Tightened Emergency Public Health Order In New Mexico Following Record-Breaking Daily COVID-19 Infection Rates

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announcing during a press conference Thursday an amended emergency public health order will go into effect today following successive days of record-breaking daily COVID-19 infection rates. Screenshot/LADP

Chart from the governor’s Thursday press conference. Screenshot/LADP

STATE News:

SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico’s amended emergency public health order came into effect today after successive days of record-breaking daily COVID-19 infection rates.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials earlier in the week announced the tightened restrictions in order to stem the alarming rising tide of the virus statewide.

The amended public health order and executive order pertaining to mandatory quarantine upon travel out of state are attached to this news release.

The governor reiterated her stark warning that the state’s dramatically and rapidly worsening public health conditions will, if unabated, compel significant additional restrictions on day-to-day activities for all New Mexicans in order to preserve lives and protect the state’s fragile health care capacity.

“This is the most severe emergency New Mexico has ever faced,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “If New Mexico’s COVID-19 spread continues to spiral out of control, our state hospital and health care infrastructure will not be able to support the unprecedented health care needs of sick and dying New Mexicans. I cannot be more clear: The moment to turn the tide has to be right now, immediately, or else we face accelerating significant illnesses and needless deaths for hundreds of New Mexicans. The state will be forced to hunker back down. The health and economic consequences caused by the continued out-of-control spread of the virus will be devastating.

“Please stay home. If you must go out, wear a mask. If you must go out, do not congregate in a group. Avoid indoor activities where the virus spreads more easily. Please, do not wait for COVID-19 to take a loved one of yours to take this virus seriously. We all have a role to play in protecting our state, in saving New Mexican lives. We will overcome this together. But, again, now is the moment.”

The state’s amended emergency public health order will be in effect until Nov. 13, 2020.

If public health conditions continue to rapidly worsen, the governor and state health officials will tighten restrictions and issue amended public health guidelines and restrictions before Nov. 13.

The following amendments to the public health order are now in effect:

TEMPORARY CLOSING TIME

Any food or drink establishment in New Mexico serving alcohol must close at 10:00 p.m. each night. The governor’s Economic Recovery Council, which has advised her administration on re-opening strategies to strengthen and sustain the state’s workforce and economy through this crisis, made the recommendation for this mandatory closing time.

Other states have enacted similar closing times for places of business selling alcohol in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in those establishments. The state, which issues liquor and restaurant licenses to food and drink establishments, will rigorously enforce this requirement.

HOTEL OCCUPANCY 

Maximum occupancy restrictions have been reduced to 60 percent for places of lodging that have completed the N.M. Safe Certified training program and to 25 percent for places of lodging that have not completed the training program – a reduction of maximum occupancy from 75 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

QUARANTINE

The governor’s executive order has been amended to require a period of mandatory self-quarantine for individuals arriving into New Mexico from out of state. Individuals arriving from “higher-risk states,” or those with a test positivity rate exceeding 5 percent and a test positivity rate higher than 80 per 100,000 residents, are no longer exempt from the period of mandatory self-quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival into New Mexico. All individuals arriving from those higher-risk states – a list of which is updated each Wednesday at cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations – must self-quarantine for a period of no less than 14 days or for the duration of their stay in New Mexico, whichever is shorter.

MASS GATHERINGS

Mass gatherings of more than 5 individuals are once again prohibited. Previously the state had allowed gatherings of more than 10 individuals. A “mass gathering” is defined as any public or private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, organized amateur contact sport, or other grouping that brings together individuals in an indoor or outdoor space.

Chart from the governor’s Thursday press conference. Screenshot/LADP

Chart from the governor’s Thursday press conference. Screenshot/LADP

Chart from the governor’s Thursday press conference. Screenshot/LADP

Chart from the governor’s Thursday press conference. Screenshot/LADP

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