ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As more businesses open up amid the coronavirus outbreak, the new state guidelines can be confusing. and the public is letting inspectors know when they think a business isn’t following the rules. After speaking with both city and state health officials, they say there is a lot of misunderstandings out there.
“Almost all of the situations where we’ve had to go out and respond to any kind of complaint, it’s really just that there was a misunderstanding of what was being asked for. And obviously these are very unprecedented times for everybody and the things that we’re all doing, these are not the normal requirements, so for all of us, even those enforcing them, it’s been challenging to keep up with the changes,” said Mark Dimenna the Deputy Director of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department.
As more businesses open each day, complaints from the public have been coming into both the city and state. Dimenna said most of the complaints are for people out in public without face coverings. He says since they’ve been a requirement those complaints have picked up. However, he says it’s not something they can send someone out to enforce every time.
The city’s Fire Marshal’s Office also responds to complaints. They say the majority of the reports they’ve handled relate to capacity concerns in businesses.
“If there’s a complaint that comes in regards to capacity or not social distancing, we will go to the business and make contact with the management or owners and make sure that they’re aware of the public health order and what it states,” said Captain Jacob Goevelinger with the Albuquerque Fire Marshal’s Office.
The state’s Environment Department also has a map online where you can see coronavirus-related complaints about businesses around New Mexico. As of Monday, the New Mexico Environment Department had received 4,880 complaints of alleged public health order violations since the shutdown started.
City complaints can be made through 311. The state also has a site set up for complaints on its main coronavirus page.
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