Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

What's New

Come here to find updates of City of Roswell actions regarding COVID-19. (event cancellations, schedule changes, facility closures, service limitations, etc.) 

To learn about Coronavirus from the CDC, click here.

For Coronavirus updates from New Mexico Department of Health, click here.

Read the latest New Mexico Department of Health Public Health Order.

If you believe you have symptoms call the Department of Health hotline at 1-855-600-3453 for guidance BEFORE going to a hospital or healthcare provider. The goal is to provide a patient care in a way that will not expose others to possible infection. 

​City of Roswell Closures, Status Updates and Other Information

All city actions will be reassessed on a regular basis and determinations made about what actions should be ended, altered or continued.


City Parks 

 City Facilities 

City parks (except Spring River Zoo) and recreation trails reopened Friday, May 1. To comply with the current state public health order prohibiting mass gatherings (five or more people), no organized sports or other large events will be allowed. The parks at this time will remain without porta-potties. Crews will be disinfecting playground equipment at parks at least every three days. Regular maintenance of the parks will resume, but may take a little time to get caught up to usual standards.

The Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River reopened Saturday, May 2. Per the state public health order, the course will be open only for golfing. Cart and equipment rental, as well as the sale of refreshments to take onto the course, will be available, but there will be no retail product sales or dine-in food service at the pro shop.

         
Many city offices do not have in-person access currently, but remain open to provide service by phone, online, and, if necessary by scheduled appointment. As of March 30, those offices that have remained operational will have staff present to receive phone calls from the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, including during the lunch hour. In addition to increasing departments’ availability to assist the public by phone while most city offices are closed to in-person public access, the extended schedule will also allow for staggered working hours, thereby reducing the number of employees working in the office space at any given time.     
City buildings will have signs posted with contact information. Phone numbers and emails can also be found on the various department pages of the city website. 

As of Tuesday, May 5, the offices of Utility Billing, Code Enforcement and Building Inspections/Permits are open to the public for in-person service Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. Citizens will continue to be able to contact the offices by phone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Planning and Engineering offices: Call or email with inquiries about zoning, land use, development and permitting (Residential permits - Miguel at 575-637-6218 or m.martinez@roswell-nm.gov; Commercial permits - Merideth at m.hildreth@roswell-nm.gov) (ESPANOL)

Roswell Public Library 

Recreation Facilities 

The library has been closed. Staff is still available to help citizens find online resources and can be reached at 575-622-7101.           
The "Library on the Go" program offers the public the ability to call ahead and ask staff to provide items to check out to take home. Learn more.

The north breezeway has been opened for "Grab and Go" service. Patrons can pick up "Take-and-Make" activities for children, information about online resources, common tax forms and library application forms. 

The library will continue to renew items over the phone no matter how many times they have already been renewed or if there is a hold on the item. The public may currently use the book drop in the back alley to return all library materials; during this time, it is not restricted to books. Books or materials returned while the library is closed to in-person public access are not charged a late fee.                                                               
The Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center and Roswell Adult Center have been closed to the public.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 Code Enforcement 

 Pecos Trails Transit

The City of Roswell will continue to enforce code violations to preserve the safety and aesthetics of the community. However, during this challenging time, Code Enforcement will assist the public by being flexible in certain enforcement issues and time limits given to comply with the regulations. 

With the extension of the state’s public health orders through the end of April, the City of Roswell Code Enforcement will temporarily suspend enforcement of the following violations:

1) Storage and use of recreational vehicles on private property. This suspension will allow for their use due to possible quarantine and distancing instructions.

2) Late fees for license renewals due to business operations being temporarily halted. As businesses struggle through the pandemic, the city will suspend late fees.

