by Brandon Waller
RATON — As the global Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, risks of the virus have affected local businesses throughout Raton— some are closed until further notice, some are taking great precautions, all are concerned.
Businesses such as 111 Park, the local coffee shop, have enacted prevention efforts such as disallowing the public from walking in for orders. They are now requesting instead that customers call in their order for pickup or delivery. The State of New Mexico Governor’s Office has issued guidelines stating that there are to be 6 feet in distance from dining table to dining table, with no more than 6 seats per table; there is to be no seating for customers at a bar; and standing customers are forbidden, which causes havoc for places such as the 111 Park Espresso Bar, the Colfax Ale Cellar, and many other restaurants in the Raton area, in addition to all bars and restaurants throughout Colfax County, such as Cold Beer, NM and the historic St. James in Cimarron.
Other local businesses, such as the Kastler Law Offices and the Raton Natural Gas Company have shut their doors until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The State of New Mexico has also closed all schools including school functions, and other public meetings have been cancelled as well, such as the upcoming Miners Colfax Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting. To help students affected by the school closure, The Art of Snacks restaurant, located at 1117 S. Second Street in Raton, is handing out free lunches to those who rely on school lunch. They are also accepting donations to help feed the children. For more information, please contact Art of Snacks at (575) 707-8020.
Facilities such as the Arthur Johnson Memorial Library and the Miner’s Colfax Medical Center have also posted signs requesting that individuals that are symptomatic of COVID-19 do not enter, at recommendation from the New Mexico Department of Health.
These symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other factors include signs of a respiratory infection, if you’ve travelled to a high risk country recently, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or even if you’ve recently travelled to a state that has been experiencing widespread community transmission of the virus.
Super Save Grocery Store in Raton has also been affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak, with the store having to place limits of two per customer on items such as toilet paper and cases of bottled water. Due to consumers’ panic buying of these items, store staff are unable to keep the items on the shelves, causing a shortage for the community. Other items such as meat, potatoes, milk, and canned goods have been flying off the shelves at an unprecedented rate, also due to panic buying/stocking up of supplies.
If you are unsure if a business that you wish to visit has been closed, or has restrictions in place, please give a call ahead to check and see what precautions that business has put into place to prevent viral spread. As always, be diligent in washing your hands (20 seconds is recommended) and be sure to bleach or sanitize all contacted surfaces, such as door handles, toilet flush handles, and faucet knobs/handles. If you believe you may be symptomatic, please contact your doctor or health care professional by telephone immediately.