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Non-Local News Releases

This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.

unnamed 8(Washington, D.C., March 13, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue yesterday swore in Devon Westhill to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. Following the swearing in, Secretary Perdue issued this statement:

Additional test results returned this afternoon; Department of Health actively investigating all presumptive positives

SANTA FE – New Mexico health officials on Thursday afternoon announced a sixth New Mexico resident tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, adding to the five presumptive positive tests this week.

Per the state Department of Health, the most recent case is a Santa Fe County woman in her 50s with known recent international travel to Italy. She is at home in isolation. 

The other five presumptive positive tests in New Mexico were: 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- Attorney General Hector Balderas today issued a consumer advisory warning New Mexico consumers about possible price gouging in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that has recently reached the state. Price gouging is the practice of a seller unreasonably increasing the price of goods or services from its regular and usual price.

"Increasing prices on necessities like medical supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, and other items because our citizens are in fear of the coronavirus is simply unconscionable," said Balderas. "Anyone increasing prices in order to illegally profit from this emergency will be prosecuted."

It is against the law in New Mexico to misrepresent the price of goods or services or to take advantage of consumers' situation to a grossly unfair degree.  

ESTANCIA, NM – Torrance County Emergency Manager Matt Propp announced that the County is in a Level 3 Emergency Operations Center Activation due to the identification of presumed COVID-19 cases in the State of New Mexico. There have been no cases identified in Torrance County.

“The community is encouraged to take appropriate steps for their own care,” said Emergency Manager Propp. “The public should stay informed, but should not panic,” he continued.

Steps to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 are similar to those used for preventing the flu which include:

(SANTA FE)—The New Mexico Department of Veterans Services (DVS) has postponed all agency-related public events in the immediate future—following today’s New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) public health order temporarily prohibiting mass gatherings in New Mexico in response to the COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus pandemic reaching the state.

The public health order defines “mass gatherings” as events that bring together 100 or more people in a single room or connected space such as auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, conference centers, and theaters. Exempt from the order are airports, other mass transit, shopping malls, shelters, retail and grocery stores, offices and businesses, courthouses, all educational institutions, child-care centers, health care facilities and other congregate care facilities and places of worship.

The following DVS-sponsored or DVS-assisted events to postponed until further notice are:

TriCore Reference Laboratories now testing

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced today that TriCore Reference Laboratories (TriCore) is now performing a molecular diagnostic test of respiratory specimens for COVID-19 virus. The Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division and TriCore have worked tirelessly together over the past few weeks to get their testing started. The test is provided under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). 

“We are excited for Tricore to begin COVID 19 testing. We have been working together for weeks,” said Michael W. Edwards, Ph.D., HCLD (ABB) director for the Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division. “The capacity to test in New Mexico is significantly increased to meet future demand with Tricore testing.” 

Agency will use final list to identify and resolve public recreational access issues on priority parcels as part of nationwide Dingell Act implementation efforts 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of its efforts to implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the Bureau of Land Management today released a draft list of public lands with limited or restricted public access for hunting, fishing or other outdoor recreational opportunities, along with a draft map of priority access nominations received from the public and partners. When finalized, this priority list will guide the BLM’s efforts to resolve access issues and expand public recreation opportunities on these parcels of land across the West.

“When President Donald Trump signed this bipartisan bill into law, he furthered his indelible legacy of balancing natural resources conservation and responsibly expanding recreation opportunities on our public lands,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

Santa Fe – Due to the state’s ban on mass public gatherings in response to COVID-19, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) is closing all New Mexico State Parks to overnight camping effective Friday, March 13. 

Scheduled events during this time have also been canceled or postponed in the interest of public safety. All 35 State Parks will remain open for day use. The overnight camping ban will expire April 9 unless extended.

Visitors with overnight camping reservations will be issued a full refund. For details on specific parks events and additional information visit the State Parks website.

“Ensuring safety is one of the core tenants of the State Parks mission and EMNRD feels it is in the best interest of the public to suspend overnight camping – when park visitors are closest to one another in the campground – to minimize close contact between park visitors,” said EMNRD Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst.

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Editor's Note

New classified for Silver City church seeking office manager.

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds. Check periodically to see if any news ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

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The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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