Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima speaks at an online City Council meeting, March 30, 2020. Medical staff and city council members encouraged Mayor Ken Miyagishima to proclaim an emergency during a meeting of the City Council on Monday as some Las Crucens continue to mingle in large groups despite warnings against such behavior. The council gave Miyagishima emergency powers at a March 27 meeting but he has yet to use them because he didn’t want to make the situation urgent and cause panic among community members, he said during Monday’s meeting conducted online.
But Councilor Gabriel Vasquez, District 3, citing people who are still seen out in public in large groups, at parks and at businesses, asked health care professionals sitting in on the online meeting whether they thought it was time for the mayor to take emergency action to limit the size of groups. “As an infection preventionist, I’m going to say yes,” said Twyla Anderson, the infection preventionist from Memorial Medical Center, a local hospital, said. “Unfortunately we would like the public to take recommendations and follow through, but I think we’ve seen behavior, you’ve seen behavior, that they just don’t take it seriously enough.