Governor announces new statewide closures

Coronavirus New Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a red-flag gun bill Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Santa Fe, N.M., that allows state district courts to order the temporary surrender of firearms. The Democratic governor urged sheriffs to resign if they refuse to enforce the new law that can temporarily remove guns from people that may pose an immediate safety threat to themselves of others. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a directive to all state agencies on Sunday to accelerate remote-work initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency and to temporarily adjust, and in some cases suspend, certain functions in order to minimize public health risks.

“We’re asking every state employee to continue serving the public. Some can do that best by coming to the office and delivering indispensable services, and some can do that best by working from home and protecting the public health,” the governor said. “We are emphasizing social distancing with minimal disruption to services, and that’s what we recommend for all,” she added.

As part of the directive, New Mexico state agencies will make adjustments to their operations, including:

  • Closing all state museums, state historic sites, state parks, and cultural institutions to the public effective Monday, March 15.
  • In government offices that provide direct service (like the MVD), limiting staff and moving to an alternative or remote model of service; all other state government buildings and leased state offices are closed to the public.
  • Completing the transition of all employees who are able to work remotely to a remote work model.

The governor has encouraged local governments to follow suit and implement telework policies for as many employees as possible and take other steps to limit person-to-person contact in order to emphasize social distancing.

The directive affects only employees of the state government’s executive branch and excludes those deemed essential to public health and safety and protecting vulnerable populations. This includes state police, corrections officers, the National Guard, and public health workers, for example. It does not include the courts.

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