NMED COVID-19 Business Watchlist For Nov. 22, 2020

NMED News:

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has updated its daily Rapid Response COVID-19 Watchlist, which includes New Mexico places of employment that have had two or more rapid responses in the last 14 days.

There are 272 establishments on the Watchlist as of today.

The current Rapid Response COVID-19 Watchlist and closure list, which includes all establishments that are currently required to be closed, are posted here.

The state initiates a rapid response when it learns of a positive COVID-19 case in a workplace. NMED or the state agency initiating the rapid response will offer direction to establishments regarding testing, quarantining and isolating, disinfecting, and COVID-Safe Practices.   

Until today, the Watchlist only included organizations for which NMED conducts rapid responses, including grocery stores, restaurants, retail stores, gyms, salons and business offices. Starting today, the Watchlist also includes K-12 public schools that have had two or more rapid responses in the last two weeks.

While NMED rapid responses are only initiated when there are one or more positive COVID-19 employees, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) also conducts rapid responses when a student or students test positive.

The Rapid Response COVID-19 Watchlist allows the public to make more informed decisions when patronizing establishments and also assists NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau and other state and local regulatory agencies in evaluating whether organizations are complying with state public health orders and COVID-Safe Practices. State regulatory agencies may initiate compliance investigations and/or exercise enforcement when establishments fail to adhere to required practices.

The current public health order mandates certain establishments close for two weeks if they have four or more rapid responses within the last 14 days. The closure requirement applies to food and drink establishments, retail spaces, places of lodging, close-contact businesses as defined in the Nov. 13, 2020 public health order, and essential businesses (other than healthcare operations, utility and media services).

When there are four or more rapid responses at a location within 14 calendar days, the New Mexico Environment Department will refer the establishment to the Department of Health, which will evaluate and make the decision on establishment closure.

An establishment may be permitted to continue operating if the Department of Health, after consultation with the New Mexico Environment Department, determines that the business is a sole provider of goods or services within a community.