ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller held a briefing on Tuesday, March 2 to provide an update on youth programming for spring and summer as well as the City of Albuquerque’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Keller went over Albuquerque’s progress against COVID-19, saying the city is at about the same level as we were last week. Official numbers will be provided by the state next week, however, the City estimates that as of Monday, March 1, Bernalillo County remains at 14.1 positive cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 with a test positivity rate of an estimated 2.8%.
Bernalillo County is currently in the Yellow Level restrictions and for the county to move to the Green Level, it would have to have 8 positive cases per 100,000 and a 5% or less test positivity rate. “So we need to keep doing the things we’ve been doing whether it’s getting tested, face masks, social distancing, continuing to register for the vaccine,” said Mayor Keller.
The mayor says that a slight increase in cases is expected as businesses begin to open back up however, the uptick should only be minor and that a downward trend should continue. “This also could just be a reflection of what happens when you switch from red to yellow and I think also a reason we have gating criteria and levels because it shows that as we start to open up a little bit we start to see a change in the numbers,” said Keller.
Albuquerque continues to perform better than the majority of similar large cities. Regarding the percentage of new positive tests, Denver was the only city to outperform Albuquerque with a 2.5% rate compared to Albuquerque’s 2.8%. Additionally, Denver had no COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 while Albuquerque had three per 100,000.
This year, the City of Albuquerque is striving to offer summer youth programming at the maximum capacity possible while also keeping participants and staff safe. The City held its Virtual Job Fair in February to get a head start on hiring youth to help facilitate the programs.
The City is still hiring and those interested are encouraged to view job listings and apply at cabq.gov/jobfair. Family & Community Services Department Division Manager Cristin Chavez-Smith explains that the department is looking to hire staff at pre-pandemic levels in order to increase program participation if the public health order allows for the county to loosen restrictions.
Community centers and multi-generational centers will open up the lottery process for program registration for two weeks starting at the beginning of May. Names will be drawn around the middle of May, which will then allow for registration.
Training for staff will take place at the start of June with programs beginning in the middle of the month. The Department of Arts & Culture is currently working on developing both in-person and virtual programming this summer and will start registration in April.
The ABQ BioPark still has openings for its virtual Spring Break Camp. Programs for Parks and Recreation will start registration in early May with their earliest programs beginning in early June.
Additional information on specific dates will be available soon. For more information on the City of Albuquerque summer programming, visit yc.cabq.gov.