National Guard sent to Gallup to assist locals - Albuquerque Journal

National Guard sent to Gallup to assist locals

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico National Guard members are being called upon to help with food, water and crowd control as part of the state’s coronavirus response effort.

Most recently, about 50 National Guard members were deployed to Gallup last week to help with coronavirus testing and with community social distancing efforts, National Guard spokesman Joseph Vigil said.

Specifically, Gallup City Manager Maryann Ustick said in a news release the National Guard members would be helping grocery stores to enforce the social distancing measures, which include only allowing 20% of a store’s maximum capacity to be inside at any time.

Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, said there have been long lines at local grocery stores in recent days, and some individuals have flouted instructions to keep distance between themselves and others.

“We asked them to come in and start putting some control in lines,” Muñoz said regarding the National Guard.

He also said the deployed National Guard members could assist with protocols at a local detox center, after several individuals who had spent a night there tested positive for COVID-19.

“We need to be locked down – people are not listening,” Muñoz said, referring to a statewide stay-at-home order issued last month by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration.

Gallup is the county seat of McKinley County, which has a high Native American population and has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

Many members of the Navajo Nation drive long distances to buy essential supplies in Gallup and other nearby towns.

Meanwhile, National Guard members have also been helping with food distribution and other humanitarian tasks on the Navajo Nation, which also stretches into Arizona and Utah.

In all, the National Guard has about 450 soldiers and airmen on duty, Vigil said.

Their duties have included delivering nearly 50,000 meals to children at schools around the state and transporting medical supplies – including masks, gloves and other protective equipment – to health care facilities, according to the state National Guard’s spokesman.

He also said the National Guard has delivered over 5,000 coronavirus test kits and transported thousands of test samples to laboratories in Albuquerque.

In Farmington, which has also been hit hard by the outbreak, the National Guard set up a 50-bed medical shelter and has been helping at the San Juan Regional Medical Center, Vigil said.

Lujan Grisham last month issued an executive order authorizing up to $750,000 in emergency funding for National Guard operations.

That was in addition to previous orders that had authorized $1 million in National Guard spending for the budget year that ends in June.

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » National Guard sent to Gallup to assist locals

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Executive order authorizes up to $100,000 in state funding ...
ABQnews Seeker
With Farmington still reeling from a ... With Farmington still reeling from a daytime mass shooting last month that left four people dead, Lt. Gov. Howie Morales has signed an executive ...
Bryan Cranston not retiring, will hit 'reset' on career ...
ABQnews Seeker
Bryan Cranston is setting the record ... Bryan Cranston is setting the record straight. On Thursday, it was reported that he is retiring from acting in 2026. The award-winning 'Breaking Bad' ...
Man found shot to death inside vehicle near Uptown
ABQnews Seeker
Police found a man who had ... Police found a man who had been fatally shot in a vehicle outside a park in Northeast Albuquerque.
Paseo eastbound, Friday Morning crash causes delays
ABQnews Seeker
A crash on Paseo Del Norte ... A crash on Paseo Del Norte NE, eastbound near the Interstate 25 south on-ramp has closed the right lane.
New Mexico Finance Authority launches program to rehabilitate homes
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico Finance Authority launches ... New Mexico Finance Authority launches program to rehabilitate homes.
DeSantis recruiters eyed Catholic church for migrant flights that ...
ABQnews Seeker
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Florida Gov. ... SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recruiters set their sights on Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Texas border city of El ...
Vara bringing a taste of Spain with its Tinto ...
ABQnews Seeker
The 2020 vintage of Tinto Especial ... The 2020 vintage of Tinto Especial focuses on Spanish influences from the Catalonia region.
Singer-songwriter Logan Ledger to open for Vincent Neil Emerson
ABQnews Seeker
Logan Ledger's upcoming album, "Golden State" ... Logan Ledger's upcoming album, "Golden State" is due out on Sept. 8, but he's hitting the road opening for Vincent Neil Emerson.
Colorado's most destructive wildfire caused by embers from old ...
ABQnews Seeker
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from ... BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from a smoldering scrap wood fire set days earlier outside a home used by a Christian religious communal group ...