SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Following this week’s announcement that there will be a new color-coded Red-to-Turquoise framework, the county map shows the majority of New Mexico is now in Turquoise. Six counties are in the Green Level including Bernalillo, Otero, San Juan, Hidalgo, San Juan, and Sandoval.
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Only three counties remain in Yellow Level including Valencia, Catron, and Chaves. The remaining 24 counties are in Turquoise Level. Those counties include Cibola, Rio Arriba, Torrance, De Baca, Colfax, Santa Fe, San Miguel, Taos, Los Alamos, Eddy, McKinley, Sierra, Harding, Lea, Grant, Luna, Lincoln, Socorro, Mora, Curry, Union, Roosevelt, Quay, and Guadalupe.
The health metrics that are now used to determine a county’s risk level include the following:
- A new per-capita rate of new COVID-19 cases of no greater than 10 per 100,000 inhabitants over the most recent 14-day reporting period.
- An average positivity rate less than or equal to 7.5% over the most recent 14-day reporting period.
- A county with a fully vaccinated rate at or above a target, beginning at 35% as of April 30 and increasing to 40% for the regularly scheduled map update on May 5, that will increase 5% every other week as more vaccinations are completed.
Counties that meet none of the above gating criteria will be in the Red Level and at this time there are no counties that meet that criteria. A county meeting one metric will be in Yellow Level. A county meeting two of the criteria will be in Green Level. A county that has met all three criteria or maintained Green-Level status for two consecutive map updates is in Turquoise-Level. Starting May 5, if a county maintains the Turquoise-Level, they will move to a four-week update.
With the new framework, businesses that have remained closed throughout the entire pandemic such as bars with patios and movie theatres can now reopen at limited capacity.
During the recent state COVID-19 update, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state can fully reopen in July if 60% of eligible New Mexicans are fully vaccinated. “Our job is to protect New Mexicans, save lives, keep people from being sick,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham during a virtual news conference on Wednesday. She said the best way to do that is by encouraging more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
So what will it take to get to 60% full vaccinations? Currently, 42.4% of eligible New Mexicans are fully vaccinated. The target is to get 1,008,363 people fully vaccinated. According to the state, 270,725 people need their second dose.
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If everyone in the queue gets their second dose, the state also needs an additional 24,849 more New Mexicans to sign up and get vaccinated. “If anyone’s hesitant or kind of considering, do I really want to do this? Do I have to?” Dr. Tracie Collins, Secretary for the state’s Department of Health addressed vaccine hesitancy during Wednesday’s news conference.
So what will it take to find another 25,000 New Mexicans who want the vaccine? Lately, about 3,000 New Mexicans a day have been joining the vaccine push. Earlier this month, more than 10,000 people a day were signing up for their first shot.