Mayor Keller, Congresswoman Deb Haaland provide update on local coronavirus response

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Congresswoman Deb Haaland joined Mayor Tim Keller virtually during the mayor’s daily press conference on Wednesday to provide information on the city’s local response to the coronavirus pandemic.

General updates

In response to the pandemic, New Mexico Agriculture Department and New Mexico’s food industry is working to supply Native American communities across the state with food. Other collaborators in this initiative include private food producers, the Department of Indian Affairs, New Mexico State University, and Aging and Long Term Services.

The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division is issuing temporary licenses to around 32,000 residents whose licenses have or will expire before May 15. The licenses will be made available to residents via email.

The University of New Mexico will have its own location where it will offer free outdoor WiFi. It will be available in the Rio Parking Lot located near the UNM Student Service Center at University and Avenida Cesar Chavez and will be offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Donations to the One Albuquerque Fund will fund 10 more micro-business grants. These businesses will receive $5,000 thanks to a $50,000 contribution from donors.

Those who submit online applications for the $1 million relief fund for nonprofit organizations are being processed as quickly as possible.

Albuquerque Coronavirus Bright Spots Data Hub

Mayor Keller went over the city’s data hub that provides residents with real-time information regarding coronavirus cases, community resources, funding, and volunteer data. The data hub now is tracking essential worker childcare hours, the amount of funds donated to the city, senior welfare checks, and also has an interactive map showing WiFi access locations, meal sites, and Open Space locations.

The mayor announced that after previously discussing Tohajiilee’s need for emergency resources, the Albuquerque community including the Department of Senior Affairs, and the Albuquerque Police Department were able to donate 5,834 pounds of supplies including non-perishable food items, hygiene products, and cleaning supplies.

On Saturday, the city will be accepting donations of PPE from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Starr Brothers Brewing Company, Smith’s located at Tramway, and Bosque School. Businesses and individuals are asked to donate face shields, gowns, gloves, and homemade, surgical, procedural or N95 masks.

Congresswoman Deb Haaland

Haaland was able to join the press conference virtually as she is in self-quarantine following a trip to Washington D.C. She highlighted the federal funding provided to the community through the CARES Act.

  • $150 million in emergency funding
  • $16.7 million for the Sunport
  • $79.8 million for transit

Congresswoman Haaland and the delegation also announced this week $6 million for contact tracing and statewide COVID-19 testing. Last week, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act which granted relief for healthcare workers, families, and small businesses.

$310 billion will go towards additional funding for PPP with $30 billion reserved for community-based lenders small banks and credit unions. $50 billion will go toward SBA disaster lending and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants.

Frontline workers will receive $75 billion to provide PPE and additional resources. $25 billion will go toward virus testing.

Haaland explains that the bill did not include funding for tribal governments which lawmakers are working to provide in the upcoming bill. She also explains her goal to remove restrictions to use emergency funding so that local governments can use it to make up for lost revenue and to provide funding to provide access to high-speed broadband internet in rural areas.

Haaland encourages anyone who is having difficulty accessing benefits or is in need of assistance regarding Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security or any other federal program to call her office at 505-436-6781.

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New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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