SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is worried after New Mexico went from being one of the safest states to one of the worst in the nation. She says it’s forced her to implement more restrictions and bring back old ones. She also says the state will start going after people breaking the rules.
The daily COVID-19 case count reached a whopping 577 Wednesday and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham explained her decision to add more restrictions going into effect Friday.
“Instead of this whiplash closing everything down, we made the following adjustments, restaurants got to be closed, that are serving alcohol, 10 p.m. We are seeing that they turn into bars which is unfair to bars that have stayed shutdown,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
Other changes include anyone who comes from a high-risk state must quarantine for 14-days regardless if they can provide a negative test result. Mass gatherings with more than five people are not allowed once again but KRQE News 13 asked what good does it go to add restrictions if people aren’t following them?
“We were relying on local law enforcement and they, frankly, aren’t enforcing or helping us. They made it very clear they weren’t interested in doing that even though they will give you a ticket for using your cell phone or not having your seatbelt on,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
The governor says she’s beefing up enforcement. “We’re going to use civil enforcements instead and bring together all of our public workers who are already regulators, and auditors, and agents like gaming control board folks, and they are going to enforce. We are going to fine you; we are going to enforce mask-wearing,” the governor said.
She also says if you weren’t worried about getting a ticket for breaking the orders, you should be worried now. She says the worst is yet to comes as she expects cases to keep climbing. “If something is happening that puts my neighbors at risk, stand up, stand tall, say something, and we’ll go out and deal with you,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
The governor says if things don’t change immediately, the state will once again restrict indoor dining and significantly roll back maximum occupancies in retail stores. “If we don’t go to better behaviors then there are very few tools, you limit people’s access to other people,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
The governor reminds everyone to limit family gatherings, with no trick or treating or big Thanksgiving dinner, and to limit going out to three places a day. “It gives me no pleasure to cite you to warn you, to shut down your business. I want us to succeed; and I can’t do that unless New Mexicans help us,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
The governor says the biggest increase in cases comes from restaurants and breweries, travel, and family gatherings which is how she based new restrictions. Thursday the governor will give another update with an in-depth look at COVID-19 case data.