Serving the High Plains

Quay County COVID-19 cases remain stable

The number of COVID-19 cases in Quay County remained stable, but the total kept rising in two prominent areas along Interstate 40.

McKinley County, where Gallup was under a state-mandated lockdown for nine days, hiked its total of confirmed coronavirus cases to 1,585 on Monday, by far the most in New Mexico. It also reported four deaths Monday.

The northwest part of New Mexico has one of the highest concentrations of COVID-19 in the country. San Juan County in that region totaled more than 1,100 cases Monday.

In Amarillo, the city’s Public Health Department reported more than 1,250 active cases Monday. The city welcomed a federal COVID-19 task force last week to help combat the virus. Another 400 cases were reported in Moore County, north of Amarillo.

Quay County has not reported a case — its fourth — since April 23. One Quay County resident has died from the disease.

In New Mexico, confirmed cases reached 5,069 on Monday, with 208 deaths. A total of 207 people are hospitalized with the virus. The state’s Department of Health stated 1,300 people have recovered from the virus.

Dental services

The state announced Friday dentists in all but three counties can resume providing non-essential dental care if they agree with guidelines to protect the supply of personal protective equipment for health workers.

The hard-hit counties of San Juan, McKinley and Cibola counties are exempt from the loosened dental restrictions.

The state’s guidelines include a PPE burn-rate calculator that dental providers can use to determine how quickly they are using up masks, face shields, gloves and gowns.

Testing expanded

The New Mexico Department of Health announced Monday testing for COVID-19 would be available for all workers in the state.

This includes all government employees, utility and construction workers, grocery and pharmacy employees, retail and wholesale, anyone in food service or other service industries, and any New Mexican at work who would like access to a test, symptomatic or not.

All testing is free to anyone getting the test, whether they have insurance or not.

Call the DOH office in Tucumcari at 575-461-2610 to make an appointment for the test.

Food stamp expansion

New Mexico families receiving food stamps soon will be able to use those to buy food online.

The USDA approved New Mexico’s application for the online program, the state Human Services Department announced Thursday.

Amazon and Walmart are the authorized online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program retailers for all states. The program will go live later this month.

State grants offered

The All Together NM Fund will award $750,000 in grants to help the state’s smallest businesses survive the pandemic.

According to a news release Friday from the governor, the funding will be divided among four New Mexico nonprofit organizations – WESST, Rio Grande Community Development Corp., NM Community Capital and DreamSpring — that will award and administer grants of up to $5,000 for businesses with five or fewer employees.

Microbusinesses with existing relationships with one of the four nonprofits will receive guidance from it about how to apply. Micro businesses seeking more information on the grant process should contact one of the nonprofits directly.

More about the program may be found at

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