Taos follows governor’s orders, shuts down

Morgan Timms/Taos News

Assistant aquatics supervisor Vanessa Martinez checks the temperature of Taos masters swimmer Kate Raphael of Dixon on Wednesday (Sept. 16) before her workout at the Taos Youth and Family Center. All swimmers' temperatures are checked upon entering the complex.

Both the town of Taos and Taos County governments are following Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's recent COVID-19 guidelines and shutting down all non-essential businesses beginning Monday (Nov. 16). Due to the recent rise in cases across Taos County and the state, the governor ordered a two-week lockdown, including a shelter-in-place order and the halt of indoor dining. Starting Monday, non-essential businesses are ordered to close down until Nov. 30 and “essential” businesses will be limited to 25 percent capacity or 75 customers, whichever is fewer. Additionally, all businesses must close by 10 p.m.

The town will close all public buildings Monday.The following town facilities will be closed from Nov. 16 to Nov. 30: Taos Library, Taos Youth and Family Center, Town Hall Lobby, all town parks and all town buildings. Along with closings from the town, the Regional Transit District Blue Bus will also be halting operations until further notice.

Taos County buildings – including community centers, senior centers, and Felimon Sanchez Park – will be closed the public. The Assessor's office and Planning office will be open to "title companies, financial institutions, and the construction industry by appointment only if we cannot service them electronically," said a press release from the County. They also said they will be working to develop contactless dropboxes "if constituents cannot work through email."

Along with the localities listed above, the following state agencies are also closed through Nov. 30:  All Taxation and Revenue offices and all MVD offices.

All schools will continue operating under their current online only or hybrid models for the time being. The Taos County landfill and Waste Water Treatment Plant also will operate at normal hours.

According to a press release from the town, "all emergency services will remain fully staffed and available 24/7 and all other Town departments and services will continue to remain accessible to the public during normal work days and hours by phone, mail or email. Utility payments can be made online or by phone. Requests for records can be made through the Town’s website or by calling the Clerk’s Office."

However, due to a reduction in staff for safety reasons, the town said to expect public service phone lines to "be busier and response times for some offices may be longer than normal. If you are unable to get an answer, please leave a message or email us."

For further information about this press release or its contents, contact the Town Manager’s Office at (575) 751-2002 or email rbellis@taosgov.com or cromero@taosgov.com.

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