The order includes other essential businesses and has caused some real problems in some areas of the state.
New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made headlines in May for demanding that a jewelry store open up for her to make a purchase during lockdowns. Typical.
Now she’s making it difficult for residents across her state to purchase food and other essential items.
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In the name of “public health” the Democrat Governor has ordered that stores that have had multiple employees test positive for COVID-19 must close for 14 days. This has caused around 25 retailers — from Walmart to the New Mexico Food Distribution Center — all over the state to shut their doors for two weeks as of Monday.
Under Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health order, businesses with four or more rapid responses in a 14-day period have to shut down for two weeks.
As KOB 4 previously reported, the closures affect several essential business including grocery stores in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Roswell, Carlsbad, Farmington, Hobbs and Las Cruces.
Source: KOB4 News
These closures have had some unintended consequences, however.
In some areas, this has left customers who have tested positive with little choice but to wait in long lines and go grocery shopping themselves because some of the stores that offered delivery have closed.
The Governor’s office disputes this claim telling KOB4 News, “The state is not forcing anyone to stand in a crowded line, as you suggest.”
The Governor’s statement continues, “There is no community in the state of New Mexico where COVID-19 closures have closed off all food and water or medicine options for any community or group of people. Every single community where the virus is forcing closures has alternate stores, alternate resources. Moreover, stores are only ordered closed for the protection of public safety when the store’s staff members have an abundance of COVID-19 infections among them – surely you and everyone in New Mexico can agree that not one of us would like to be shopping among staff that are contagious.”
But John Block at Pinon Post says the governor’s office claims are “untrue and easily disprovable.” He posted photos of New Mexicans waiting in long lines outside of grocery stores with dates and time stamps. The photos were taken between Nov. 13 and Nov. 23.
“Upon the news that limits of 75 people inside each store, retailers pre-emptively began limiting capacities to begin compliance with the mandate,” Block said…
…Larry Behrens, Western States Director for Power The Future, disagrees [With The Governor’s statement]. He told The Center Square, “Our state currently suffers from high unemployment brought on by the same governor who passed a controversial energy law that will kill jobs and raise electric rates. The fact she will keep cashing her taxpayer-funded paycheck while her constituents stand in line for food should surprise no one.”
Source: Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner article notes that New Mexico is one of the most food-insecure states in the country according to a recent Feeding America report.
There are resources for those who have been impacted by COVID shutdowns or otherwise need food assistance in New Mexico. The Roadrunner Food Bank has set up the Online Food Finder tool, or they can call Roadrunner’s food assistance line for help at 505-349-5340 or 575-523-4390.
State officials are encouraging anyone without access to a local grocery store to call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-551-0518.
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