**From the Village of Ruidoso and the local tourism department**
RUIDOSO, NM – March 22, 2020 – The Village of Ruidoso and the local tourism department is asking visitors and second homeowners to plan their visit to Ruidoso at a later date due to COVID-19. The fresh mountain air and outdoors might seem like the perfect place for social distancing, please follow the advice of health authorities to stay home to keep yourself and others safe.
“It breaks our hearts to say this, but we are asking our visitors to stay home and postpone their trip to Ruidoso at this time,” said Justin Huffmon Village of Ruidoso Director of Tourism. “We know many visitors consider us home, but in the interest of social distancing and flattening the curve, we all need to do our part to eliminate the spread of COVID-19. We ask that you comply with our request to stay home and plan your trip to Ruidoso at a later date.”
The CDC and the state of New Mexico are vigorously encouraging social distancing and to stay home. In addition, in order to mitigate the widespread community transmission of COVID-19, the New Mexico Department of Health asks all persons traveling into New Mexico from outside the state to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for any symptoms.
“The Village of Ruidoso has excellent healthcare facilities but like many other small mountain communities, we lack the capacity to handle a widespread outbreak of COVID-19,” said Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford. “Even though there are no reported cases of COVID-19 at this time in Lincoln County, we are encouraging travelers not to enter the Village to minimize public health risks.”
The New Mexico Department of Health has issued a Public Health Order where all mass gatherings are prohibited, and all restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries and other food service establishments are limited to providing take-out services and home delivery only, all casinos are closed and hotels, motels, and other places of lodging shall not operate at more than fifty percent of maximum occupancy.
The Village of Ruidoso has taken additional steps to close the public library, convention center, community center to comply with the Public Health Order. On Sunday, March 22, 2020 executive order 2020-05 was issued discouraging travelers and tourist not to enter the village in order to minimize public health risks due to COVID-19 and temporarily closing Grindstone and Alto Lake areas.
“These are challenging times but the health and wellbeing of our residents is our highest priority,” said Crawford. “We are committed to reducing public interaction to slow the spread of COVID-19 and must take all necessary precautions to protect employees, families and the general public.”
New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).
Additional information from the New Mexico Department of Health can be found at: https://cv.nmhealth.org/
Information from the Ruidoso Tourism Department can be found: https://www.discoverruidoso.com/covid-19-travel-advisory