Farmington mayor wants gating criteria modified to help businesses

Coronavirus New Mexico

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – The mayor of a northwestern New Mexico city wants the state to consider modifying the gating criteria for reopening even more as more people get vaccinated, to help support businesses. Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett says the city is celebrating San Juan County reaching the yellow level for reopening as of Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, the county just missed the threshold to get into the yellow by .01% and challenged the state to be more transparent about how it calculates test positivity rates. Those are what determine a county’s reopening level.

Now, Duckett says he wants the state to consider if it would be possible to work vaccination percentages into the gating criteria for reopening. “What we’re seeing is testing is going down so how do we address that in the gating criteria? And vaccinations are going up,” said Mayor Duckett.

This comes as the state just last week modified the red-to-green framework, to allow for more day-to-day and commercial activities to reflect the improving COVID outlook across the state. In response to the mayor’s inquiry, the governor’s office, in an emailed statement, says “the effect of COVID-19 vaccinations is inherently included in the state’s gating criteria due to the fact that as more vaccine doses are administered, the spread of COVID-19 decreases, resulting in fewer cases and lower positivity rates.”

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