ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller and city officials held a briefing on Thursday where he broke down the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and announced they will be providing daily updates.
Coronavirus Response and Recovery Teams
Mayor Keller also announced the activation of short and long term coronavirus response teams that will be responsible for identifying important city plans that relate to a range of actions such as community health, kids programming, emergency funding, workers’ wellbeing, and economic and housing impacts.
Response teams will also deal with what it will require to keep essential services going while also considering the socioeconomic consequences and additional public health precautions. The mayor will also meet with Central New Mexico leaders including local officials, legislators, and Pueblo governors regarding the response to the virus.
Family & Community Services Department deputy director of Health Programs, Gilbert Ramirez will lead the short term rapid response short term team. Ramirez is a licensed clinical social worker and has a background in assisting the underserved.
The City of Albuquerque’s Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Michelle Melendez will be leading the long term recovery team. She has a background in public health and has over 18-years experience in social justice and public health.
“Our rapid response team will focus on the immediate impacts of the Coronavirus during the next thirty days,” said Mayor Keller in a press release. “Our long-term team will work through scenarios including recovery efforts. With the situation changing rapidly, it’s essential to organize around getting the best outcomes in a difficult situation. Organized leadership enables Albuquerque’s resilience as this situation progresses.”
Additional city leaders who will aid in coronavirus response are City Environmental Health Department Director Ryan Mast, City Director of Emergency Management Roger Ebner, and Deputy Director of Environmental Health, Dr. Mark DiMenna.
Hospitals are asking the public to check with individual locations on their visitation rules during this time. UNMH currently has a strict visitation policy while Presbyterian has a no visitation policy. For more information, the public is instructed to visit each hospital’s website for updates.
The city will not be proceeding with any nonpayment evictions at any of their affordable housing units at this time unless there is a public safety concern. The Albuquerque Housing Authority is also taking steps to prevent and stop any evictions and anyone with questions regarding this matter is asked to contact them directly.
The City of Albuquerque, in partnership with other organizations, is asking the New Mexico Supreme Court to put a pause on all evictions for nonpayment across the state. Anyone who is facing eviction is encouraged to get in contact with Health & Social Services at one of their four locations.