ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque city officials held their daily press conference on Monday to update the public on the city’s local coronavirus response as well as updates on 311 operations and call trends.
There is a new COVID-19 testing site available at Walmart located on Academy and Wyoming. The site is run through a partnership between Walmart, Quest Diagnostics, and the Department of Health and will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Food and Drug Administration has released guidelines on disinfecting Personal Protective Equipment. Albuquerque’s three hospitals, University of New Mexico Hospital, Presbyterian, and Lovelace will be working with staff to implement these protocols and are also looking to educate the public on this as well.
Mayor Keller thanks the public for its generosity as many residents have been making donations around the community including masks and gloves to essential workers.
The Albuquerque Police Department did not many any citations regarding the enforcement of the health orders over the weekend. All of the city’s smoke shops are now closed.
Hotels around the city are being used during to help individuals who were exposed to the virus self-isolate. The use of hotel vouchers has prevented the city from opening up emergency shelters. The Department of Senior Affairs as well as other departments are providing food services to those individuals.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, 311 has seen a 10% increase in call volume. The 311 team has transitioned to telecommuting and is answering 80% of the calls in less than 30 seconds.
311 has been utilizing the City of Albuquerque COVID-19 data hub to be able to have the most current data available. The team has been working remotely since mid-March and has not seen any major interruptions in service.
Since March 11, 2020, 5,151 cases have been recorded specifically related to calls for coronavirus into 311. This represents 6.5% of the total call volume.
Mayor Keller reminds the public to call 311 for coronavirus information including test sites. Keller states that last week there was an increase in calls to 911 for testing information and this is strictly discouraged as 911 is for emergencies only.
There has been a significant decrease in calls to certain areas such as transit which has decreased by 17% and is expected as ridership is also down as a result from the stay-at-home order and bus schedule changes. 311 has also seen a 50% increase in general information requests compared to last year.
This is attributed to coronavirus related questions and referrals to other entities. With a large number of residents remaining at home, there has been an increase in calls for large-item pickup which has increased by 12% since the last year.
There has been an 88% increase in calls to Solid Waste services, specifically green waste compared to the previous year. Animal Welfare calls have also jumped 75%. These calls are primarily regarding pet adoptions and animal intake.
As a great deal of coronavirus information is funneled through Environmental Health, their department saw a major spike in 311 calls since March. Calls increased over 500% compared to last year.
The city was able to clear thousands of backlogged and unresolved abandoned vehicle tickets. There are currently only 99 open abandoned vehicle cases.
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