News Headlines

Aug 18, 2017
Category: General

Health Department Reports First Human West Nile Virus Death in New Mexico in 2017

Four Cases of West Nile Virus Also Confirmed in Bernalillo County


SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports the death of a 61-year-old San Juan County man from West Nile virus (WNV). His death is the state’s first known West Nile virus death of 2017.  In addition, four Bernalillo County residents have tested positive for West Nile virus and have been hospitalized, bringing the total number of lab confirmed cases of WNV in the state this year to seven.

The four recent cases in Bernalillo County include a 65-year-old woman currently hospitalized as well as a 57-year-old man, a 60-year-old man, and a 75-year-old man all of which have been treated and recently released from local hospitals.

“Mosquito populations have been unusually high all summer, and we continue to focus control efforts on areas where humans are at risk,” said Dr. Mark DiMenna, Deputy Director of the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department.  “We encourage citizens in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County to report high levels of mosquito activity through 311 in order to request control.”

WNV causes disease ranging from mild illness with fever to severe neuroinvasive disease that can affect the brain and other parts of a person's nervous system. 

“West Nile virus is regularly transmitted by mosquitoes around the state, and, in some cases, it can be fatal,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “People ages 50 and older are at higher risk of having serious consequences from infection with West Nile virus and should be especially careful to avoid mosquito bites.”

To reduce the chances of a mosquito bite that can transmit WNV, New Mexico residents should:

  • Use an EPA-approved insect repellent every time they go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Among approved repellents contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus/para-menthane-diol.
  • Regularly drain standing water, including water collecting in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus breed in stagnant water.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.

With continued rainfall around New Mexico,  mosquito populations are expected to grow and potentially create more cases of West Nile virus in both people and in horses. New Mexico typically sees most of its West Nile virus cases in August and September, but can see cases through October and until the first hard frost.

Symptoms of the milder form of illness, West Nile fever, can include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. People with West Nile fever typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for weeks to months. Symptoms of West Nile neuroinvasive disease can include those of West Nile fever plus neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. Some of these symptoms can cause permanent damage.

There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection. If people have symptoms and suspect West Nile virus infection, they should contact their healthcare provider.

In 2016, NMDOH identified six cases of WNV infection in people, all with neuroinvasive disease, and with one patient dying.

To further protect yourself against West Nile virus, you can minimize the risk for both human and horse cases by eliminating water-holding containers where mosquitoes lay their eggs, such as old tires, as well as regularly changing the water in birdbaths, wading pools, and pets’ water bowls.  Make sure rain barrels are tightly screened.

To protect your horse against West Nile virus, consult your veterinarian to ensure the current West Nile virus vaccination status of your horse. It is also recommended to routinely apply horse-specific insect repellant on your horses, and minimize horse exposure to mosquitoes during peak mosquito feeding periods at dawn and dusk.

For more information, including fact sheets in English and Spanish, about how to protect against West Nile virus, visit:

Jul 25, 2017
Category: General

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Core Civic, a private prison facility in Torrance County New Mexico issued a 60 day warn letter effective July 24, 2017, announcing the closure of the Torrance County Prison Facility, laying off over 200 employees in the community of Estancia, NM. 


The Torrance County prison facility currently houses 580 prisoners, the majority of these inmates are under federal contract and 50-75 are local county inmates.  Core Civic could not state where the federal inmates will be relocated, indicating that their future home is the US Marshalls decision.  Core Civic has 60 days to find an additional 300 state or federal inmates in order to divert this closure. 


This closure has a negative impact of close to $700,000.00 to the Town of Estancia annually and roughly $300,000.00 in loss of taxes for Torrance County.  This closure also creates a negative impact to the Torrance County sheriff’s office, as they will need to find funding to house their inmates in other facilities throughout the state.


A rapid response team made up of representatives from Senator Udall and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham office, NM Representative McQueen, NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions, State EDD, Mayor Chavez of Estancia, Torrance County officials met with Core Civic to understand the details of the closure and any opportunities for diversion of this closure.  A team of elected officials and community leaders have organized in an effort to assist Core Civic in obtaining other possibilities for inmate contracts at the state and federal levels.


Mayor Chavez has stated Core Civic has been a great partner within the community of Estancia and the whole Estancia Valley.

Jun 19, 2017
Category: General

Torrance County is seeking public input regarding Public Projects within the County. County Commissioners are eager to hear your ideas to improve the County in ways that better meet your needs.


Proposed project forms and detailed instructions can be found by clicking HERE or visiting the County Manager’s Office.


Projects can be any public project within Torrance County that is statutorily acceptable and benefits the residents of the County. Deadline for submission is July 6th at 5:30 P.M.


For more information please contact the Commissioner in your District! The public input process is meaningful only when you participate, so, let’s hear those ideas!

Dec 14, 2015
Category: General

We ask for your patience as The Administrative Offices of Torrance County is undergoing changes to the phone system.

As of January 4th, 2016 the entire Adminstirative Offices of Torrance County will be effected with the change(s):

Torrance County Main Number (505) 544-4700

Assessor ..........544-4300

Clerk .........544-4350

DWI/Teen ..........544-4772

NMSU Extension Office .........544-4333

Manager ..........544-4700

Planning & Zoning .........544-4387

Road ..........544-4666

Sheriff .........544-4900

TCPO .........544-4740

Treasurer .........544-4800