can do so at AllTogetherNM.org.
1:45 p.m.: Diné College is postponing its spring commencement, according to a post on the Diné College Office of the President Facebook page.
The post states that a new date has not been determined but the college will reach out to graduating students, to ask how they want the college to honor the academic accomplishment.
"Diplomas will still be dated May 8, 2020," the post states.
The college is also closing dorms in Tsaile, Arizona this week, but students will not be required to leave if they do not have place to live or transportation home, according to the post.
In a separate post, the college announced the closure of its libraries in Shiprock and in Tsaile until further notice.
At Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, spring break has been extended to April 6.
According to the NTU Facebook page, classes will be delivered through distance learning until further notice.
For more information about the delivery of courses online, contact Casmir Agbaraji at firstname.lastname@example.org. The university has set up a website to inform students about campus and community updates at www.navajotech.edu/coronavirus.
1 p.m.: The Arizona Department of Health Services is reporting six new cases in Navajo County and two new cases in Apache County. There are a total of 43 cases in Navajo County and nine in Apache County.
10 a.m.: San Juan Regional Medical Center announced that it will host a Facebook Live event at 3 p.m. During the event, the chief medical officer Dr. Robert Underwood will answer questions.
9:30 a.m.: All Navajo Nation Council standing committee meetings have been canceled through April 5 to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The Bureau of Reclamation has canceled a public meeting regarding operations of Navajo Dam. The meeting was scheduled for April 21.
Mesa Verde National Park is closed until further notice.
Updates for Wednesday, March 25
9:45 p.m.: The Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area IHS announced that the number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 69 among people on the Navajo Nation, up 20 cases from the previous day, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer said the evening of March 25 in a press release.
“The cases include 43 in Navajo County, eight in Apache County, six in Coconino County in Arizona, and four in McKinley County, seven in San Juan County, and one in Cibola County in New Mexico,” the release stated.
The tribal leaders urged caution and proper safety practices.
“Unfortunately, the numbers are going to continue to rise until everyone begins to comply with the Stay at Home Order,” President Nez said. “We have to isolate ourselves to isolate the virus. Let’s do it for our elders, our children, and our high-risk individuals. We will fight and eventually beat this virus together, but we need everyone to take it seriously. There’s no need to be out in public unless you’re in need of food, medication, or other essential items.”
The Public Health Emergency “Stay at Home Order” issued earlier remains in effect, the release said, meaning that all Navajo Nation residents should stay home and be isolated. The order also closed all non-essential businesses..
“The number of positive cases is rising, but please remember that people are also testing negative for the virus and people are also recovering,” Vice President Lizer said in the release. “In challenging times, we must also maintain faith in our prayers and know that we will overcome this,” stated.
4:05 p.m.: The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting one new case of coronavirus in San Juan County.
According to a press release, there are now 112 cases in New Mexico. The new case in San Juan County is a man in his 30s. This brings the total number of cases in San Juan County to eight.
There are now two cases in Rio Arriba County — a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s.
There is also a new case in Sandoval County — a woman in her 30s.
The state reported 13 new cases, including an Eddy County man who died on Sunday.
A previously reported positive case in Chaves County has been removed from the state's list after it was determined to be a clerical error.
3:45 p.m.: San Juan Basin Public Health announced it has received word of three new positive cases in La Plata County, Colorado. The three adults were tested last week at San Juan Basin Public Health's community testing site. This brings the total number of cases in La Plata County to four.
According to a press release, these new cases indicate that there has been community spread of coronavirus in southwest Colorado.
"San Juan Basin Public Health expected that positive cases would result from the community testing conducted last week and we imagine we will see more cases in the days to come," said SJBPH Executive Director Liane Jollon in the press release. "All residents of Archuleta and La Plata Counties are urged to make responsible choices to protect our community and stay at home."
3:15 p.m.: Chaco Culture National Historical Park announced that Gallo Campground will be closed through at least April 13 to comply with the governor's stay-at-home instructions and to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
1:45 p.m.: The Arizona Department of Health Services is reporting 37 cases of coronavirus in Navajo County and seven cases in Apache County.
According to the Utah Department of Health, there are no confirmed cases in southeast Utah.
Colorado and New Mexico have not yet released updated numbers for March 25.
1:25 p.m.: Shortly after 1:20 p.m., New Mexicans received an alert on their phones as well as via radio and television reminding them to stay home and that non-essential businesses are required to remain closed.
12:20 p.m.: San Juan Regional Medical Center is asking for donations of personal protective equipment, such as N95 masks and surgical masks.
