Many using new state hotline to report non-compliant businesses, large gatherings

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Not everyone is following the governor’s directive banning big gatherings and forcing non-essential businesses to close in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

It turns out, there are plenty of people willing to expose the rule-breakers over the new state hotline. KRQE News 13 has received a lot of calls and emails from call center employees wondering if they should still be working.

Additionally, another woman said she saw a food business ignoring the rules for takeout, so she reported it to the state’s enforcement hotline.

“They don’t have a drive-thru, they’re not doing curb drop off or anything like that,” the anonymous caller explained. “People are not taking this seriously and I’m happy that the hotline is there.” That caller is worried about the workers’ health.

She seems to be wrong though because restaurants can do grab-and-go. She adds that she’s grateful for this state hotline to report businesses suspected of noncompliance and also people who are still gathering in groups greater than five people.

The governor’s office said as of Wednesday, that line has taken almost ninety calls and state police have taken another 120 directly.

They assume local police agencies and health departments are getting calls, too.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham this week said the ‘stay-at-home’ order would be in effect through April 10. “About whether or not we can enforce it: Absolutely we can,” the governor stated.

In an effort to ramp up enforcement, officials say they need the public’s help and want employees who feel like they’re being forced to work at a non-essential business to call the hotline number at 833-551-0518. When a non-compliance business is reported to the hotline, the governor’s office says a regulation licensing agent or state police officer will respond.

Business owners and individuals that ignore the order can face up to a $100 fine or up to six months in jail. Businesses could also lose their licenses.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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