All Roads Into New Mexico City Closed On Account of “Uninhibited” Coronavirus Spread

Every road into a small New Mexico city has been closed by the state’s governor as of Saturday, with authorities seeking to deter the “uninhibited” spread of coronavirus in the city of Gallup.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham used the state’s Riot Control Act to forcibly close off every road leading to the city of just under 22,000.

“Effective at 12 p.m., May 1, all roads into Gallup are closed. Businesses in the city of Gallup will close from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m. Vehicles may only have a maximum of two individuals. Residents of the city should remain at home except for emergency outings and those essential for health, safety and welfare,” the governor explained in a press release.

Gallup is located in close proximity to the Navajo Nation, one of the hardest hit municipalities in the western United States by coronavirus. The juridction extends from northeastern Arizona into western New Mexico, and some statistics indicate that the tribal entity could have the highest per capita rate of coronavirus diagnoses in the entire country.

McKinley County, where Gallup is located, has just over 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. While these figures pale in comparison to the diagnosis counts in more densely populated urban areas, the count for the rural county is wildly out of disproportion with New Mexico’s total coronavirus diagnosis count of just over 3,000.

The mayor of Gallup requested the nearly unprecedented shutdown of all travel into the rural New Mexico city, describing the public health situation as a “crisis of the highest order.”

New Mexico’s state of emergency order was recently extended until May 15th.