ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Three businesses in New Mexico are temporarily shutting down the new request after four or more employees tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, according to state records.
Sunland Park Burnt Meat, Chaparral Materials in Santa Fe and Deming Producer in Deming were all sent a notice on Tuesday to temporarily close until November 17, according to information posted on the list under The New Mexico Ministry of the Environment’s quick response track.
These three companies were the first to be ordered to close in two weeks since the new quick response procedures under recent changes to the public health order came into effect last month.
Under the order, restaurants, retail stores, well-connected businesses, and other businesses that pose a “significant public health risk” must close for two weeks. if four staff tested positive for coronavirus within 14 days.
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Brett Jenkins, general manager of Deming Manufactured Homes, said he was surprised when he received the notice. He said the company, which employs about 150 employees, had a number of employees with positive results this year and each time he worked with the state government to get a proper response.
“Every time I give my report, the Environment Department is very commendable about the time we have spent keeping everyone here safe,” Jenkins said.
Since spring, the facility has used coronavirus protections such as mandatory masking, keeping away from society, checking the temperature and sending staff home with any symptoms, he said.
“I have never been told that what we are doing is bad,” Jenkins said. “On the contrary, I have been informed that we are doing very well on phone conversations (with state officials).”
As a home-based manufacturing facility, Jenkins said he didn’t see how his business could fall under specific categories listed in a public health order. He said he couldn’t get an answer why he had to shut down.
Maddy Hayden, a spokesman for the New Mexico Environment Ministry, said she did not know the specifics behind the deming facility shutdown, but she said the Health Department has the right to close a business if it determines it Business has significant risks.
“At the very least, the growing influx of on-site active employees is also cause for concern, and a proven continued pattern will force the department to act to protect employees, customers, and the public. the location where the business is located, ”Hayden said in an email.
Jenkins said he is currently awaiting a response from the Health Department and he was informed that the department is reviewing his situation.
The Quick Response Watchlist lists Chaparral Material and Manufacturer Demolition when four employees have tested positive in the past two weeks. Stampede Meat has six, state records show.
Hayden said coronavirus positive cases have been with meat packaging plants since the beginning of the summer when 57 workers tested positive for the virus in May.
Representatives of Chaparral Materials and Stampede Meat could not be contacted for comment.
Notice was sent to all three businesses encouraging employers to ask all employees to get coronavirus tested while closed.
Hayden said she did not know the specifics of how the virus was transmitted in other facilities. However, she says, many of the positive cases in a business can be attributed to the employees’ proximity and living conditions.
“Sometimes it involves people working close together in these facilities and I think another trend we sometimes see is employees living together or spending time together or carpooling after hours. work, ”she said.