The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Commissioners get COVID-19 insight


May 20, 2020

CLOVIS — Curry County commissioners got no guarantees on what state public health orders would be a few days from now, let alone the next few weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But commissioners did get some insight from Brian Moore, co-chair of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Economic Advisory Council, during their Tuesday morning meeting.

Moore, a grocery store owner in Clayton, told commissioners he feels like he and co-chair Christina Campos represent the smaller populations of the state’s eastern side while most of the council comes form larger cities. Campos is a hospital administrator in Santa Rosa.

The state, Moore said, is seeking a transmission rate — meaning the average amount one person infects — of 1.15 statewide. The state is running around 1.22, and the east side of the state running at 1.06 has helped justify some of the early health order relaxation. He’s hoping restaurants can offer dine-in service around June 1, but notes it’s not his call.

“She’s really data driven,” Moore said of Lujan Grisham. “Of course, she came from a public health background. When I first met her (as a legislator), she was secretary of health.”

Moore said in general, the state looks at data on Tuesday and announces decisions on Wednesdays because, “we can’t wait until Friday and call all of the restaurants; it doesn’t work that way.”

The biggest three concerns the governor’s office generally has are:

• Daily tests. The goal is 5,000 per day, and last week the state was at around 4,900 daily.

• Contact tracing, which is difficult with privacy issues. “They just try to get somebody in a room and ask them everybody they’ve been with,” Moore said. “That’s not efficient or sustainable.”

• Intensive care unit bed capacity. Most counties are fine in this regard, though Bernalillo has had to take on overflows from McKinley County.

Moore is hopeful to have directives soon on events with large groups, like the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and county fairs. Commission Chairman Ben McDaniel said he’d appreciate that guidance as soon as possible, as Curry has more fair contracts than normal due to a 100th-year celebration.


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