Coronavirus, News

LOCKDOWN: New Mexico Gov. Uses ‘Riot Control Act’ To Close All Roads Into Gallup Over Coronavirus Cases

New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham invoked the state’s Riot Control Act to close down and isolate Gallup, New Mexico from the rest of the state.

The tiny town of Gallup, NM (pop. 21,929), which is located in McKinley County, NM (pop. 71,367) and, according to the signs entering the town, “the most patriotic small town in America.”

However, despite there being 20 COVID-related deaths in all of McKinley County—which borders the Navajo nation—according to New Mexico’s Democrat Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Gallop is a coronavirus ‘hotspot’ where the virus has “run amok.”

This led Grisham on Friday to invoke the state’s Riot Control Act to close all roads going into Gallup and curtail all business for three days.

“It’s a little bit shocking because you’re not ready, the people or the businesses,” Germaine Garcia, co-owner of Genaro’s restaurant told KOB.com.

“You know, I don’t disagree with the lockdown,” Garcia said. “I just wish we had a little bit more warning.”

“Now people are just going to go down to Albuquerque, Winslow, Holbrook, Flagstaff to get the other stuff,” said Roman Herrera, co-owner of Genaro’s. “Now you just spread it, you know. Why not keep it here where we can keep it under control.”

According to the Governor’s press release:

Effective at 12 p.m., May 1, all roads into Gallup are closed. Businesses in the city of Gallup will close from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. Vehicles may only have a maximum of two individuals. Residents of the city should remain at home except for emergency outings and those essential for health, safety and welfare.

Gallup city police and McKinley County sheriff’s department will partner with New Mexico State Police and Department of Transportation to enforce the emergency order and road closures. The New Mexico National Guard will also provide support to this effort in a non-law enforcement capacity.

….Any state of emergency proclaimed under the Riot Control Act, along with any restrictions imposed for control of that emergency, terminates automatically at noon on the third day after it becomes effective unless sooner terminated by proclamation of the governor. The Gallup emergency is effective immediately and will expire at noon on Monday, May 4.

With the roads closed, New Mexico State Police charged with keeping traffic out of Gallup were directing southbound travelers on U.S. Highway 491 on a 78-mile detour through the Navajo Nation, reported the Navajo Times. “According to conversations overheard on the police scanner, some are getting lost.”

Like other states, New Mexico’s COVID-related deaths are among those who are aged with underlying health conditions.

[UPDATE: New Mexico town remains on lockdown to slow Covid-19 outbreak]

Hat-tip: Hot Air

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