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County Manager

County Urging “Calm Concern” With Regard to COVID-19 Virus


Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca is asking the community to be alert, take the necessary safety precautions, and follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines with regard to the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), while exercising “Calm Concern.”

“People should not panic, but instead take a calm and sensible approach to possible exposure to the coronavirus,” says County Manager Julie Morgas Baca. “The governor has given all New Mexicans some guidelines, the county is supporting those recommendations and will assess, on a daily basis, the effect this has on county operations.”

The county will follow the state directive issued today postponing or cancelling events with attendance projections of 100 or more people. County events will be re-evaluated every 30 days.

Bernalillo County is instituting three immediate changes:

  • All county employee travel is cancelled and all employee-training sessions have been postponed, regardless of the number of employees scheduled to attend.
  • County maintenance crews have been ordered to increase sanitizing and cleaning regimens in all county facilities until further notice.
  • The county has begun identifying essential personnel in each department to work in citizen-facing areas necessary for residents to conduct business with the county in the event the county institutes telecommuting for non-essential county employees.

These changes will never affect public safety personnel such as fire and rescue or law enforcement.

Community centers, fitness centers and senior meal sites will all remain open. Any closure of centers or cancellation of events is being assessed, by the Infectious Disease Team, on a daily basis.

The county Department of Emergency Management has been monitoring the coronavirus situation in Bernalillo County for the past 60 days.

“All Bernalillo County emergency operations staff have been on stand-by for roughly 30 days pending the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the county,” says County Emergency Manager Richard Clark. “We have been organizing in the event of the virus spreading and ways to keep our residents safe and keep them informed with reliable, accurate information.”

Emergency management and county health officials are urging everyone to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and health safety to include:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Use hand sanitizer frequently or when soap is unavailable
  • Cover your cough and sneeze
  • Avoid contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands


  • Avoid enclosed gatherings
  • Avoid travel to areas where coronavirus is prevalent

Bernalillo County urges all residents to be diligent and know your health surroundings. Be informed, not afraid.

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    • Art Along the Rio Grande: Experience Nature Through the Artists' Lens is a visual exploration of the ecological and cultural richness of the South Valley’s Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge. The exhibit is a joint project of the Refuge, Gutiérrez Hubbell House, Friends of Valle de Oro, Hubbell House Alliance, and Bernalillo County Public Art. Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is the Southwest’s first urban refuge, located in the South Valley, just a few miles south of downtown Albuquerque. The refuge is in the process of restoring a former dairy farm back to a mosaic of native New Mexico habitats in order to provide an oasis for wildlife as well as an abundance of education and recreation opportunities for the community. The exhibit showcases the work of local artists in diverse mediums. For the past 7 years, photographers of all ages and skill levels have been invited to participate in an annual photo contest hosted by the refuge, to capture images of the refuge's wildlife, landscapes and people. This exhibit will feature the winning images from the 2019 photo contest, highlighting the refuge this past year as it begins restoration. Sketches and images from the Fall 2019 field mural project featuring 5 women muralists will be on display at GHH. The murals can still be seen at the Refuge, while sketches, photos, and other works reflect the goals and processes of the artists. Artwork by local Artist Wren Walraven, will also be featured. Wren’s artwork content comes from her personal experiences with wildlife, her passion for those animals and the magical desert scenery. Join us in this celebration of the South Valley’s environmental beauty, creativity, and community connections.
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