Grocery store closures in rural towns leaves people on edge | KOB 4

Grocery store closures in rural towns leaves people on edge

Megan Abundis
Updated: November 19, 2020 06:18 PM
Created: November 19, 2020 04:56 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Several grocery stores in New Mexico have been forced to shut down due to a COVID-19 outbreak among workers.

The impact of a store closing in rural towns has consequences.

Lines begin to form, and people are forced to travel farther to another store.

"This feels dire. Along this whole process, I haven't felt dire, but this does because if our Walmart is the only one in the region open," said Vanessa Harvey, who lives in Artesia. "It's not going to have stock very long."

New Mexico State Sen. Joe Cervantes tweeted that "Santa Fe needs more common sense." He fears people from Las Cruces will travel to El Paso, a COVID-19 hotspot, if their grocery stores are closed.

The governor's office said they take that into consideration when an essential business is forced to close.

"Yes, we absolutely consider the availability of other options in a community before making closure decisions. Yes, we understand that may cause temporary inconveniences for shoppers, but this is a public health crisis where lives are at stake. The focus of these efforts is fully to curb the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 we are seeing throughout the state, not to cut New Mexicans off from essential supplies."

The approach does little to erase the worry for people in smaller cities.

"The state's got too heavy-handed of the approach and the one-size-fits-all approach, which they have used for a very long time, has really been detrimental to the rural areas," said Steve Dodsen, who lives in Roswell.


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