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Commission Declares Emergency in Bernalillo County

03/17/2020

In an emergency session Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Bernalillo County Commission passed a resolution declaring all of Bernalillo County’s unincorporated area as an emergency area as the result of positive cases of COVID-19 within the county limits.

As a result of the resolution, county agencies and departments are authorized to utilize county resources and do everything reasonable to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the outbreak. Additionally, the county can request assistance from the state.

In a second move, the commission approved a Civil Emergency Management Powers Ordinance. The ordinance brings the county in line with the City of Albuquerque and State of New Mexico with the ability to protect the health and safety of residents as follows:

  • Declare curfew hours with violators subject to arrest
  • Close streets, alleys or other public thoroughfares
  • Order the closing of mass assembly to include theaters, clubs and performance or athletic spaces
  • Order the closing of child care or education facilities such as daycares, preschools or private educational institutions
  • Order that places of private employment take reasonable measures to minimize exposure to unusual infectious diseases or health risks to employees or customers to include additional cleaning and sanitizing protocols, partial or full closure, or allowing employees to work from home or take leave, and deploying social distancing protocols
  • Cancel county sponsored events and gatherings, cancel or impose limitations or special protocols for the provision of county services and the use of county facilities, distribution or redistribution of county resources and budgetary appropriations
  • Enter into agreements authorizing the use of county-owned properties by third parties, or agreements for the county’s use of non-county owned property outside the usual requirements for county real property transactions
  • Issue other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property

“These are important declarations to protect everyone in Bernalillo County,” says Commission Chair Lonnie Talbert.

The resolution and ordinance were brought before the commission by District 5 commissioner Charlene Pyskoty.

“The county’s top priority is the health and safety of all our residents and employees and these actions allow the city, county and state to all work together to protect all citizens and do what’s right for all New Mexicans,” says Commissioner Pyskoty.

Both the emergency area resolution and the emergency powers act were passed by the commission on a unanimous vote and take effect immediately.

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