SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials held a remote news conference Wednesday, February 10 to provide an update on COVID-19 in New Mexico and the updated county map. Progress was the theme of the governor’s latest update.
COVID-19 cases have been trending downward in New Mexico as well as the state’s overall test positivity rate. According to the New Mexico Department of Health website, the state’s most recent seven-day rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate is 5.1% which was posted on February 6. Over 350,000 COVID vaccines have now been administered in the state. As of Tuesday, more than 250,000 New Mexicans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
More than half of the state has now moved into the less restrictive yellow or green levels. The state also announced New Mexicans no longer need to quarantine if they travel. In just a month, New Mexico has turned it around going from almost all red to mostly yellow and green.
However, even at the green level, there are still limits and businesses like bars, movie theaters, and recreational facilities still cannot open. “I don’t want folks to think that the green is where we end. The green says we’ve done such a good job that we can begin to do other expansions as well. I don’t have a name for it yet but look for ‘green plus’ coming to you soon,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
As of now, the best a county can be is green and four are Harding, Union, Sierra and Catron counties. Fifteen counties are in yellow including the state’s most populous counties, Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Santa Fe, and Sandoval. Yellow means restaurants can now allow indoor dining at 25% capacity and patio dining at 75%. Churches can now be a third full and people can gather in groups of ten.
Secretary for the Human Services Department Dr. David Scrase describes the case curve map as great. He says that is due to both COVID-safe practices and the more New Mexicans being able to get the vaccine. “This week we are able to say that 16% of the decrease we have seen in cases, we have seen a 16% decrease in cases as a result of the vaccine alone,” Dr. Scrase said.
NMDOH Secretary-Designate Dr. Tracie Collins says New Mexico is capable of giving out 50,000 doses of the vaccine a day but is only getting a shipment of 61,000 for all of next week. Meanwhile, starting Thursday, New Mexicans or visitors who leave or come into the state no longer are required to quarantine for 14 days. The state still recommends self-quarantining and getting a COVID test if you travel.