3) Homeless interactions -- tents, makeshift camps, etc., provided they are not in a heavily populated area or creating trash issues

4) Condemnations and occupant removal unless absolutely necessary

5) Casual motor vehicle sales permits

As the city reassigns personnel from non-essential services, crews will be increased to help with garbage container pick-up along Main Street and increased graffiti patrols to paint over graffiti.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Pecos Trails Transit will restart limited bus routes Tuesday, May 26. Bus service will be limited to the primary routes of Main Street and Second Street and modified schedules will be in place. The Main Street route will run Monday-Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Second Street route will run Monday-Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be no Second Street service on weekends. Additional routes are expected to be returned to service by June 15.
There will be limited space on each bus to provide social distancing. All riders, as well as drivers, will be required to wear masks.
Beginning May 22, Pecos Trails Transit will no longer offer call-in rides except for the usual paratransit service for those with disabilities.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Roswell Air Center  

Enrichment Facilities

The Roswell Air Center will remain under normal operational hours and conditions at this time. This is subject to change at any point and will follow FAA standards. 
  • The City of Roswell's custodial staff has increased cleaning and sanitation frequency of high-touchpoint public areas, added additional cleaning of restroom facilities, and is continually monitoring and filling hand sanitizer stations in the terminal.
  • Cleaning products utilized throughout the terminal are on the EPA's list of recommended disinfectants.
  • As the situation continues to evolve, airline flight schedules may change or be reduced, affecting flights into and out of Roswell.  Passengers are encouraged to contact their airline directly for information pertaining to upcoming flights. 
  • The Air Center will continue to monitor the situation, work with federal, state and local agencies to determine and take necessary action to protect the welfare of travelers and employees.                

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on March 27 issued an executive order requiring air travelers to New Mexico to self-isolate for at least 14 days to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Notices are being posted at Roswell Air Center. Read the order: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/MLG_EO_2020_013.pdf   

American Airlines is temporarily suspending its Phoenix flights from and to Roswell Air Center after April 6 because of a dramatic reduction in the amount of traveling public during this public-health situation. The Dallas-Fort Worth flights from and to Roswell will continue, but there may be a reduced number of those at times. Passengers should check with America Airlines (aa.com; 1-800-433-7300) frequently as their scheduled flights approach in order to determine any status changes. 


The Spring River Zoo has been closed to the public. For any questions call 575-624-6760. The zoo will produce a variety of Facebook Live presentations at facebook.com/SpringRiverZoo. Check that page to learn about the scheduled online programs.

The Roswell Museum and Art Center is closed to the public. Classes and programs will be rescheduled to a later date. The Robert H. Goddard Planetarium is closed.  For any questions call 575-624-6744.                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 Emergency Services/Public Safety

 Solid Waste Department 

Roswell Police Department lobby will remain open to the public.   

Roswell Neighborhood Watch meetings are canceled until further notice. 

The Drug Take Back event that was scheduled at the Roswell Police Department for April 25 has been canceled. It is unknown right now if it will be rescheduled.

The Roswell Police Department has temporarily adjusted its system of handling calls for service that do not require an immediate response. When calls from citizens come into the police department or dispatch center, the urgency of the call is determined. Calls involving immediate impacts on people’s health and safety, as well as calls involving potential crimes in progress and any other calls deemed to require immediate police action, receive an immediate response from officers. Calls not requiring such a response are handled by requesting the caller to leave a name and phone number so an officer can later contact the caller to discuss the situation and complete a report by phone if necessary. If a citizen would prefer to talk to an officer in person, the citizen may come to the police department (rather than an officer going to the person’s home or business).    

The Roswell Fire Department and Superior Ambulance have established special protocols to protect firefighters and medics when responding to calls potentially involving a COVID-19 patient. Responders have additional personal protective equipment and RFD has assigned one vehicle and a minimal number of personnel to make the first response to potential COVID-19 calls. Such calls are identified through a screening process carried out by the dispatchers receiving the initial call. 


                           
Landfill will remain open and trash collection will continue. The city sanitation trucks are working 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Trash pickups are still occurring on the normally scheduled days, but the times trash is picked up at different locations each day may vary and may differ from what people in certain areas are used to. Trash may be picked up later than is would normally be, but it will be picked up on the regularly scheduled days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 Water and Wastewater

 Events

The City of Roswell utility payment office is closed to in-person public access, but can be contacted by phone (624-6711).

Any businesses affected by state and federal public health orders may request a 90-day suspension of their city utility (water, sewer, trash) payments without penalty. 

These facilities will no longer be accepting sales visits from vendors.
Vendors should contact those facilities using their usual email and phone contacts.

For a temporary period, the city will not conduct and water disconnects for unpaid bills. Customers are asked to call 624-6711 to make arrangements for a payment plan.

The city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant officials ask the public to avoid flushing cleaning wipes down the toilet. With a much greater amount of these wipes being used right now, flushing so many of them (even those labeled as flushable) creates the possibility of sewer stop-ups. Such stop-ups create inconvenience and costly repairs for the city and individuals.

