“You should be thinking about not going to church, you should think about not going to your community meeting, you should think about not going to a neighborhood association meeting. We want to be very clear that if you minimize contact with other human beings, you will help us contain this virus,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Churches say they are looking into options of how they can service their congregations safely. While not discouraging people from attending a service many including the archdiocese of Santa Fe have already implemented rules on communion and greeting each other.
“Yeah, it’s important that we take things step by step, that’s why communication is good if it gets really bad, you know we’ll take other steps,” said Albuquerque resident Tosh Gregg.
Meanwhile, one of Albuquerque’s largest churches is telling the governor to stay in her lane.
In a statement, Steve Smothermon, pastor of Legacy Church, asked the governor how she could tell people how to live out their faith and that his church would have services as usual, saying the governor should reconsider her quote ‘dangerous and godless’ advice.
In addition to churches, New Mexico schools and colleges are taking precautions to ward off any possible spread of the coronavirus.
Most have discouraged school-sponsored out of state trips by students and faculty. The University of New Mexico and New Mexico Tech have placed a temporary restriction on business travel to infected areas in the United States and internationally.
Following the governor’s news conference Wednesday morning, New Mexico Tech closed their recreational gym on campus to clean all high-use surfaces. The school says no cases of coronavirus have occurred on campus.
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