SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is moving in the wrong direction in its fight against COVID-19. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham gave an update and says the alarm bells are ringing as the state sees an extremely troubling rise in cases.
The news was bad. A 30% increase in hospitalization in one week. 99 businesses needing Rapid Responses on Thursday alone. The governor once again pleaded with New Mexicans to do their part, saying our current public health guidelines are strong enough to turn the tide if people follow them.
“Because if you are going to seven or eight places a day… we’re giving this virus far too much opportunity to spread; and the biggest economic disaster for this state, notwithstanding the real public health consequences, for people who get this infection, you do not want it; is if they have to close reopen, close, reopen,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham in a Thursday news conference.
New Mexico’s spread rate is back in the red and the seven day average of daily cases is 171, the goal is 168, but the state is doing a good job when it comes to testing and contact tracing. All regions of the state are showing an increase in COVID-19 cases with southeast New Mexico, having the highest growth rate since September 1.
“As we are seeing around the country and around the world… surges and second and third waves are occurring. Many countries are going into another round of lockdowns and we don’t have to do in that in New Mexico and we don’t have to do that in the United States if we all pull together,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
Currently, four counties, Socorro, Lincoln, Dona Ana and Curry, switching from red to green on the map that dictates which counties can be in the hybrid learning model.
“The criteria for entry are different than the criteria for exit of the hybrid model. We think it’s very important communities are able to have a stable and ongoing opportunity to come to school and not yo-yo back and forth between schools being open and closed; counties that did go from green to red are not automatically closed they still can continue to operate in the hybrid model,” said Secretary for NewMexico Public Education Department Ryan Stewart.
There have been 205 total school-related COVID-19 cases. The state did not say if or when middle or high school students will be allowed to go back to school. The state pointed out it has done nearly one million tests statewide; about a quarter of New Mexicans have had a COVID-19 test. To slow the spread, the governor recommended people go on no more than five essential errands a day.
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