The Water Plant has implementing a staggered work schedule for the Water Maintenance and Transmission crews  to help minimize the number of workers present together. The Wastewater Treatment Plant is working split shifts to help minimize the number of workers present together. 

City-managed special events have been postponed or canceled through June 30. Events that are run by outside organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but no city in-kind services will be available. 

RMAC's pARTy After Hours set for April 15 has been moved to Aug. 21.

The 2nd Annual Brew at the Zoo has been rescheduled to June 27.
  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                      

 City Council Committee Meetings 

 Roswell Municipal Court

All City Council committee meetings (General Services, Finance, Infrastructure, Legal, Public Safety) have been moved from City Hall to the Convention and Civic Center where cameras are available to stream the meetings on the city website so citizens can watch and listen by that means rather than attending in person. The meetings will remain open to the public and social distancing will be increased.

Citizen advisory committees may hold meetings beginning June 1 using the GoToMeeting web-based service. The committees will not meet in person.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Court appearances are being conducted by remote methods to the fullest extent possible. Anyone with a pending matter before the court is asked to call prior to the scheduled appearance to determine if the matter can be handled over the phone. Municipal Court clerks can be reached (575-624-6725 ext. 0) Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to noon.

Staff is limiting the amount of people in the courtroom to under 25. Seating has been expanded in the lobby area to allow more space for persons to “socially distance” themselves from others while waiting for their cases to be called. The court has adjusted the distance defendants stand from employees in the courtroom and contact with defendants in the courtroom is limited to one court employee (bailiff). A protocol of employees wearing protective gloves when handling cash or documents has been implemented.The frequency of cleanings at the court has been increased. The court has ordered additional cleaning supplies to have on hand to include disinfectant sprays and wipes. A hand-washing protocol has been implemented. Public areas are sprayed with disinfectant daily by staff.                                                                                                                                              
Municipal Court is directing defendants assigned to community service to temporarily suspend reporting to their assignments as a protective health measure. Any defendant under community-service conditions through the court will be given alternative reporting requirements by his or her assigned compliance officer.                                                                                                                  

Health and Safety Tips

  • Don't panic be prepared and stay informed. 
  • Be familiar with recommendations to avoid getting and spreading respiratory illnesses. 
  • Stay home when sick and limit close contact with people, avoid large public gatherings. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

Actions We are Taking

  • Increased communication and collaboration with the state Department of Health to stay up to date with the latest information. 
  • Emergency services dispatch has implemented call-screening protocols for calls involving a sick person or a person with breathing difficulties.
  • First responders are training for and following CDC recommendations.
  • Increased environment cleaning efforts. 
  • Temporary closures of certain city services and facilities. 

COVID-19 Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of millions of people across the country.  If you have non-health-related questions about COVID-19 impacts (unemployment, schools, childcare, food, etc.), you can call 1-833-551-0518. For the hearing impaired, a video can be viewed here.  

Jobs

You may be eligible for unemployment compensation if these described situations apply to you: 

  • If you have had your hours reduced or lost your job as a result of COVID-19. 
  • Workers who are self-solated or directed to be isolated or have an immediate family member(s) who are isolated. 

For more information or questions about claiming Unemployment benefits click here.

New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions is waiving the work search requirements for any workers who have been impacted by the situations described above. Those requirements are waived up to 4 weeks. Register as a job seeker here if you would like to begin the job searching process. Creating an account and registering in the New Mexico Workforce Connection system is required within 14 days of your initial claim for Unemployment Insurance benefits. 

Childcare

With schools closed many residents are now in need of affordable childcare.To seek child care click here or call 1-800-691-9067. 

Housing

For residents who cannot pay their mortgage the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that both Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac will provide payment forbearance to borrowers who have been impacted by Coronavirus. Forbearance allows a mortage payment to be suspended for up to 12 months as a result of hardships caused by the Coronavirus. FHFA also directed Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days due to this pandemic. This foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage. 

Call the state’s COVID-19 general hotline at 1-833-551-0518 if you have received an eviction notice. 

Click here for more information from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. 

If you are a resident who cannot pay their rent an order has been placed by the New Mexico Supreme Court. This order places a temporary moratorium on evictions for the inability to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Judges will stay the execution of writs of restitution that property owners can obtain and give to law enforcement to force the removal of a tenant.

