Data shows New Mexico counties on path to ease COVID restrictions

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Wednesday, January 27, the state will officially update its red to green map, showing which counties may be able to ease restrictions. KRQE News 13 crunched some of the numbers so far and found several counties trending in a positive direction.

According to the state’s data on daily COVID-19 cases and tests taken over the last couple of weeks, a handful of counties are trending in a good direction, including Bernalillo County.

“We’re making some improvements in our state that we should be happy about,” explained Human Services Secretary, Dr. David Scrase.

Dr. Scrase highlighted some of the improvements New Mexico has seen with COVID-19 over the last couple of weeks during a news conference on Monday. “If you look down at the bottom of the graph you can see all five regions in New Mexico, a downward trend,” he said.

Graph depicting 7-day average of daily COVID-19 cases

Since December, New Mexico has been using a ‘red-to-green’ color-coded system to determine which counties will face tougher public health restrictions. The data is re-calculated every two weeks.

On Wednesday, the color-coded county map that currently shows mostly red – will change.

County ‘red to green’ map as of Jan. 26, 2021

KRQE News 13 took state Department of Health numbers on its county dashboard from January 13 through January 25 and calculated Bernalillo County’s test positivity rate at 4.4%.

Assuming roughly the same amount of people get tested on Tuesday as we’ve seen over the last two weeks, it would take a significant single day case spike to put Bernalillo County above 5%, which is the threshold for the county to move to yellow.

The biggest changes from red to yellow?

In a red county, indoor dining is prohibited. In yellow, indoor dining can reopen at 25% capacity. Mass gatherings can increase from 5 to 10 people, and capacity limits can increase for retail and places of lodging.

“Our feeling is that this downward trend is real and we hope that you will all partner with us in sustaining it by maintaining those COVID-safe practices,” said Dr. Scrase.

Other counties currently trending close to or below 5% test positivity rates include Sandoval, Chaves, Cibola, Socorro, Taos, Curry, Mora, Valencia, and Roosevelt.

Calculations will of course change once Tuesday’s data is factored in. On Wednesday, January 27, the state is planning to update its county map, so the public will be able to see which counties will be able to ease up some restrictions.

The only New Mexico county, currently green, is Harding. They’ve had no new cases reported in the last two weeks.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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