Submitted by our on the road correspondent and long haul driver Tom Kauffman
On Friday, May 1st, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham declared a state of emergency to mitigate the uninhibited spread of COVID19 in the particularly hard-hit city of Gallup, New Mexico.
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 said.
"It’s infection trend has shown no sign of flattening," according to the statement.
McKinley County has reported an additional 207 positive cases in the last two days, more than every other county in the state has reported total during the pandemic except for three, according to state officials. After she declared the state of emergency that she invoked the state riot control act, and issued a formal statement.
Under the Riot Control Act, anyone who fails to comply with restrictions imposed under the act is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense is guilty of a fourth-degree felony.
The emergency order and road closures will be enforced by Gallup city police, the McKinley County Sheriff's Department, the New Mexico State Police, and the Department of Transportation. The New Mexico National Guard will provide support in a non-law enforcement capacity.
Travelers should be aware and plan accordingly because no services will be available in the Gallup area. For those traveling interstate 40, exit 39, Jamestown, NM was open for fuel as of noon Monday, May 4th. The next major municipality traveling west would be Holbrook Arizona.