NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Only one New Mexico county is in the Red Level according to the New Mexico Department of Health’s updated statewide COVID-19 map on Wednesday, March 10. Following the newly modified framework, seven counties are now in the Turquoise Level including Union, Harding, Quay, De Baca, Sierra, Los Alamos, and Catron counties.
Counties at the Turquoise Level have both a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than eight cases per 100,000 during the most recent four-week period and have an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent four-week period less than or equal to 5%. These counties will also face fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities.
San Juan, McKinley, Santa Fe, Hidalgo, Lea, Soccoro, and Roosevelt counties are now in the Green Level while Guadalupe County is the only county in New Mexico to be in the Red Level. All other 18 remaining counties are in the Yellow Level which includes Rio Arriba, Taos, Colfax, Mora, Sandoval, San Miguel, Bernalillo, Cibola, Valencia, Torrance, Lincoln, Chaves, Curry, Grant, Luna, Otero, Dona Ana, and Eddy counties.
According to the NMDOH, Guadalupe, Mora, Taos, and Torrance counties fell to a regressive, more restrictive level during this two-week period. Guadalupe County saw an increase in both its rate of new per-capita cases and positivity and was the only county to move from Yellow to the more restrictive Red Level. NMDOH reports that a county where the virus is on the rise, requiring a move back to a more restrictive level must begin operating at the more restrictive level within two days.
Meanwhile, the progress comes as new coronavirus cases in the state are stagnant, and one of New Mexico’s top doctors warns that counties could start sliding backward fast. This is something Secretary for the Human Services Department Dr. David Scrase predicted because cases are leveling off and say all counties still need to be cautious.
“We don’t want to see counties go from green to yellow or yellow to red but when this case curve levels off and gets flat, which essentially, it has over the last week that means that the potential for a county with an outbreak to go back to red is much higher,” Dr. Scrase said last week.