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Coronavirus in New Mexico: Here's what's closed in Farmington, some events postponed

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The City of Farmington has announced several city programs will be closed until further notice as concerns about the coronavirus known as COVID-19 continue to grow. 

The announcement came hours after the New Mexico Department of Health issued an order prohibiting large gatherings of 100 people or more.

Farmington is closing the following locations: 

  • E3 Children's Museum and Science Center
  • Farmington Aquatic Center
  • Farmington Recreation Center
  • Sycamore Park Community Center
  • Lions Pool
  • Farmington Indian Center
  • Bonnie Dallas Senior Center

While the senior center's facilities and programs are closed, the Meals on Wheels program will continue to deliver meals and the meals currently served at the senior center will be available to go in a drive-through process, according to a press release the city issued on March 12. 

Blanco and Lower Valley senior centers will also offer drive-through meals rather than serving them in the senior center, according to a press release from San Juan County. Home delivered meals will be continued. Senior center activities are canceled starting March 13.

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The county is continuing to urge people to refrain from visiting senior living homes during this time and to discuss electronic visitation options with the assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

“The closures are for the safety of our patrons in accordance with the governor’s public health order issued this morning,” said Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes in the press release. “Most of these are mandatory, all are strongly advised by the governor’s direction.” 

A crowd gathers for lunch, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington.

The Farmington Civic Center is remaining open, however large events will be canceled. Small private events scheduled to take place at the civic center will be allowed to continue.

The Farmington Public Library remains open for patrons to check out materials and use computers, however library activities and programming have been canceled.

The Farmington Museum remains open. Riverside Nature Center will also remain open, but large tours have been canceled.

The Farmington Regional Animal Shelter remains open and volunteers are welcome to walk dogs, but large group tours will not occur until further notice.

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“It’s important for everyone to follow the guidelines set forth by health care professionals to reduce the spread of this illness," said Mayor Nate Duckett in the press release. "These are simple steps we all can take to help keep our community safe. Those steps are washing your hands often for a minimum of 20 seconds, covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, staying home when you are sick and practicing social distancing, which is keeping a distance of 6 feet from other people while in public places.”

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The city plans to post closure notices and modified programming notices on March 13 on its website, fmtn.org.

Home Expo postponed 

The annual Home Expo is being postponed following the New Mexico Department of Health issuing an order prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.

The order came as five New Mexico residents have tested positive for the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

The San Juan County Home Expo has been canceled following a New Mexico Department of Health announcement prohibiting large gatherings.

The expo usually draws more than 80 vendors in addition to the hundreds of visitors that attend. Those vendors include builders, contractors, remodelers, designers, landscapers, DIY experts and vendors selling home wares and décor.

It was scheduled to kick off at noon March 13 and continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 14 at the Farmington Civic Center.

San Juan County Home Builders Association Executive Officer River Dees said after speaking with the Farmington mayor the association chose to postpone the event to a later date. She said vendors are being notified and the association is reaching out to people on social media to let them know.

A new date has not yet been chosen.

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Large McGee Park events being canceled or postponed

Meanwhile, San Juan County is reaching out to organizations that have reserved McGee Park. County spokesman Devin Neeley said the county is asking organizations to cancel or postpone events that are anticipated to draw more than 100 visitors.

Neeley said that includes seven events scheduled between March 12 and April 9.

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Climate change conference canceled

San Juan Citizens Alliance has also canceled its Four Corners Climate Change Conference originally scheduled for March 27. Spokesman Zach Pavlik said the decision to cancel the conference was made on March 11 following the governor issuing a declaration of health emergency. He said most of the people who registered to attend the conference has been notified and the nonprofit environmental advocacy group has reached out to the presenters. Pavlik said San Juan Citizens Alliance has not decided if it will reschedule the conference.

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Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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