SANTA FE – More than 350 doctors, nurses and health care practitioners and providers from all across New Mexico this week signed an open letter urging New Mexicans to double down on safe practices and personal caution to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the state’s health care and hospital resources. 

The letter will run as an advertisement in 19 newspapers across the state over the coming week. 

“New Mexico’s health care professionals understand the urgency of this moment, with the virus spreading throughout our state and illnesses multiplying rapidly,” said New Mexico Human Services Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D. “It’s very important not to skip needed medical appointments. And it’s very important to get your flu shot. Overall, the best thing each of us can do is limit our time outside the home, minimize or eliminate any time we spend with non-household members, and absolutely eliminate any time we spend outside of the home without a facemask. Health care professionals put their lives on the line for us every single day. Together we can protect New Mexico’s hospitals and the health and well-being of people and families all across our state.”

The text of the letter is below: 

“We are your doctors, nurses, health care practitioners, providers, and professionals. We have worked tirelessly throughout this crisis to help keep you safe.

We’ve seen COVID-19 illnesses and deaths firsthand. And right now we need your help.

COVID-19 is surging throughout New Mexico. Infections are growing faster than ever before. The public health data are clear: The pandemic and the grave risk posed to our state’s public health have never been more dangerous than right now.

We know what happens when COVID-19 infections continue to spread at this rate. Hospitals will begin to fill up—indeed, our state’s health care system is already experiencing strain. More New Mexicans will lose their lives. More families will lose loved ones. And because of the terribly infectious nature of this virus, those New Mexicans who lose their lives, and those New Mexicans who lose a loved one, will not get to say goodbye. These will be lonely deaths. And they are preventable.

Even those who are fortunate enough to recover from the illness caused by the novel coronavirus can face significant and debilitating long-term adverse health effects. No one is immune from the consequences of this public health emergency. This is serious. This is life-and-death.

This is the greatest emergency the state of New Mexico has ever faced. But we can absolutely beat back the virus and crush its opportunities to spread. We all have a role to play to protect New Mexicans.

Please stay home as much as you can. Limit your travel outside the home.

If you must go out, please wear a face mask. Make sure it covers your nose and mouth.

Please avoid gatherings with other people, especially those you don’t live with.

Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water.

And we encourage everyone to continue to seek medical care when needed. Medical facilities have very strict COVID-Safe Practices and the benefits of getting medical care outweigh any risks.

Please make the commitment to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities. Please be cautious and smart. Please help health care professionals help you. Help us protect you. Help us ensure that we have the resources to treat the sick and care for the dying.

Together, we can keep New Mexicans healthy and safe.”