ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The mayor of Albuquerque is promising a new round of COVID-19 enforcement in the city, focusing on hot spots of the virus. Mayor Tim Keller said during a press conference on Wednesday the city plans on conducting an enforcement blitz this weekend, focusing on different parts of the city based on zip codes.
“There tends to be certain areas that could use some extra attention when it comes to enforcement,” said Keller. “So we are going to be using zip codes to help inform us in terms of where we’re going to send proactive enforcement.”
Education, not punishment, has always been the main focus for Mayor Keller. He defended the city’s response enforcing the public health order so far, calling it the best response in the state. He said since April they have handed out 227 warnings, but the governor’s office has criticized the city’s enforcement.
As KRQE News 13 reported, the city has only issued four citations and none in the past few months despite the governor pushing for cities and local law enforcement to begin citing people for failing to wear masks, mass gatherings, and businesses breaking the rules.
The mayor hopes focusing on zip codes will help with enforcement, and plans on also focusing on places people tend to go to. Making sure businesses are following the occupancy rules.
“Big box stores, and chains, chain restaurants especially, we’ve had a lot of complaints about load violation there,” said Keller. He said the city will also be monitoring parks, ensuring there are no groups larger than five, and making sure people aren’t participating in sports that require a large group.
The mayor also touched on possibly restricting people from out of the state from public buildings, by requiring proof of residency. He said he’ll get into more details about that next week. Mayor Keller also said that parties are absolutely unacceptable and dangerous. He said if anyone sees this type of behavior to contact the city at 311.