By Cassie McClure
Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 1/15/21
It’s a common sight across Las Cruces; masks are strewn across the dashboard of a car or even hanging from a review mirror. The habit has developed to keep our neighbors safe, and now the City of Las Cruces (City) Mayor and City Council are focusing its efforts on a Red to Green campaign by sending masks directly to almost 40,000 residences.
“Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) is doing its part to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing Utility issued face masks or neck gaiters, or disposable face masks while working,” said Delilah Walsh, LCU director. LCU worked with local vendors to create Utility masks, which were distributed to each LCU associate.
“Our associates, especially crews who work directly with customers like field services technicians who do activations or furnace relights, have been wearing masks since March,” Walsh said. “The Mayor asked LCU to help facilitate a citywide mask mailing as part of the Red to Green campaign by coordinating the same database and postal company we use for distributing our Utility bills.”
Nearly 40,000 residences will receive disposable masks provided by the City’s Fire Department; customers will see two disposable masks per property in their mail. The Las Cruces Economic Recovery Board has also recommended support for masks at local businesses and is working with the City’s Economic Development Department to facilitate that effort.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 spreads mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout, or sing. Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others.
“At this point, most of us have masks in our car, in our purses, and even stuffed into our jackets,” Walsh said. “But extra disposable masks can still be given to others in situations where they forget one.”
LCU can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: LCU Heavy Equipment Operator Jose Cereceres wears a Utilities-issued mask to protect customers while he’s out picking up trash. The City will be sending two free disposable masks to residents via LCU’s distribution system to support mask wearing in Las Cruces.