PHO thru Oct. 2: New Mexico Public Health Emergency Order

Coronavirus Resources

New Mexico Public Emergency Public Health Order in effect through October 2, 2020

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health announced the Public Health Emergency Order March 11. That order has been extended through October 2, 2020. All New Mexicans should be staying in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services. When New Mexicans are not in their homes, they must strictly adhere to social distancing protocols and wear face coverings to minimize risks.

Updates to the September 4, 2020 order are highlighted below

Official Public Health Order

See Definitions below

(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. An indoor or outdoor parade of any sort is a mass gathering; parades are therefore prohibited under this Order.

(2) “Essential businesses” may open but must comply with the pertinent “COVID-Safe Practices (CSPs)” section(s) of the “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers” and any identified occupancy restrictions. “Essential businesses” identified as a “retail space” may 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. Further, an “essential business” identified as a “retail space” may not allow a person who is without a mask or multilayer cloth face covering to enter the premises except where that person in in possession of a written exemption from a healthcare provider.

(3) “Close contact businesses” may operate at up to 25% of the maximum occupancy of any enclosed space on the business’s premises, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department.

(4) “Close-contact recreational facilities” must remain closed.

(5) “Food and drink establishments” may provide dine-in service, but they may not
exceed more than 25% occupancy of the maximum occupancy in any enclosed space on the premises, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department. “Food and drink establishments” choosing to provide indoor dining 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 our counter seating is permitted. Dine-in services shall be provided only to patrons who are seated at table, and patrons may not consume food or beverage while standing.

“Food and drink establishments” may also provide dine-in service in outdoor seating areas up to 75% occupancy, where applicable. Tables in outdoor seating areas must be spaced at least six feet apart. No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table. Patrons must be seated in order to be served food or drink unless ordering food for carryout. No bar or counter seating is permitted. “Food and drink establishments” may provide carryout service, or delivery service if otherwise permitted by law.

(6) “Houses of worship” may hold services and other functions, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means. “Houses of worship” may not exceed 40% of the maximum occupancy of any enclosed building, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department.

(7) “Outdoor recreational facilities” may operate provided they comply with the pertinent “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Businesses.” Further, state parks shall only be open to New Mexico residents and may open for day use only. Camping areas, visitor centers, and any other large enclosed indoor spaces at state parks shall remain closed. As a condition of entering a state park, all visitors must demonstrate proof of residency through one of the following means: a New Mexico license plate on their vehicle; a New Mexico driver’s license or ID card; a valid New Mexico vehicle registration; a federal document attesting to residency; or a military identification. In addition, public swimming pools are limited to lane-swimming and lessons only. Play and splash areas shall be closed. Horseracing tracks may not allow spectators.

(8) “Places of lodging” which have completed the NM Safe Certified training offered at may operate up to 75% of maximum occupancy. All other “places of lodging” shall not operate at more than 50% of maximum occupancy. Healthcare providers who are engaged in the provision of care to New Mexico residents or individuals utilizing “places of lodging” for extended stays, as temporary housing, or for purposes of quarm1tining shall not be counted for purposes of determining maximum occupancy.

(9) Any business that is not identified as an “essential business”, “close contact business”, “food and drink establishment”, “house of worship”, “indoor recreational facility”, “outdoor recreational facility”, or “place of lodging” 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.

(10) Any entity, including businesses and houses of worship, operating pursuant to this public health order must comply 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.

(11) Private educational institutions serving children and young adults from pre­-Kindergarten through 12th Grade, including homeschools serving children who are not household members, shall adhere to the face covering and other requirements for in-person instruction described in the document “Reentry Guidance” published by New Mexico’s Public Education Department on June 20, 2020 and as updated from time to time thereafter, and shall operate with a maximum occupancy of 25% of any enclosed indoor space, with the occupancy restriction herein to govern in the event of any discrepancy with the “Reentry Guidance.”

(12) Unless a healthcare provider instructs otherwise, all individuals shall wear a mask or multi-layer cloth face covering in public settings except when eating or drinking.

(13) The New Mexico Department of Health, 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.

(14) 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-l0A-6 (2012).


As used in this Public Health Order, the following terms shall have the meaning given to them, except where the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) “Essential business” means any business or non-profit entity falling within one or more of the following categories:

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

c. Childcare facilities

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

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

f. 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;

g. 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;

h. 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;

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

j. Media services

k. Automobile repair facilities, bike repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile or bike repair products;

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

m. Hardware stores;

n. Laundromats and dry cleaner services;

o. Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries;

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

q. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services;

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

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

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

(2) “Close-contact business” includes barbershops, hair salons, gyms, group fitness classes, tattoo parlors, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, esthetician clinics, tanning salons, guided raft tours, guided balloon tours, gyms, and personal training services.

(3) “Food and drink establishments” include restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops, or other similar establishments that offer food or drink. For purposes of this section, “breweries” are those businesses licensed pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 60-6A-26. l (2019); “distillers” are those businesses licensed pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 60-6A-1 (2019); and “wineries” are those businesses licensed pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 60-A-11 (2019).

(4) “Houses of worship” means any church, synagogue, mosque, or other gathering space where persons congregate to exercise their religious beliefs

(5) “Close-contact recreational facilities” include indoor movie theaters, museums, bowling alleys, miniature golf, arcades, amusement parks, aquariums, casinos, concert venues, sports venues, event venues, bars, dance clubs, performance venues, go-kart courses, automobile racetracks, adult entertainment venues, and other places of recreation or entertainment. For purposes of this section, a “bar” is defined as any business that generated more than half of its revenue from the sale of alcohol during the preceding fiscal year.

(6) “Outdoor recreational facilities” include outdoor golf courses, public swimming pools, outdoor tennis courts, summer youth programs, youth livestock shows, horse-racing tracks, botanical gardens, outdoor zoos, and New Mexico state parks.

(7) “Places of lodging” means all hotels, motels, RV parks, and short-term vacation rentals

(8) “Retail space” means any business that sells goods or services directly to consumers or end-users and includes the following “essential businesses” identified in the categories above: l(d), (l)k, (l)m, and (l)n.

(9) “Mass gathering” means any public gathering, private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, organized amateur contact sport, or other grouping that brings together more than ten (10) individuals in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space or an open outdoor space. “Mass gathering” does not include the presence more than ten (10) 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.

(10) “COVID-Safe Practices” (“CSPs”) are those directives, guidelines, and recommendations for businesses and other public operations that are set out and memorialized in the document titled “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers“.

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

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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