If your landlord has filed a petition for a writ of restitution (an eviction or collection proceeding) against you for nonpayment of rent or any other reason you must participate in the hearing set by the judge. If you want the court to stay your eviction for NONPAYMENT OF RENT during the public health emergency, you will need to provide the judge with evidence of your current inability to pay your rent at the hearing on the petition.

Hearings will be held either by video or phone, unless parties file a motion for an in-person hearing. The summons you receive from the court will give you directions on how to participate in the hearing. 

Resources for assistance with your eviction proceeding include: 

  • New Mexico Legal Aid at 505-633-6694. 
  • Legal Resources for the Elderly Program at 800-876-6657. This legal helpline is free for New Mexico residents 55 and older. 

The Supreme Court’s order is the latest restriction and precautionary measure imposed on operations of state courts to protect public safety and safeguard the health of New Mexicans. Other measures provide New Mexican additional time to pay fines and fees, require the use of audio and video teleconferencing for court proceedings that need to continue and allow self-represented litigants to submit case filings to local courts by email and fax to help them avoid courthouse visits.


Bills- Utilities and Telecommunications

Many electric, gas and water authority companies have publicly committed to suspending shut-offs due to non-payment during this pandemic. Some payment plans and reduced rates for low-income individuals may also be available. 

For information on your providers or for questions regarding your bill click here.

If one or more of your services has been shut off you require assistance to contact your provider call the state’s COVID-19 general hotline at 1-833-551-0518. 


Major internet providers and telecommunication companies have signed onto the Keep America Connected Pledge, launched by the Federal Communications Commission. These companies have pledged through May 12 to: 

  • Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus epidemic;
  • Open Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them. 

Call the state’s COVID-19 general hotline for assistance contacting your provider if your internet or cell phone service has been terminated. The general hotline is 1-833-551-0518. 

Click here for more information regarding your provider or for questions regarding your bill. 

Healthcare

During this unprecedented time there are a few options for health coverage for New Mexicans. The New Mexico Medicaid Program, beWellnm and the New Mexico Insurance Pool may be a good option for you if you have had a recent change in employment or income, if you lost your current plan or if you wish to be insured for the first time. 

All three programs offer comprehensive benefits like doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, mental health services and more. All testing related to COVID-19 will be covered at no cost. 

To learn more about health care coverage click here

Food Insecurity

 If you are a senior or a disables adult call 1-800-432-2080 for assistance. Many stores have also adjusted their hours statewide to allow these individuals to beat the crowds and reduce their risk of exposure. Many essential items have been difficult to find and allowing early entry has the benefit of shelves being well stocked. Click here for a breakdown of stores across the state offering special or adjusted hours. 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides financial assistance to eligible New Mexicans with low income and limited resources to purchase food products. SNAP benefits are simple to use to purchase qualifying food products at participating grocery stores. For more on SNAP click here.

The Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico is also here to help. Click here to find a distribution location in Roswell. 

The Roswell Independent School District will be providing Grab & Go Breakfast and Lunch meals throughout the extended break to children 18 years of age and younger. These meals are free of charge. Distribution will take place 8 am to 12 pm in the front parking lot areas of the following schools: Berrendo Elementary, Del Norte Elementary, El Capitan Elementary, East Grand Plains Elementary, Missouri Elementary, Monterrey Elementary, Military Heights Elementary, Nancy Lopez Elementary,  Pecos Elementary, Valley View Elementary, Parkview Early Literacy Center, Sunset Elementary, Washington Ave Elementary, Mesa Middle, Berrendo Middle, Sierra Middle, Mountain View Middle, Roswell High School, Goddard High School, University High School. Meals will also be available at 701 N. Garden (former Edgewood Elementary School). 

Legal Assistance

If you are unable to pay your taxes the deadline to file and pay has been extended to July 15, 2020. 

If you have a fine or fee due to New Mexico and cannot pay there was been an extension to payment deadlines. This extension comes as a result of a Supreme Court’s order. This order will add 30 days to payment deadlines imposed by magistrate, metropolitan, district or municipal court fines and fees that must be paid between March 19 and May 29, 2020. This extension is not applied to past due amounts.  A list of courts and contact information can be found here.