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Bernalillo County

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Commission Declares Emergency in Bernalillo County

03/17/2020
3:24 PM
Tom Thorpe, O (505) 314-0403, C (505) 414-0485 - tthorpe@bernco.gov

Bernalillo County – 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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About Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is 1,160 square miles and is New Mexico’s most populous county with more than 676,000 residents. Bernalillo County government provides a wide range of public services to residents who live in Albuquerque, Los Ranchos and Tijeras and the 111,000 residents who live outside the village and city limits in the unincorporated areas of the county. Bernalillo County employs approximately 2,500 people and has an annual operating budget and capital investments of more than $650 million. Elected officials include five county commissioners, assessor, clerk, probate judge, sheriff, and treasurer.

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