Mayor Keller announces precautionary measures to protect people from COVID-19 | KOB 4

Mayor Keller announces precautionary measures to protect people from COVID-19

Casey Torres
Updated: March 14, 2020 10:33 PM
Created: March 14, 2020 09:14 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- Mayor Tim Keller and several departments with the city held a Saturday morning briefing on what the city is doing to lower the spread of the Coronavirus.

Mayor Keller said there is a new division made up of two teams: a short and long term team.


The short term will look into public health options for the next three days, while the long term team will cover the next three weeks.

One focus is on social distancing. If there is not enough of it, city officials will look for a way to help improve the situation.

The mayor also said he is in touch with the Conference of Mayors leadership team where he is able to discuss with city leaders across the country what they are doing and exchange ideas with each other.

The Mayor also addressed the Albuquerque economy after several events were canceled and postponed.

"The repercussions of this, we're gonna be feeling for at least a year, if not two years out. That even has to do with things like city budgets, all the extras and so forth. We'll see how bad it gets," said Keller.

However, he said the city usually holds 12% in reserves, which is about $100 million that should hold up for the next three weeks.

With the 25% in reserves for the state's general fund, he believes the city is covered for the short term too.

Mayor Keller said tax revenue will likely decrease, but within the next several years he expects things to balance out.

Since Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency, Keller said the city can tap into emergency funds.

He also said the city is also working on applying for reimbursement from federal and state emergency funding.

City officials mentioned which city facilities were closed or still open until April 15th:

  • The Cultural Services Department is closing its museum, Explora, the International Balloon Museum, the library system, the Kimo theater and other facilities.
  • The Bio Park will have its outdoor activities open, but inside facilities are closed.
  • The Parks and Recreation Department closed all indoor facilities, but outdoor activities are still available.
  • The Department of Senior Affairs will continue to offer home services, transportation and meals.
  • The city's homeless shelter will remain open while educating families of the virus and offering in-house resources to practice proper hygiene.

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