SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham gave an update on COVID-19 efforts in New Mexico Thursday, August 13. Overall, both Governor Lujan Grisham and Secretary of Human Services Dr. David Scrase had positive news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to New Mexico.
Although the data was positive, Dr. Scrase stressed New Mexicans still needed to use caution going forward. “Remember that what brings cases up, primarily, is people having interactions with other people. That’s how we get COVID. We share that same air, someone else, and there’s droplets in that air that we breath in and that is in the vast majority, probably how 99% of infections occur,” Dr.Scrase said.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says family gatherings and long holiday weekends have been a source of infection for many New Mexicans who have contracted COVID-19. She warned during a briefing Thursday that gatherings in a COVID-19 world make for the worst possible situation. She asked everyone to buckle down and stick to the five-person limit mandated by the state’s public health order.
Her plea comes as state officials monitor the rate of spread as a deadline approaches for determining whether public schools can resume limited in-person classes after Labor Day. The governor and health officials were optimistic as they reported a decline in daily case counts.
Encouraging trend in COVID-19 cases in the state
Dr. Scrase goes over lingering effects of virus on recovered patients
Different masks have different effects
Dr. Scrase also took time to break down the efficiency of different types of masks in relation to the amount of water droplets that get through as people talk. The worst, according to a Duke University Study, turned out to be gaiter-type masks. “It turns out, the nature of those fabrics shred some of the water droplets, and you actually broadcast more,” Dr. Scrase said.
Director of the State Personnel Office Pam Coleman was also onhand during the governor’s press conference Thursday to remind the public of the importance of filling out the 2020 Census. “When we’re talking about the risk of not being counted, we’re talking big dollars. We’re talking about dollars that go into every bit of the health care that the governor and Dr. Scrase describe and continue to describe. It goes into education. Health care means $5 billion a year to New Mexico. Education, federal dollars account to $77 million dollars,” Coleman said. “So the stakes couldn’t be higher.”
During the governor’s last COVID-19 news conference Gov. Lujan Grisham announced some senior living facilities in New Mexico would be able to allow in-person visits. To comply with new guidelines, the visit has to be outdoors, with residents and visitors 10 feet apart with plexiglass in between.
The governor also last week issued a revised executive order about quarantine requirements. In the newly revised order, the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine does not apply to New Mexico residents who have left the state to obtain medical care. It also will not apply to New Mexico residents who have left the state for less than 24 hours for parenting responsibilities.
The Associated Press contributed to this story