Visitors flock to Grindstone Lake, midtown and local restaurants during Phase 1 of operations
Anaheim Jacks restaurant manager, Steve Silva, explained why it is operating patio dining despite Gov. Grisham's orders on May 14. Ruidoso News
Despite orders from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on May 14, tourists and visitors flocked to lakes and the Village of Ruidoso's midtown without face coverings and ignored physical distancing on Saturday.
Village officials sent personnel to several locations with packets containing educational pamphlets on safety, masks, gloves and contact information for those with questions about the mandates.
The public health order meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 was modified on May 15, easing some restrictions and "requiring face coverings."
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What you should know about the public health orders
"There are so some many grey areas in what we can and cannot do. It is not a law to wear a mask and physical distancing (social) is 10 or fewer people. However, we are asking the community when out in public, to wear a face mask. We have to keep the number of cases here down. So far, the community has done a great job helping us do this," said Village of Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford.
Only three cases of COVID-19 were reported in Lincoln County as of May 20.
Officials asked the community to follow the modified orders and continued to educate residents about the potential serious health risks.
As of May 15, the revised orders stated that:
- No more than 10 people in one gathering
- Wear a mask whenever possible
- Practice physical distancing of 6 feet or greater
Local business owners: "It's unconstitutional"
"If the big box stores can be opened, then why can these mom and pop shops be. These businesses are their livelihood, and many of them have permanently closed because they could not maintain operations," said general manage of Anaheim Jacks Steve Silva.
The restaurant opened for patio dining on May 15. The restaurant's reopening was in contradiction to Phase 1 plans for reopening adopted by the Village earlier this month.
Silva hoped that this would encourage other businesses to follow suit and stated that the orders are an "infringement of our rights."
"We are doing everything we can to encourage locals and visitors to wear a mask. We will continue to educate the community about safe practices. We are watching the spread of the virus and will continue to do so. We want everyone to use common sense and to be safe," said Crawford.
As of May 15, the state continued to evaluate which areas are safe and can be regulated in line with public health needs.
Village officials asked the community not to use 911 for non-emergency calls.
"We are continuing do everything possible to keep our community safe as the department always has. The department is trying to support the governors directives to make sure everyone is doing the right thing," said police chief Darren Hooker.
The department would like to remind the community and visitors that 911 is to be used for emergencies only.
Officials asked that locals and visitors should be take precautionary measures and use common sense when out in public areas.
The village is expecting large crowds over Memorial Day weekend and continued to ask that the community practice "safety first."
"We want people to respect each other and their choices. We have to work together to see that we rebuild our economy in a safe way," Crawford said.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact the Coronavirus Hotline at
1-855-600-3453 or visit the NMDOH at cv.nmhealth.org.
For more information or concerns visit the Village of Ruidoso website at www.Ruidoso-nm.gov.
Pamela L. Bonner may be reached at Pbonner@ruidosonews.com, Pam Bonner on Facebook, PamelaLbonner1 on Twitter, or by phone at 557-202-5555.