Mayor Keller, city officials discuss unemployment resources amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and city officials held a conference on Friday to discuss safety nets for workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mayor Keller briefly discussed the New Mexico Public Education Department’s announcement that students will shift to a learn at school model as schools will remain closed for the remainder of the year. School meal programs will continue and Albuquerque Public Schools will be providing additional updates at a later time regarding distance learning.

Pace bicycle rentals will stop as the organization is not able to maintain operations at this time.

Optum New Mexico is transitioning its three testing locations to serve exclusively as fever upper respiratory infection sites. The sites will no longer be seeing any other type of visits.

Rio Grande Food Project is currently seeking volunteers to help pack and distribute boxes every Monday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Those interested can meet in the parking lot of the westside Legacy Church on Monday, March 30.

Comcast is offering Internet Essentials and additional upgrades to those who qualify.

Secretary of Workforce Solutions Bill McCamley explained that due to the governor’s public health stay-at-home order, many people are unable to work and has resulted in a large increase of individuals applying for unemployment. Over the past week, there have been 38,491 people who have submit initial claims for unemployment.

There are 16,663 individuals who are currently in the system that are waiting for their claim to be adjudicated. McCamley states the trust fund has a healthy balance of $452 million and explains that those in need of benefits should be able to receive them for the foreseeable future.

This comes as unemployment topped 17,000 for New Mexico, more than 20 times the number of claims filed the week before. The state is waiving the job search requirements for those affected by coronavirus.

New Mexicans helped make up a record 3.28 million Americans who filed for unemployment last week.

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