SANTA FE, New Mexico – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials held a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce a limited reopening would soon be allowed for dine-in restaurants, indoor malls, gyms, salons and some other businesses.
“Reopening our economy is not an invitation to forget about the risks of this virus – it is a mandate that we be more cautious and careful about our choices and decisions than ever before,” Lujan Grisham said.
The governor indicated restaurants could reopen inside dining at 50% capacity come Monday, June 1.
The following stipulations apply:
- Dine-in service may only be provided to patrons who are seated.
- Tables must be placed with at least six feet of distance between one another.
- No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table.
- No bar or counter seating is permitted.
In addition, the governor outlined these other reopening plans...
- Face-coverings remain required and must be worn in public settings.
- Gyms (no group fitness classes) and hotels may also operate at 50% capacity on June 1.
- Indoor shopping malls (no food courts), hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, massage services and nail salons can all reopen June 1 at 25% capacity.
- Drive-in theaters can reopen entirely on June 1.
- Retailers and houses of worship are staying at 25% occupancy for operations.
- Bars remain closed for now, but breweries and wineries can offer curbside pickup.
“As we move forward in reopening our economy in a Covid-positive New Mexico, it’s critically important that everyone in our state keeps up the good work we’ve been doing by adopting Covid-19 safe practices as a new normal way of life," emphasized Dr. David Scrase, secretary of the Human Services Department.
He continued, "You know the drill: wear a mask in public, wash your hands often, keep a 6-foot distance from others, and STAY HOME if you are sick or have risk factors."
New Mexico reported an additional 108 coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 7,364. A little less than 200 people remained hospitalized and 355 people have died, with six of those deaths being newly reported.
In southern New Mexico, there were just 3 new virus cases reported in Doña Ana County, for a total of 442. There was one new case reported in Otero County for a total of 18.
Separately, there was also one new case among inmates at the Otero County Prison Facility, which along with the adjacent Otero County ICE Processing Center, has a combined total of 189 infections to date.
The governor said she felt there was "stabilization" in terms of cases in the southwest region with Doña Ana and Otero counties, but noted there was still a risk given the closeness to El Paso, which has experienced a recent surge. But Lujan Grisham reiterated her criticism of federal authorities for a lack of action that allowed outbreaks at the Otero detention facilities.
At the news conference, health officials also discussed data from the website https://www.covidexitstrategy.org/, which utilizes White House-provided gating criteria, to determine if states are ready for reopening.
The site notes: "New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York are green with decreasing cases, a low positivity rate, and meeting the baseline testing target."
But it also adds, "Unfortunately though, all of them have an elevated case count per million. New Jersey is at 100, New York at 78 and New Mexico is at 64. Ideally this number is below 40."