|Gallup, in McKinley County, N.M.|
Gallup, a prosperous town of about 21,000, relies heavily on shopping and recreation from the five Native American reservations around it. The town made national headlines earlier this month after Mayor Louie Bonaguidi asked the governor to shut down access to the town in an effort to contain the virus, which has hit reservations hard.
But the shutdown apparently came too late: the evening before the statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses, restaurants and bars in Gallup were packed with people seeking one last night out on the town. About 100 people were sent to sober up at a detox center that doubles as a homeless shelter that night, and the virus spread among them, Lee reports.
"The outbreak seeded at the Na’Nizhoozhi Center would combine with the small, local hospital’s ill-fated staffing decisions and its well-intentioned but potentially overambitious treatment plans to create a perfect storm that has overwhelmed doctors and nurses and paralyzed this community in the state’s hard-hit northwest," Lee reports.