SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is no longer improving in the fight against COVID-19. On Thursday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham says because of the rise of COVID-19 cases, phase two of reopening is on hold for now.
“On Monday we had 128 cases. On Tuesday 148 cases. Yesterday 156 cases with increases now in every single region we can manage being flat. Our goal should be to reduce cases,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
A graph shown during Thursday’s news conference showed a trend of COVID-19 cases going up across the state. Another chart showed the spread rate increasing in four of the five New Mexico regions. The governor says because of case increases, updates to the public health order scheduled for July 1 may be delayed by a week or more. That means everything will remain the same on July 1 which includes occupancy limits for many businesses, gyms, restaurants and churches.
During Thursday’s conference, the governor kept reiterating New Mexicans need to do more, especially if they want to send their children back to school. “Do your part, we owe it to every single student, their parents, and their educators… and if we don’t do a better job you’re basically signaling to New Mexico families and their students that we don’t care enough about their education,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
The governor also said that the state will continue to evaluate transmission rates and alarming rises in cases for another week before making decisions bout raising the mass gatherings limit.
Health officials also pointed to the spike in cases and hospitalizations in Arizona and Texas saying New Mexico can’t afford the same result by reopening too quickly. “We measure our seven hub hospital systems. They are above their capacity of ICU beds, but still below their expanded capacity,” said Dr. David Scrase, Human Services Secretary.
Health officials say wearing a mask and practicing social distancing is still important. They also said big contributors to new cases in the state are due to travel. The 14-day quarantine rule is also still in place.
Festivals and other mass gatherings are still not allowed at this time.