Locals, businesses respond to New Mexico’s July reopening

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mark your calendars, on July 1, New Mexico will completely reopen. The governor announced the state is close enough to its vaccination goal to lift all COVID-19 restrictions. Locals said they’re counting down the days and for many businesses, they will be back open for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The state’s vaccination numbers as of June 18 show 59.4 percent of New Mexicans ages 16 and up have gotten their final shot. That’s about 10,000 shots short of meeting the state’s goal of 60 percent. Top health officials believe New Mexico is clear to reopen. Data shows New Mexicans who went out of state to places like Texas to get vaccinated put us over or close enough to the goal.

“People were up late, long lines getting that vaccine so while we haven’t counted all the data, we’re very very confident that we are within that margin of error to declare that we’ve made it,” said Dr. David Scrase with New Mexico’s Health and Human Services.

So starting July first, the state will do away with restrictions on mass gatherings, capacity limits at restaurants, and its county-by-county color-coded system and will reopen at 100 percent.

Friday’s announcement is a homerun for Albuquerque Isotopes fans; Games will allow full capacity. “Baseball has always been part of the healing in this country certainly in this state and in this community, the Isotopes place such a huge role in the quality of life and part of the fabric in this community,” said Isotopes General Manager John Taub. “We’re just excited that July first through the season, normalcy starts at our ballpark.”

For local breweries and bars, they’re ready to open their doors at full capacity, too. “We’ve only been at 50 or 75, so it’s going to be a wonderful feeling and we’ll see how it goes,” said Gravity Bound Brewing Co. owner, Chris Frigon.

People will get to grab a drink at the bar countertop once again “We’ll be a little more comfortable, tables will be closer together and we’ll make sure everyone is out of the heat and hopefully getting cool by the a/c,” said Frigon.

Nightclubs like Effex haven’t been open since the start of the pandemic. “It was really hard and I know a lot of the staff and a lot of the community wanted to be here,” said Effex manager, Nicole Salazar. With today’s announcement, Effex said their club will be back open on July 1. “We’re definitely excited to open after 15 months we are very blessed to have the support from the community,” said Salazar.

Even though New Mexico will be reopening in July, we expect that a health order will continue requiring people to wear face masks if they’re not vaccinated. The state said incentives helped get New Mexico close to the 60 percent vaccination goal this week with about triple the rate of final shots this week compared to last.

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