The hospital is also accepting donated sewn masks. The sewn masks should be made with a two-layer construction using tight flannel on the outside and tightly woven cotton, like a pillow case or T-shirt, on the inside. The outer and inner layers should orient so that the design or grain of the fabric is aligned diagonally to each other, according to a press release from the medical center. Patterns can be obtained by calling the volunteer services manager Teresa Becker at 505-609-6256 or online at providenc.org/lp/100m-masks or on the Deaconess Hospital's YouTube.
Masks can be delivered to the main entrance of the hospital from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The sewn masks will be used for patients in the emergency department in an effort to conserve hospital supplies for the caregivers.
12:00 p.m.: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued two public health orders. The first order prohibits non-essential medical procedures. The second prohibits selling or distributing personal protective equipment like face masks and gloves without prior approval from the New Mexico Department of Health. Both orders are intended to ensure there is enough personal protective equipment for health care workers to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
11:30 a.m.: New Mexicans will receive a text message alert similar to an AMBER Alert at 12:30 p.m. This alert will also be broadcast on television stations and the radio.
A press release from the governor's office states the public health crisis and the need to communicate critical information directly to New Mexicans prompted the state to use the emergency alert system to disseminate information from the Emergency Operations Center.
The 12:30 p.m. alert will be the first of the alerts disseminated in this fashion, however more alerts will follow when needed.
These messages will include essential public information from the New Mexico Department of Health, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the governor's office.
Additional information about the coronavirus in New Mexico is available at cv.nmhealth.org.
10:10 a.m.: The state of New Mexico is reporting its first coronavirus death.
According to a press release from the governor's office, an Eddy County resident in his late 70s has died. The man was hospitalized on March 22. His condition deteriorated while in the hospital and he died the same day at Artesia General Hospital.
The state laboratory received his COVID-19 test on March 24 and confirmed it the same day.
According to the press release, the man had multiple chronic health conditions.
Updates for Tuesday, March 24
8:05 p.m.: Navajo Nation announced an additional 10 cases of coronavirus in a press release issued at 8 p.m. by the Office of the President and Vice President. Those 10 new cases bring the total number of cases on Navajo Nation up to 49. The new cases include two people from San Juan County.
7:20 p.m.: The Farmington Electric Utility System is closing its drive-through and customer service center's lobby starting March 25. The customer service representatives can be reached by phone.
People needing to pay utility bills can do so using the following methods:
- Cash, check or money order can be placed in drop boxes at the customer service entrance at 101 N. Browning Parkway. These boxes will be labeled for customer service and new service.
- Electronic debit and credit card payments can be made by calling 505-599-1353 and choosing option 1. If customers choose option 0 they can talk to a representative and make debit or credit card payments. Electronic payments can also be made online at fmtn.org.
- Customers can mail payments to FEUS, P.O. Box 712569, Denver, CO 80271.
People wanting to connect utility service can fill an application online at http://fmtn.org/182/CustomerService. Those without internet or computer access can call 505-599-1353 and choose option 0.
In other news, the Ute Mountain Casino Hotel has announced that it is closing its hotel and casino services until further notice in efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, the ExxonMobile Ute Mountain Travel Centers — which it operates in both Towaoc, Colorado, and White Mesa, Utah — will remain open, according to a press release.
The closure came upon recommendation by the Ute Mountain Tribal Council.
According to the press release, Ute Mountain Casino Hotel plans tentatively to reopen the hotel and casino in April.
The casino employs 400 people and does not anticipate any layoffs.
"We are closely monitoring what is happening at a state, regional, tribal and national level with regards to COVID-19 and its impact on our citizens and the economy. While it has been a difficult decision, without question, it is what is necessary to ensure the safety of the tribal members, guests and our team members. Their safety, well-being and livelihood remain our priority," said General Manager Rick Scheer in the press release. "We look forward to re-opening at full-capacity and will continue to support our employees and local community during this time."
5:30 p.m.: San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington and Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Colorado, have announced upcoming blood drives.
The United Blood Services, now known as Vitalant, mobile unit will collect donations from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 26 at the San Juan Regional Medical Center's main parking lot at 801 W. Maple St.
Vitalant's mobile unit will visit Mercy Regional Medical Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 1. It will park at 1010 Three Springs Blvd. in Durango.
People wanting to donate during the Durango blood drive are encouraged to make appointments by calling Songtree Pioche at 970-764-1170 or visiting bloodhero.com and entering the code mrmc.
