SANTE FE (KSMX)- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grishan announced two more public health orders that are geared towards protecting New Mexico’s supply of personal protective equipment health care workers need to stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis.
One order prohibits non-essential health services, defined as services that can be delayed for three months without undue risk to the patient’s health. According to the release, the order banning non-essential health services applies to hospitals and other health care facilities, including ambulatory surgical centers, and dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices or anything.
The second-order prohibits health care providers and wholesale medical suppliers from selling or otherwise distributing personal protective equipment without prior approval from the New Mexico Department of Health.
Health care providers and wholesale medical suppliers must provide the Health Department with an inventory of their personal protective gear within three days.
“We’re going to do everything we can – everything – to protect those on the front line of this war against COVID-19,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “The doctors, nurses and others who are testing and treating these patients must be properly equipped; we owe them that. I have to make sure that if you need hospital care, we’re ready. And as we work to get more equipment from the federal government we’re going to take steps to protect and judiciously use the resources we have now.”
Both orders were issued by New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel and take effect Wednesday, March 25.
Both orders include civil administrative penalties, including fines up to $5,000 per violation, for a willful violation, in addition to other civil or criminal penalties that may be available. Each health care provider has three days to submit to the Health Department a policy addressing how it will comply and identifying procedures deemed essential and non-essential.