Both Mountainair Public Schools and the Torrance County offices are currently closed due to outbreaks of Covid.

As the winter season rolls in, Covid numbers across the state are rising. According the state health department, the entire state is at a higher transmission rate right now.

Torrance County is one of the counties showing higher numbers in the last week.

As of Nov. 23, there have been a total of 1,627 Covid cases in Torrance County, 1,380 recovered and 21 died. In the past week, there have been 65 new cases in Torrance County and the county makes up 15.49% of the positive cases across the state, also placing it in the top 10 counties with highest transmission rates—and currently higher than both Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties.

On Nov. 16, the Torrance County offices closed to the public. The county remains in regular operation but all services offered to the public are currently by appointment only.

Torrance County Deputy Clerk Juan Torres said they do have some employees that are out sick. He said it is a combination of cold season and Covid-19.

He said the county is regularly disinfecting, keeping the building as “clean as possible” and to “minimize contact.” He describes it as “controlled business as usual.”

He said some staff members are able to work from home and those affected by Covid-19 are taking precautions such as close contact tracing and self-quarantining.

Because the county is currently controlling the flow of people coming in and out, all visits are by appointment only. He said, if someone happens to come without making an appointment they can call the number on the door and gain access.

Torres said as far as he knows, the Dec. 8 county commission meeting is still scheduled as an in-person meeting.

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On Nov. 18, Mountainair Public School held an emergency board meeting in response to a Covid outbreak at the school. At the meeting it was decided that the schools would do a “10-day reset” through Thanksgiving break. Kids will be allowed back at school on Nov. 29.

According to Superintendent Dawn Apodaca, “There are lots of cases in the community, [and] lots of family cases resulting in large quarantine numbers.” She said with a shortage in substitute teachers, they were “stretching the staff too thin.”

“We pray this reset gives our staff an opportunity to rest and our families an opportunity to get well,” Apodaca said.