Over the last week, we have seen the number of positive cases of COVID-19 increase in communities in New Mexico and across the nation. This only underscores the importance of increasing testing here in New Mexico and equipping our hospitals and health care workers on the frontlines with the resources they need to keep all of us healthy and safe.
Each of us has a role to play in literally saving the lives of our fellow New Mexicans. Yesterday, Governor Lujan Grisham issued a new "Stay At Home" instruction, directing New Mexicans to remain in their homes or places of residence except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety, and welfare. This social distancing is absolutely critical if we want to stop the spread of the coronavirus in our state. You can find out more about the Governor's instruction on the New Mexico Department of Health's Coronavirus Website.
Together we can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus and protect the health of our friends, our neighbors, and our family members. As this graphic from the New Mexico Department of Health illustrates, if everyone limits their interactions with other people right now, we will greatly decrease the number of infected people in our communities and allow our hospitals and health care workers to better treat those who do get sick.
We have learned from past pandemics, such as the Spanish Flu that killed millions of people worldwide in 1918, that communities that move more quickly to adopt aggressive social distancing measures see much lower rates of infections and deaths. You can see this in the major difference between how many deaths there were from the Spanish Flu in Philadelphia, which acted too slowly, and St. Louis, which acted quickly and decisively.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection-fever, a dry cough, or shortness of breath-you should call your health care provider or the New Mexico COVID-19 Hotline at 1-855-600-3453 right away. You can find out more about New Mexico's current testing and travel guidelines here.
I am also maintaining a Coronavirus Resource Center on my website, where New Mexicans can find accurate, science-based information about the virus and resources for services around our state for those whose life and livelihoods have been disrupted by the economic fallout of this pandemic.
Please continue to stay informed about what you can do to keep yourself and your family healthy, and contact my office if I can be of assistance.