ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Saturday, a lot more businesses throughout New Mexico can reopen except for Cibola, San Juan and McKinley Counties. The governor’s team said we are starting to see a downward trend in coronavirus cases but it is still too soon to open places like bars, restaurants and gyms.
“We think we are getting close enough that we can talk right now about moving into the next phases,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. Gov. Lujan Grisham is reopening New Mexico a few steps at a time. Wednesday, the governor announced a new public health order that is set to begin Saturday.
All retailers can now open but they must operate at no more than 25% of capacity. Nonessential businesses like offices may operate with up to 25%t of staffing levels. Churches can operate at 10% occupancy.
Summer youth programs will be modified. Programs and sports camps will be restricted to a 5-to-1 child to adult rations. There will be no contact or competitive play. However, the governor’s team stresses people should still stay at home and limit gatherings to five or fewer people.
“Actual reopening, we will see more cases, hospitalizations and death,” Human Health Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase said. “It is actually harder work as we start reopening to keep that social distance up. It is riskier, and particularly vulnerable people need to stay home for a longer period of time.”
The reopening excludes dining in restaurants, malls, salons, and gyms. The governor said those things may be phased in in early June. Reopening does not apply to the northwestern corner of our state, Cibola, San Juan, and McKinley Counties, where the governor said the risk of spread remains too high. That region will enter the preparation phase the rest of the state has been in.
“We are going to demand to New Mexico that the science guide every single decision we make,” Lujan Grisham said.
With this comes a new mandate for the entire state. Starting Saturday, it will be against the law to go out in public without a mask unless you are eating, drinking or exercising.
“Everything we do is measured against saving as many lives we can and making a difference in keeping as many New Mexicans as safe as we can,” Lujan Grisham said.
The state is also increasing its presence in border communities in the north and southwest as they are concerned about traffic from neighboring states. They are ramping up testing and surveillance in those areas as well.
The governor’s team said they are dramatically increasing testing statewide, adding that we are among the top ten states for the proportion of the population tested. Tuesday, more than 4,500 people were tested.
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