During the Governor’s Live stream this afternoon, she gave further clarification on what to expect as the public health order comes to an end. As we know the past two weeks, New Mexico has been under a “reset phase,” causing all New Mexicans to stay home, or to temporarily close their business. Now that the public order is officially over, New Mexico will enter into the ‘Red to Green’ system. Meaning, all counties will monitor their own specific COVID-19 rates using either red, yellow, or green as benchmarks for reopening status’. Beginning Wednesday Dec. 2, every two weeks a new map will be issued showing the current status of each county.
“The county-by-county framework enables counties, and the businesses and nonprofits within their borders, to operate with fewer restrictions when they slow the spread of the virus and drive down test positivity rates,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “It’s been a difficult year and an especially difficult past month. We must remain as vigilant as ever to contain and beat the virus; we also must look for ways to lessen the burden on our communities wherever possible, while never swerving from our top priority – protecting New Mexicans and saving lives.”
In the ‘red’ stage, almost everything stays the same as it was on during the reset phase. Essential business may operate at 25% of maximum occupancy or 75 people at a time, whichever is smaller, indoor dining is still not permitted, close contact businesses are now allowed to operate at 25% max occupancy or 10 customers at a time, and non-essential businesses are allowed 25% occupancy or 75 customers at a time.
In ‘yellow,’ essential retail may now allow up to 125 customers at a time, indoor dining will be allowed at 25% of maximum occupancy, mass gathering limits increased to 10 persons or 25 vehicles, close contact businesses may operate at 25% max occupancy or 20 customers at one time, all other businesses including retail stores may operate at 25% or 125 people at one time.
Finally in the ‘green,’ essential businesses may open up to 50% occupancy, food and drink establishments can begin to allow 75% occupancy; same with places of worship, mass gatherings up to 20 people or 100 vehicles, close contact businesses are allowed 50% max occupancy, close contact recreational facilities are allowed 50% max occupancy, and all other businesses including non-essential retail stores may operate at 50% occupancy.
All systems will begin to take effect stating Wednesday December 2, 2020. As of right now, the only county in the state that is operating in the yellow, is Los Alamos county. Every other county is currently in the red. New maps of the state will be posted every two weeks. The silver lining of this whole system, is that once a county enters a less restrictive color, they can begin to practice less restrictive measures immediately. If a county happens to re-enter a more restrictive zone, they will have 48 hours to return to more restrictive practices.