The city is under emergency restrictions to control the outbreak, according to a statement from New Mexico State Attorney Michelle Lujan Grisham.
All roads into the city are closed. and at And vehicles can only carry two individuals, according to the governor's order. The governor recommends that residents stay home, except for emergency excursions and those that are important for health and safety.
Lujan Grisham called on state law on rebel control to authorize these temporary restrictions. The move comes after the mayor asked the governor to declare a state of emergency in the city, according to a letter published by the governor's office.
"I am aware that this request is unusual and constitutes a drastic measure, and the emergency powers provided for under the Rebellion Control Act should be invoked with caution," Gallup Mayor Louis Bonaguidi wrote in his letter. "However, the COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Gallup is a crisis of the highest order. Immediate action is needed."
Gallup is in McKinley County, which has 1,027 positive cases of Covid-19 as of Thursday. The county has more than 30% of the state's 3,411 cases and the most positive cases in the entire state, the governor's statement states.
"The infection trend has not shown signs of flattening," according to the statement.
McKinley County has reported an additional 207 positive cases over the past two days, more than all other counties in the state have reported in total during the pandemic except three, according to state officials.
Under the Rebellion Control Act, anyone who fails to comply with the restrictions imposed by the law is guilty of a misdemeanor and, if convicted of another or subsequent offense, is guilty of a fourth-degree felony.
& # 39; Virus running amok & # 39;
The emergency order and closures of the road will be enforced by Gallup City Police, McKinley County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico State Police and the State Department of Transportation. The New Mexico National Guard will provide support in a non-law enforcement capacity.
"The spread of this virus in McKinley County is daunting," Lujan Grisham said. "And it shows that physical distancing has not happened and does not occur. The virus runs amok there. It needs to be stopped, and stricter measures are needed."
Any state of emergency announced under the Rebellion Control Act automatically ends at 12 noon on the third day after it enters into force. The Gallup emergency comes into effect immediately and expires at noon Monday, May 4, unless the city requests an extension.
The Navajo nation has expanded the state of emergency, saying that the nation's government offices will now be closed until May 17. The Navajo Nation extends into the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, covering more than 27,000 square miles.
Navajo National President Jonathan Nez says he supports the governor's lockdown plan.
"We have many members of the Navajo Nation who live in Gallup, and many who travel in the area and their health and safety is always our top priority," he said.
"The need for all of us to be at home and physically distant has not changed. It's even more crucial for new Mexicans in the Northwest region. But what's happening in the Northwest can happen in every part of the state. We have to be vigilant," he said. Lujan Grisham.