BELEN – A prominent family that has three medical practices here has closed its offices due to coronavirus exposure, and two members of the family are recovering from symptoms of the virus.
Dr. Roland Sanchez, M.D., who has a family practice in Belen, and his wife, Elia, have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, but a statement from the family didn’t provide details of their condition.
Tom Garrity of The Garrity Group Public Relations in Albuquerque said the family reached out to him last week to speak on its behalf.
“The family appreciates prayers and positive thoughts for Dr. Sanchez and his wife, and can only share that they are relying on their faith and skilled physicians to treat their continuing recovery from coronavirus,” the Sanchez family wrote. “With two exceptions, the family members who have tested positive are asymptomatic.”
Along with Sanchez’s medical practice, those of his sons, Dr. Roland Sanchez II, DDS, who owns Conquistador Dental, and Dr. Florian Sanchez, DVM, owner of Yucca Veterinary Medical Center, closed their respective offices on Aug. 10. According to voice recordings at each office, all three planned on reopening this week. A statement from the family said New Mexico’s state epidemiologist has given approval for the offices to reopen Saturday.
“We will be in contact with our scheduled patients about the process and procedures related to their visits,” the statement said. “We are informed that patients who may have been exposed to COVID-19 have been notified by the New Mexico Department of Health and its contact tracing team.
“The Sanchez family, through their practices, have reached out to the state of New Mexico to provide the names of people who might have come into contact with some employees who tested positive for COVID-19,” read a statement from the Sanchez family Garrity emailed to the News-Bulletin.
According to the state Environment Department’s Aug. 13 rapid response data, two employees were reported to NMED as positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 10 at Dr. Sanchez’s family practice. Two employees at Yucca Veterinary Medical Center were reported positive on Aug. 10, and two employees at Conquistador Dental were also reported positive for the coronavirus, one on Aug. 10 and the other on Aug. 11.
The family’s farm, Red Doc Farm in Bosque, had one case of COVID-19, reported on Aug. 2.
“When the family learned about the potential of COVID-19 exposure, they took immediate action to have their employees tested and they reached out to the state of New Mexico Department of Health and Department of Workforce Solutions,” the family wrote in a statement. “There were exposures in the locations referenced, however, we cannot comment on any potential infections due to patients’ privacy concerns.”
Dr. Roland Sanchez is a family medicine specialist in Belen and has more than 45 years of experience in the medical field.
Dr. Roland K. Sanchez II opened Conquistador Dental in Belen in November 2010. The office message at the dental office said that if a patient has a dental emergency to call Dr. Cecil Sandoval, another Belen dentist.
Dr. Florian Sanchez opened Yucca Veterinary Medical Center in October 2013. He moved to his new location on Camino del Llano earlier this year.