Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has authorized a lockdown in Gallup, her office announced Friday.
By noon Friday, all roads into the city were closed and all businesses will close from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. as vehicles are limited to a maximum of two individuals and residents are instructed to stay home except for emergencies or essential trips.
“I recognize this request is unusual and constitutes a drastic measure, and the emergency powers set out under the Riot Control Act should be invoked sparingly,” Gallup Mayor Louis Bonaguidi said in a statement released by the Governor’s Office. “However, the COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Gallup is a crisis of the highest order. Immediate action is necessary.”
Lujan Grisham authorized the lockdown through her authority under the Riot Control Act, which allows the governor of New Mexico to temporarily bar people from streets, highways and permits other broad emergency powers.
Gallup police, McKinley County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico State Police and the Department of Transportation will enforce the lockdown, Lujan Grisham’s office said.
The order comes after requests from former Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney and Bonaguidi, who was sworn into office Thursday afternoon.
The state of emergency in Gallup is effective until noon Monday.
“We fully support the proactive measures implemented by Governor Lujan Grisham, at the request of the City of Gallup,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement. “We have many members of the Navajo Nation that reside in Gallup and many that travel in the area and their health and safety is always our top priority. Thank you to the Governor for her leadership and decisive actions. We urge everyone to stay home, stay safe, and save lives!”
The Governor’s Office also released statements from state lawmakers from the area expressing support for the lockdown.
(c)2020 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.)
Visit The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.) at www.santafenewmexican.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.