FAQ: What you need to know about the New Mexico ‘Stay-at-Home’ order

Coronavirus Resources

On April 6, 2020, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health announced they are extending the public health emergency order to April 30 which closes all businesses and non-profit entities to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico. The “Stay-at-Home” goes into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 7 and will remain in place through April 30, unless otherwise amended. The initial public health emergency order was announced on March 23, 2020.

The Complete List of Essential Businesses is at the bottom of this post

Q: What does Stay-at-Home mean?

A: New Mexico citizens need to stay home and undertake only outings that are absolutely necessary for their health, safety, or welfare. That means only go to the grocery store or pharmacy when you need to go. 

Q: Is this mandatory or just guidance? 

A: The “stay-at-home” order is mandatory to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico. 

Q: Where does this apply?

A: This is in effect for the entire state of New Mexico. 

Q: What happens if I don’t comply with this order? 

A: This is a mandatory order and businesses that don’t comply can lose their license to operate and face civil or criminal penalties. It is unclear at this time whether law enforcement would issue citations to people who violate the order, but Gov. Lujan Grisham said they could issue a “harsh reminder” to offenders.

“Public Health Act” according to New Mexico statue: “means an infection, a disease, a syndrome, a symptom, an injury or other threat that is identifiable on an individual or community level and can reasonably be expected to lead to adverse health effects in the community;”

Q: How long is the order in effect? 

A: The order is in effect through April 30, unless otherwise amended.

Q: Why was this order issued? 

A: This is a critical intervention to help reduce and minimize the spread of coronavirus in New Mexico. 

Q: What will be closed?

A: All non-essential businesses such as: Malls, indoor shopping malls, flea markets, theaters, movie theaters, recreational facilities, health clubs, resort spas, hair and nail salons, bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness studios, Dine-in restaurants, entertainment venues, casinos, tribal casinos, horse racing facilities convention centers automobile dealerships, payday lenders and liquor stores.

Q: How does the order affect hotels?

A: Hotels, motels, RV parks, and other places of lodging shall not operate at more than 25 percent of maximum occupancy, per the amended order. This is reduced from 50 percent.

Q: Are restaurants still open?

A: Restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries, and other food establishments are closed for in-person dining.  Call in an order for pick-up or home delivery

Q: Will there be a limit to how many people can be in an essential business?

A: Yes. All retail operations that are considered essential businesses – including grocery stores – will limit occupancy in their retail spaces. The maximum number of customers in the retail space must be equal to 20% or less of the maximum occupancy of the retail space, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department.

Q: My employer has asked me to come to work at a “non-essential business” — What do I do? 

A: Soon the 833-551-0518 will have a reporting mechanism to report non-compliance businesses to the state.

The Complete List of Essential Businesses is at the bottom of this post

Q: Is there a curfew associated with this order? 

A: No 

Q: Do I have to perform social distancing at home with my family? 

A: No. However, Gov. Lujan Grisham says families that are more than five need to rework their daily routines. “Can you split up? Can three of you go for a walk in the morning? Can three of you go for a walk in the afternoon? Can two of you go to the grocery store? Because if you see what’s happening, whole families are going to the grocery store and they’re coming in contact with other large families… that’s a risk. They’re putting themselves at risk and I’m wanting those families to be safe. I don’t want them to be sick.” 

Q: Are there any exemptions to the 5-or-more rule? 

A: Yes. If five or more people live together, they are exempt inside their residence.  

Q: Are childcare services still open? Can my babysitter come to my house? 

A: Yes. Child care facilities necessary to provide services to people that work in essential businesses and nonprofit entities can continue to operate. Child care services are also available to serve families with young children when parents are involved with protective services, behavioral health and/or juvenile justice services. However, child care facilities that remain open must have heightened cleaning and social distancing requirements.

Q: Can I still go outside for a hike or walk? 

A: Yes. However, you must maintain a distance of 6-feet and cannot be in a group of five or more. 

Q: Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper and medicines? 

A: No. People will continue to be able to purchase food, toilet paper and medicine. However, people should only go to the grocery store once per week. Stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores will remain open. 

Q: My school is providing free grab-and go meals, instructional materials and supplies and child care. Are those still open?

A: Yes

Q: Can I travel to donate blood? 

A: Yes. The FDA is urging people to make blood donations. Vitalant has four blood donation centers across the state. Call 1-877-258-4825 or go to vitalant.org to make an appointment before you go. Also, if you are sick, do not donate.

Q: Will public roads be closed? 

A: No. All streets, roads and highways will remain open

Q: Can I still get my mail and deliveries? 

 A: Yes. Mail is considered an essential government function. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are considered essential businesses. 

Q: Can I take my dog for a walk or to the vet?

A: Yes, you can walk your dog as long as you’re following the social distancing rules. You can also take your dog to the vet, emergency veterinary services are exempt from the orders. 

Q: Have other states issued the same order?

A: Yes. As of March 22, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois have issued similar orders. 

Q: Can I still seek non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, ect.?

A: Generally, you should postpone these if possible. Check with your provider of routine care for specific guidance because they may cancel their services. You should not expose yourself or others for health care or maintenance care that can wait a few weeks. 

Q: Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing homes ect.?

A: No. Existing orders of the Health Officer addressing the emergency prohibit non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities. This is difficult but is necessary to protect hospital staff and other patients.

Q: What is considered an essential business?

A: Below is a list of businesses deemed essential that may remain open are:

  • ​Health care operations including hospitals, walk-in-care health facilities, emergency veterinary and livestock services, 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, and medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers;
  • ​Homeless shelters, food banks, and other services providing care to indigent or needy populations;
  • ​Childcare facilities necessary to provide services to those workers employed by essential businesses and essential non-profit entities;
  • ​​Grocery stores, all food and beverage 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;
  • ​Farms, ranches, and other food cultivation, processing, or packaging operations;
  • ​All facilities used by law enforcement personnel, first responders, firefighters, emergency management personnel, dispatch operators, and court personnel. 
  • 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
  • Manufacturing operations involved in food processing, manufacturing agents, chemicals, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, household paper products, telecommunications, microelectronics/semi-conductor, primary metals manufacturers, machinery manufacturers, electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturers, and transportation equipment manufacturers;
  • ​Services necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences or essential businesses including security services, custodial services, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled trades;
  • ​Media services including television, radio, and newspaper operations;
  • Automobile repair facilities, bike repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile or bike repair products;
  • ​Hardware stores;
  • ​Laundromats and dry cleaner services;
  • ​Utilities, including their contractors and suppliers, engaged in power generation, fuel supply and transmission, water and wastewater supply;
  • Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries;
  • Banks, credit unions, insurance providers, payroll services, brokerage services, and investment management firms;
  • Real estate services including brokers, title companies, and related services.
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  • Laboratories and defense and national security-related operations supporting the United States government or a contractor to the United States government;
  • Restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries, and other food establishments are closed for in-person dining. Restaurants will still be allowed to do pickup and delivery options.
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, but only where necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities

New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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

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