The Taos County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency due to growing concerns of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
In a meeting limited to 10 people on Tuesday (March 17), the commission passed a motion to declare a health emergency and shifted $300,000 in the budget to be made available for the situation.
The earmarked money provides $95,000 for safety equipment and $22,000 for field supplies in Taos County.
Public access to the Taos County Complex has been limited to one entrance and exit and all visitors must check in at the front desk. In addition, all county employees have been instructed to disinfect their desk twice per day.
“Taos County recognizes that we have a health epidemic at this point,” said Taos County Manager Brent Jaramillo.
Jaramillo said the Taos County Emergency Managment team has been meeting daily to discuss the plans for dealing with the virus.
The team consists of emergency responders who are advising the public to remain calm through the situation.
During the meeting, Holy Cross Medical Center CEO Bill Patton spoke about the current situation at the hospital and reminded the public that only those with symptoms of the virus would be allowed to be tested at this point.
“People can’t be tested just because they want to know, unless they have symptoms,” Patton said. “As of today, you have to meet medical criteria.”
Those criteria include a fever over 100.4, a dry cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.
Patton confirmed one presumptive positive case who was tested at Holy Cross. According to Patton, the patient and his family were traveling on the East Coast and were tested, treated and released from Holy Cross.
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