Donors should bring a form of identification and must weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 16 years old. Donors younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian's signature.
4:25 p.m: The New Mexico Department of Health announced 17 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number in the state to 100.
The new cases include four people in San Juan County, including two men and a woman in their thirties and a man in his forties.
While Navajo Nation reported there were two new cases in McKinley County, the state is reporting one new case — a teenage girl.
Navajo Nation did not report any cases in its communities in San Juan County.
2:30 p.m.: The Navajo Nation now has 39 cases of coronavirus, according to a press release from the office of Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer. There were ten new cases announced today.
According to the press release, there are four cases of coronavirus in McKinley County. That is two new cases today.
1 p.m.: State police in conjunction with local law enforcement have been tasked with enforcing the governor’s order that closed non-essential businesses and prohibited gatherings of more than five people.
People who want to report non-compliance can report them to NMSP.COVID19@state.nm.us or contact the non-emergency COVID-19 hotline at 833-551-0518 and choose option 2. The San Juan County Communications Authority has asked people not to call its number. Instead, it is asking people to use the hotline number or email address because dispatch has a limited number of people.
"When you call to ask questions you may be preventing someone in a life or death emergency from reaching us," the communications authority said in a Facebook post.
Non-compliance complaints submitted by email should include the date and time the violation was observed as well as city, county and the business’ name and address.
"We realize this is a very stressful and uncertain time, but as a community and state we will get through this," said New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson in a press release. "The core mission of the New Mexico State Police is to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of New Mexico, and we are committed to doing just that by ensuring New Mexicans adhere to this public health emergency order."
10 a.m.: The City of Bloomfield announced the Bloomfield Municipal Court will operate from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, which is shorter than its normal operating hours. No more than five people will be allowed in the front lobby. Trials, hearings and probation check-ins as well as requests to see the judge will be rescheduled. Weddings are also being rescheduled for a later date. People are encouraged to resolve citations by phone, email, mail or fax.
According to the governor's office, churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship are exempt from the order prohibiting gatherings of more than five people. Families with more than five members are also allowed to gather in their own homes, but should not leave their residence in groups of more than five people.
Non-essential medical appointments, including routine dental cleanings, should be delayed, according to a press release from the governor's office.
9:30 a.m.: School districts are uncertain when students will be able to return to school. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said it is likely that the schools will remain closed longer than April 6, which was the day the schools were scheduled to reopen. She has not ruled out canceling school for the rest of the year. The stay at home order she issued on March 23 remains in place until April 10.
In a neighboring state, Utah has canceled school through May 1.
Aztec Municipal Schools Superintendent Kirk Carpenter told KSJE 90.9 FM the district will be conducting a survey to determine which families have the ability to access the internet and what devices they have, such as computers and even game consoles.
“Not every family has the ability to jump on a website,” Carpenter said during a KSJE broadcast, which is available on Facebook and YouTube.
This is needed to keep educating the students without them attending school. That could mean disseminating packets to the students or having some students do online studies.
Carpenter said teachers will be reaching out to their students' families via phone.
Classes at San Juan College will remain online through April 10 and only essential personnel are allowed on campus.
San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center has made changes to its visitation policies to limit the spread of the illness. Only one visitor will be allowed per detainee. Visitors are allowed Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. More information is available by calling 505-324-5800.
8:30 a.m.: Non-essential businesses in New Mexico must remain closed until further notice as the state works to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The state has ordered New Mexicans to remain home as much as possible, although essential businesses will continue operating. Residents can continue shopping for food, but should limit the number of people who go to the store.
People are still allowed to go outside and exercise, however the state can penalize groups with more than five people.
Farmington Regional Animal Shelter announced that it will be discontinuing its reduced cost and free spay and neuter program until further notice to comply. People who have already scheduled surgeries and paid for them will receive refunds. Farmington is asking people who have unaltered pets to keep them indoors and away from unaltered dogs or cats of the opposite gender.
Dog walking opportunities are continuing at the shelter, but only one person can enter at a time to pick up a dog and the shelter is limiting the number of volunteers to five people per hour walking dogs.
The New Mexico Department of Health was reporting three cases in San Juan County as of 8 a.m.
Apache County in Arizona has four cases of coronavirus while Navajo County has 25 cases, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
There have not been any confirmed cases of coronavirus in southeast Utah, including San Juan County, Utah, according to the Utah Department of Health. The Utah numbers are updated daily at 1 p.m.
