PHO thru July 15: New Mexico Public Health Emergency Order for Businesses/Retailers

Coronavirus Resources

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health announced the Public Health Emergency Order set to expire May 31, will be extended through July 21, 2020. Nothing in this Order is intended to restrain or preempt local authorities from enacting more stringent restrictions than those required by the Order.

Official Public Health Order

  1. “Except as provided elsewhere in this Order, all “mass gatherings” are hereby prohibited under the powers and authority set forth in the Public Health Act.
  2. “Houses of worship” may hold services and other functions provided that they comply with the “COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs) for Houses of Worship” section of the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”. Further, “houses of worship” may not exceed 25% of the maximum occupancy of any enclosed building, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department. Nothing in this order is intended to preclude these faith-based institutions from holding services through audiovisual means.
  3. “Essential businesses” may open but must operate in accordance with the pertinent “COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs)” section(s) of the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers” and also any identified occupancy restrictions.
  4. “Recreational facilities” must remain closed. They include: indoor movie theaters, museums, bowling alleys, miniature golf, arcades, amusement parks, concert venues, event venues, performance venues, go-kart courses, adult entertainment venues, and other places of indoor recreation or indoor entertainment.
  5. Any business that is not identified as an “essential business” or a “recreational facility” may open provided that the total number of persons situated within the business does not exceed 25% of the maximum occupancy of any enclosed space on the business’s premises, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department.
  6. Businesses identified as a “retail space” (meaning any essential business that sells goods or services directly to consumers or end-users such as grocery stores or hardware stores and includes the essential businesses) may operate provided that the total number of persons situated within the business does not exceed 25% of the maximum occupancy of any enclosed space on the business’s premises, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department. Any business opening pursuant to this provision must comply with the pertinent CSP’s set out in the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”.
  7. Indoor shopping malls are permitted to operate provided that the total number of persons within the mall at any given time does not exceed 25% of the maximum occupancy of the premises, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department. Further, loitering within the indoor shopping mall is not permitted and food courts must remain closed.
  8. Gyms and similar exercise facilities may operate at up to 50% of the maximum occupancy of any enclosed space on the business’s premises, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department, but may not conduct group fitness classes.
  9. Public swimming pools may open but such facilities are limited to lane-swimming and lessons with up to two students only. Play and splash areas shall be closed. Public swimming pools may not exceed 50% of their maximum occupancy.
  10. If customers are waiting outside of a business, the business must take reasonable measures to ensure that customers maintain a distance of at least six-feet from other individuals and avoid person-to-person contact.
  11. Bars are not permitted to operate other than for take-out and delivery if otherwise permitted under their applicable licenses.
  12. “Places of lodging” shall not operate at more than 50% percent of maximum occupancy. Health care workers who are engaged in the provision of care to New Mexico residents or individuals utilizing lodging facilities for extended stays, as temporary housing, or for purposes of a quarantine or isolation period shall not be counted for purposes of determining maximum occupancy. All places of lodging should comply with the “COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs) for Hotels, Resorts, & Lodging” section of the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”. In the case of vacation rentals, occupancy shall be determined based upon the number properties managed by a property manager.
  13. Unless a healthcare provider instructs otherwise, all individuals shall wear a mask or multilayer cloth face covering in public settings except when eating, drinking, or exercising. Further, all individuals should comply with the “COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs) for All New Mexicans” section of the “All Together New Mexico: COVID­Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”.
  14. All casinos shall close during the pendency of this Order. This directive excludes those casinos operating on Tribal lands. Horse racing facilities may operate without spectators.
  15. This Order does not limit animal shelters, zoos, and other facilities with animal care operations from performing tasks that ensure the health and welfare of animals. Those tasks should be performed with the minimum number of employees necessary, for the minimum amount of time necessary, and with strict adherence to all social distancing protocols.
  16. Golf courses may open provided that they operate in accordance with the “COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs) for Golf Course” section of the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”. Restaurants and other golf course concessions must adhere to operative CSP’s.
  17. Outdoor tennis facilities may open for outdoor use only and ,provided that they operate in accordance with the pertinent “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Businesses”.
  18. State parks may open on a modified basis and subject to staff availability. They may only be open for day use. Camping areas, visitor centers, and any other large enclosed indoor spaces normally open to the public shall remain closed.
  19. Summer youth programs may operate on a limited basis that complies with the pertinent CSP’s set out in the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”.
  20. The New Mexico Department of Public Safety, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Department of the Environment, and all other State departments and agencies are authorized to take all appropriate steps to ensure compliance with this Order.
  21. In order to minimize the shortage of health care supplies and other necessary goods, grocery stores and other retailers are hereby directed to limit the sale of medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products, and hygiene products to three items per individual. NMSA 1978, § 12-IOA-6 (2012).

Mass Gatherings

“Mass gathering” means any public gathering, private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, or other grouping that brings together five (5) or more individuals in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space or an open outdoor space. “Mass gathering” does not include the presence of five (5) or more individuals where those individuals regularly reside. “Mass gathering” does not include individuals who are public officials or public employees in the course and scope of their employment.

