Home News COVID-19 Situation Speaker cancels local event due to COVID-19 fears

Speaker cancels local event due to COVID-19 fears

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Artist and model builder Colin Cantwell has canceled his meet-and-greet events in Roswell. He was scheduled to appear at the International UFO Museum and Research Center on March 14.

Cantwell was the original concept artist and model builder for the “Star Wars” spaceships created from paintings by Ralph Angus McQuarrie. His work includes the Death Star and X-Wing fighter.

In an email on March 10, Cantwell’s public relations representative Patrick Linsenmeyer wrote, “We are canceling the event. Turns out it is spring break and they are expecting a lot of travelers. Too risky with corona (novel coronavirus/COVID-19) going around. The Roswell (UFO) museum said they had several thousand people expected to show up because it was the first week of spring break.

“Colin wasn’t comfortable being around that many people, especially since they are traveling from all over.”

Asked if there is concern that travelers may change their plans to visit Roswell and the IUFOMRC, museum deputy director Karen Jaramillo responded, “At this time, we are not worried that people may change their travel plans to visit us and are anticipating our normal spring break crowds.

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“We are currently following the guidance of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to ensure the health and safety of our visitors and employees to the best of our ability.”

Cantwell lives in Colorado and is in his late 80s. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado had, at press time, 12 confirmed positive cases of the virus and one indeterminate case.

Most confirmed cases of the virus have occurred in adults, and according to the World Health Organization, 80% who get infected with COVID-19 do not have severe symptoms and recover within two weeks. Those who suffer severe symptoms take up to six weeks to recover.

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and local 911 dispatch centers have been alerted to screen calls that may come in from people describing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday that three people in New Mexico have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state’s first known cases of infection.

Lujan Grisham declared a public health emergency on Wednesday and advised that all large public events be postponed to limit the spread of the virus, according to Associated Press reports. (See story, page A1).

According to a NMDOH press release, the department has deployed its health care survey team to visit all 269 licensed assisted living facilities statewide, where they will provide COVID-19 related infection control guidance and visitor protocols, and educate staff on addressing family and resident questions or concerns.

There have been several false reports on social media about alleged preventive methods, as well as scams attempting to profit by offering unproven coronavirus “treatments.” In Iran, according to The Associated Press, more than 37 people died of toxic, bootlegged alcohol made out of ethanol and bleach — and more than 270 victims of that rumored cure were hospitalized.

According to the CDC, updates on research will be published as they become available. For more information about prevention and a situation summary, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus. The New Mexico Department of Health’s phone number to report any public health concerns is 505-827-0006.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

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