There is one confirmed case in La Plata County, Colorado, but no confirmed cases in Archuleta County, according to San Juan Basin Public Health. The Durango Herald reported the La Plata County resident was tested for coronavirus in Cortez. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is not listing any cases in Montezuma County. Its numbers are updated daily at 4 p.m.
Updates for Monday, March 23
A Farmington fire department employee became the first person in San Juan County to test positive for the coronavirus over the weekend.
The New Mexico Department of Health announced two more cases in San Juan County on March 23. These include a female in her 70s and a male in his 30s.
There are two cases of COVID-19 in McKinley County, according to New Mexico Department of Health.
As of the morning of March 23, there were no confirmed cases in La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan or Montezuma counties in Colorado according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
San Juan Basin Public Health posted on Facebook on March 23 that an adult in La Plata County is presumed positive for coronavirus.
San Juan Basin Public Health issued an advisory on March 23 asking residents of La Plata and Archuleta counties to stay at home.
San Juan County, Colorado, has closed its backcountry to non-locals and is asking people driving on U.S. Highway 550 to keep driving rather than stopping to hike. Non-locals will not be allowed in Silverton. Vehicles parked along the passes in San Juan County Colorado could be subject to fines or towing.
As of the morning of March 23, the Utah Department of Health reported no cases of the disease in southeast Utah.
Golf courses, McGee Park close
Piñon Hills Golf Course, Civitan Golf Course and Riverside Golf Course will be closed starting March 24 following an executive order from the governor's office. The governor limited public gatherings to five people and ordered non-essential businesses to close.
San Juan County announced that McGee Park will close until further notice.
Bloomfield delays decision on loan agreement for vacuum truck
Economic uncertainties connected to the coronavirus and the low price of oil prompted the Bloomfield City Council to postpone a decision on a loan agreement to purchase a new vacuum truck. The vacuum truck is needed to clear out sewer lines and Public Works Director Jason Thomas said the sewer system has been having problems, including backing up into a church. The truck would cost an estimated $440,000, but city councilors expressed concerns about taking on additional debt at this time. They directed city staff to look at alternatives, including used vacuum trucks that might be available.
Farmers Market works to keep items in stock for customers
Bloomfield City Councilor Matt Pennington, who manages Farmers Market in Bloomfield, said the grocery store has been receiving two trucks of goods each day and will remain open.
"It's been challenging, but we're staying ahead of it right now," he said.
Pennington said the store has reserved the hour from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for seniors and people in high risk categories to shop. He said the store is also keeping some supplies in back to make sure they can get the items they need.
Pennington encouraged people to check on their neighbors and said a lot of people have been coming to the store to shop for other people, especially for older neighbors.
Aztec library closes, books still available for check out
Aztec Public Library announced on March 23 that it will be closed until further notice, however people can still check out materials by viewing the online catalog at azteclibrary.org. The staff will find the items and put them in the lobby for people to pick up during a pre-scheduled appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 505-334-7657. People should have their library card and a photo ID with them to pick up the materials.
Bloomfield Public Library announced on the evening of March 23 that it will close effective March 24 until further notice.
KSJE program provides updates, answers questions
A local company with a 3D printer has been experimenting with making face shields for the hospital, and the hospital is looking into what the best material is for community members to use to make face masks, San Juan Regional Medical Center officials said on the KSJE live show this morning.
KSJE 90.9 FM is hosting morning shows at 9 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays to answer questions about the coronavirus.
San Juan County Office of Emergency Management Manager Mike Mestas called in to the show on March 23.
He said a lot of people are asking why cases from Shiprock have not been reported in the San Juan County count. He said the patients who tested positive at Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock were not from San Juan County and returned to their homes in northeast Arizona. They are included in the Navajo Nation count.
Navajo Nation has reported 29 cases of coronavirus and is asking residents to remain at home.
Red Apple Transit announces changes
Meanwhile Red Apple Transit canceled its Kirtland route and Red Route. The Red Route covers much of east Farmington, including Wildflower Parkway and the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
The morning Dial-A-Ride service has also been suspended, however the afternoon service will continue from 11 a.m. through 5:30 p.m.
The spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 has led to many closures, including business closures.
In Farmington, the city has closed its library, pools, museums and community centers as well as the civic center. The senior center continues to serve meals on a drive-through basis and delivering through the Meals on Wheels program, however the senior center is closed.
San Juan County Communications Authority is asking community members not to call 911 for questions about the coronavirus or how to get tested.
People who have questions about the virus can call the state coronavirus hotline at 1-855-600-3453. People who have non-health related COVID-19 questions can call 1-833-551-0518.
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