Retail Businesses

A “retailer” is any business that sells goods directly to the ultimate consumer or end-users and does not include wholesalers or suppliers, not does it include entertainment venues such as movie theaters, concert halls, or amusement parks


Required COVID-Safe Practices for all Employers:

  • Make hand-washing, sanitizer, and other hygiene support available to employees
  • Screen employees before they enter the workplace each day (verbally or with a written form or app) – send employees home who are experience COVID-19 symptoms
  • Prohibit employees with known close contact to a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 to remain to work until the end of the 14-day self-isolation period
  • Minimize non-essential travel – adhere to all CDC guidelines and state orders regarding isolation following out-of-state travel
  • Adhere to all CDC and OSHA guidelines

Essential Businesses

“Essential business” means any business or non-profit entity falling within one or more of the categories listed below.

Please note: When “retail space” is referenced below, it means an “essential business” that sells good or services directly to consumers or end-users inside its place of business, such as a grocery store or a hardware stores and includes:

a. Health care operations including hospitals, walk-in-care health facilities, pharmacies, medical wholesale and distribution, home health care workers or aides for the elderly, emergency dental facilities, nursing homes, residential health care facilities, research facilities, congregate care facilities, intermediate care facilities for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, supportive living homes, home health care providers, drug and alcohol recovery support services, and medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers

b. Homeless shelters, food banks, and other services providing care to indigent or needy populations; (see Faith-bases Communities in FAQ: Public Health Emergency Order)

c. Childcare facilities necessary to provide services to those workers employed by essential businesses, essential non-profit entities, and other operating non-essential businesses;

d. Grocery stores, supermarkets, food banks, farmers’ markets and vendors who sell food, convenience stores, and other businesses that generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food, feed, and other animal supply stores, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products

In order to minimize the shortage of health care supplies and other necessary goods, grocery stores and other retailers are hereby directed to limit the sale of medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products, and hygiene products to three items per individual.

Retailers should take appropriate action consistent with this order to reduce hoarding and
ensure that all New Mexicans can purchase necessary goods.

e. Farms, ranches, and other food cultivation, processing, or packaging operations;

f. All facilities routinely used by law enforcement personnel, first responders, firefighters, emergency management personnel, and dispatch operators;

g. Infrastructure operations including, but not limited to: public works construction, commercial and residential construction and maintenance, airport operations, public transportation, airlines, taxis, private transportation providers, transportation network companies, water, gas, electrical, oil drilling, oil refining, natural resources extraction or mining operations, nuclear material research and enrichment, those attendant to the repair and construction of roads and highways, gas stations, solid waste collection and removal, trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal, sewer, data and internet providers, data centers, technology support operations, and telecommunications systems;

h. Manufacturing operations involved in food processing, manufacturing agents, chemicals, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, household paper products, microelectronics/semi-conductor, primary metals manufacturers, electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturers, and transportation equipment manufacturers;

i. Services necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences or essential businesses including security services, towing services, custodial services, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled trades;

j. Veterinary and livestock services, animal shelters, and facilities providing pet adoption, grooming, daycare, or boarding services;;

k. Media services including television, radio, and newspaper operations;

l. Automobile repair facilities, bike repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile or bike repair products. Contactless car washes, which are those that do not require person-to-person interaction between customers and employees, are permitted to operate.

m. Hardware stores and self-storage facilities

n. Laundromats and dry cleaner services;

o. Utilities, including their contractors, suppliers, and supportive operations, engaged in power generation, fuel supply and transmission, water and wastewater supply;

p. Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries;

q. Banks, credit unions, insurance providers, payroll services, brokerage services, and investment management firms;

r. Real estate services including brokers, title companies, and related services;

s. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;

t. Laboratories and defense and national security-related operations supporting the United States government, a contractor to the United States government, or any federal entity;

u. “Restaurants” are those operations that generated at least 50% of their sales from dine-in services from the sale of food during the last calendar year. Sales made to customers for off-site consumption such as the sale of growlers, wholesale revenues, and to-go items are excluded from this calculation.

“Local breweries” are those businesses licensed pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 60-6A-26. l. Restaurants and local breweries may provide dine-in service, but they may not exceed 50% occupancy of the maximum occupancy of any enclosed space on their premises, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department.

Restaurants and local breweries choosing to open must ensure that there is at least six feet of distance between tables. No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table. No bar or counter seating is permitted. Dine-in services shall be provided only to patrons who are seated at tables, and patrons may not consume food or beverages while standing. Restaurants and local breweries must operate in compliance with applicable occupancy restrictions and COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs) for Restaurants” section of the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”. Local wineries and distillers may operate but only for carry out service.

v. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, but only where necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities; and

w. Logistics, and also businesses that store, transport, or deliver groceries, food, materials, goods or services directly to residences, retailers, government institutions, or essential businesses.

Essential businesses may remain open provided they minimize their operations and staff to the greatest extent possible. Further, all essential businesses shall adhere to social distancing protocol and maintain at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, avoid person-to-person contact, and direct employees to wash their hands frequently. All essential businesses shall ensure that all surfaces are cleaned routinely.

“Essential businesses” may remain open provided they minimize their operations and staff to the greatest extent possible. Further, all essential businesses shall adhere to social distancing protocol and maintain at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, avoid person-to-person contact, and direct employees to wash their hands frequently. All essential businesses shall ensure that all surfaces are cleaned routinely.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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