By City of Santa Fe
NEW MEXICO TRUE COLORS: The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning April 7, with 20 New Mexico counties–including Santa Fe!–at the Turquoise Level and three at the Green Level. The majority of the state’s counties are now at or approaching the least restrictive levels.
DRIVE-IN VACCINATION DAYS ARE COMING: The City’s Office of Emergency Management is coordinating a series of large-scale drive-through vaccination events at the Midtown Campus in partnership with CHRISTUS St. Vincent, starting this Friday. The medical staff from CHRISTUS will deliver vaccines, the Police Department will be providing periodic patrols, and the Fire Department will provide a medical unit to support the post-shot observation team and address any reactions to the vaccine. National Guard will be present to help manage traffic. In order to get vaccinated at these events, people must have already received an invitation and event code from the Department of Health, where all registration is centralized. For future events, register on the DOH site. CHRISTUS’s goal is to deliver 2000-2500 vaccinations at each event, and there are 12 events scheduled in the next seven weeks (April 9-May 21).
HOW TO REGISTER: If you or someone you know needs guidance to get registered, you can call the NM Vaccine hotline (1-855-600-3453) and/or visit the New vaccine information website (vaccinenm.org/facts).
COMMUNITY IMMUNITY: New Mexico is in Phase 2 of the vaccination plan, which expands eligibility to all residents 16 years and older. Only the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for individuals 16 and 17 years old. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for individuals 18 years and older. The state distribution system continues to prioritize vaccination appointments for New Mexicans in earlier phases, including health care workers, New Mexicans 75 years and older, and New Mexicans 60 years and older with chronic conditions. Sixty-six percent of Santa Fe County residents have registered to get vaccinated. Good, but 75-80% need to be vaccinated, and soon: We’re in a race against the arrival of the variant strains. The faster people register, the faster we get shots in arms, the closer we are to achieving herd immunity.
OPERATION FACEMASK: The City of Santa Fe is now distributing free masks at libraries, recreation centers, and tourism offices. These are reusable/washable cotton masks that come in packs of five; one pack is provided per individual or two packs per household, while supplies last. The Emergency Proclamation that Mayor Webber signed last week is a powerful reminder that the City is still under a health emergency. Among many other requirements, wearing a mask when out in public is still the law: “Unless a healthcare provider instructs otherwise or the State exempts a person from wearing a facial covering, all individuals shall wear a mask or facial covering in public settings except when eating or drinking.” This applies to everyone–even those who have been vaccinated.
SANCTUARY CITY: Undocumented residents of Santa Fe may understandably be wary about registering for and receiving vaccines–but there’s nothing to worry about. There is no requirement at any stage of the process to declare immigration status. In a pandemic, what’s good for one of us is good for all of us.
SYMPTOMS? GET TESTED: We all want to open up and socialize, but the virus is still among us. If you feel symptoms or have possibly been exposed to the virus by being indoors with non-household members or traveling, get tested. You can do a rapid test. Christus St. Vincent Hospital has a pop-up drive through site on Cerrillos Rd. You will need an order from your health care provider. Call CHRISTUS St. Vincent Drive Thru Respiratory Collection site at (505) 913-4734 if you have any questions regarding testing services. Or you can seek out other testing locations attogethernm.org.
VACCINE EQUITY DAY: Tomorrow the Department of Health will hold a Facebook Live town hall with Deputy Secretary Dr. Laura Parajon, to answer questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Parajon has served in a variety of community-based positions, including Medical Director for the City of Albuquerque’s COVID-19 Response for People Experiencing Homelessness, Medical Education Director for Community Health Initiatives, and Executive Director for Community Health at UNM. When: Thursday, April 8th at 12 p.m. Where: Facebook Live, https://buff.ly/31xfj9C (a recording of the event will remain available on the DOH Facebook page)
TAX RETURN ADVICE: Depending on your situation, you might be able to increase your third stimulus check by filing your tax return right away. That’s because your next stimulus check will be based on either your 2019 tax return or your 2020 return – whichever one was most recently filed and processed when the IRS starts processing your third stimulus payment. For those whose income was less in 2020, that would mean a higher check.
NEED HELP? GET HELP:
- If you are in need of resources, whether it’s food, or help due to unemployment, or dealing with a housing crisis, go to Santafenm.gov/CONNECT for direction to resources that help during these tough economic times.
- You can apply for rental assistance at www.RentHelpNM.org. Apply online, or call 1-833-485-1334 to speak to a representative.
- COVID-fatigue is real. If you or a loved one is suffering with mental and/or behavioral health issues, please call 1-855-NMCRISIS hotline, reach out to your health care provider, and talk to a family member or friend immediately.
BEFORE YOU GO: Here are reminders of some helpful resources:
- ALLTOGETHERSANTAFE.org: Spanish-language materials and organizations aiding efforts in the fight against COVID
- Order your free test from vaulthealth.com and get it delivered to your home.