UPDATES ON COVID-19 IN NEW MEXICO
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, information is constantly changing; here are the latest updates and data for New Mexico.
As of Friday, Feb. 26, there have been 184,080 positive COVID-19 cases in New Mexico and 3,671 COVID-19 related deaths in the state, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. The NMDOH has also reported that there has been of 2.6 million COVID-19 tests given in the state.
The NMDOH still has fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, chills, shaking and loss of taste or smell listed as COVID-19 symptoms. It is also still advising everyone to stay at home if possible, as well as to continue cleaning and sanitizing hands and frequently touched objects or surfaces.
New Mexico recently lifted its’ travel restrictions to all state residents and visitors entering the states; however, the state health department is still advising quarantining for 14 days upon arriving and/or getting tested for the virus. As of Feb. 23, all other states, districts and territories in the United States, except for Hawaii, are considered high risk areas because of their virus positivity percentage, according to the NMDOH.
New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, previously implemented a red-yellow-green risk system, which affected what businesses and to what percentage those businesses could open within each county in the state. In this system, red is the highest risk counties, while green is the lowest risk. She recently added a fourth level, the turquoise level, which is now the lowest level with the least restrictions.
The green level, which is now considered medium risk, has a COVID-19 case rate of eight cases or less for every 100,000 residents in the county and an average percent of positive COVID-19 tests no greater than five percent for the most recent 14-day data collection cycle. The turquoise level designates a county that has been at the green level for two of the 14-day data collections cycles according to the NMDOH.
The NMDOH has also provided information regarding gatherings and business for all levels. For the turquoise level, essential, non-retail businesses have no capacity restrictions, but are only allowed to do essential functions. There is a 75% capacity for both indoor and outdoor spaces in essential retail businesses. For restaurants, there is a 75% maximum capacity for both indoor and outdoor dining, but they are required to have a New Mexico Safe Certification. There are some other rules and restrictions for other types of businesses.
Also in the turquoise level, large gatherings can be no more than 150 people or two hundred cars. In addition, all places of worship can have in-person worship services, but cannot have greater than 75% capacity for any activities in enclosed spaces according to the NMDOH.
In a press release, the governor said, “we have made very solid process in recent weeks and months, and we have all together saved lives and protected our family members and neighbors.” She also said, “we have to keep it up” and “we can, and we must keep making safe choices in our day-to-day lives.”