New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has completely banned traffic movement in one western New Mexico city.
On Friday, Lujan Grisham invoked the state's Riot Control Act to prohibit all "nonessential" traffic movements in the city of Gallup, the Associated Press reported.
Lujan Grisham's lockdown includes a ban on "routine outings" and forces businesses to close from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.
"The spread of this virus in McKinley County is frightful," Lujan Grisham said. "And it shows that physical distancing has not occurred and is not occurring. The virus is running amok there. It must be stopped, and stricter measures are necessary."
The harsh lockdown measures are reportedly meant to slow down a surging coronavirus outbreak happening in that part of the state, which has significantly impacted the Navajo Nation. Gallup sits on the outskirts of the Navajo reservation and is a former trading outpost town for the indigenous group.
State police and the National Guard are helping enforce the lockdown order, the AP reported.
Violations of Lujan Grisham's order are punishable as misdemeanors on the first offense and as felonies upon subsequent violations.
About 70,000 residents live in and around Gallup. The county within which Gallup is located, McKinley County, is responsible for roughly one-third of all COVID-19 cases in New Mexico, according to the Farmington Daily Times.
The lockdown was originally set to expire Monday at noon. However, Lujan Grisham extended the order over the weekend for at least three more days upon a request from Gallup's mayor.