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New Mexico

New Mexico governor imposes new restrictions after nearly 90% rise in virus hospitalizations

SANTA FE, New Mexico — A string of record-breaking Covid-19 daily case counts prompted New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday to announce more restrictions as officials crack down on "hotspot" businesses that may be virus spreading sites.

Starting Friday, restaurants, breweries, retail stores, gyms and other businesses will be required to close for two weeks if they have more than four separate incidents of Covid-19 among employees within a 14-day period. Those businesses that have had at least two outbreaks will be publicly listed on a new state watch list.

Restaurants that want to continue offering limited 25%-capacity indoor dining must also complete specific training and certification, as well as agree to spot testing of employees and keep a log of customers for contact-tracing purposes. Retail stores must now close by 10 p.m. just like restaurants, and state-operated museums and historical sites will be closed until further notice.

Lujan Grisham said the restrictions are not meant to punish businesses but rather curb what has become one of the highest rates of spread in the U.S.

She maintained action is needed "to break the chain of escalating statewide infections and prevent the virus from overwhelming state hospitals without enacting wholesale business closings."

State officials noted they were particularly concerned about a significant increase in hospital admissions. Hospitalizations across the state stood at 205 on Tuesday, rising nearly 90% over the last two weeks.

New Mexico on Tuesday also reported an additional 599 cases and another seven deaths. Officials said the counties containing Albuquerque and Las Cruces accounted for almost half of the state's new infections: 154 in Bernalillo County and 136 in Doña Ana County.

It brought the total to nearly 37,900 New Mexicans infected since the pandemic began, with just over 4,900 of those cases occurring in in Doña Ana County. New Mexico has also recorded 942 deaths to date.

Despite already having some of the strictest rules in the U.S., Lujan Grisham's administration has been struggling in recent weeks with a surge in cases and increases in transmission and positivity rates.

“If Covid-19 continues to exponentially spread, New Mexico will not have the health care and hospital capacity for every New Mexican who needs care,” the governor warned on Tuesday during a briefing that you can watch in its entirety in the video player below.

Coronavirus / Health / New Mexico Politics / News / Top Stories / Video

KVIA ABC-7

Associated Press

Comments

21 Comments

    1. Everybody was doing a good job. We let our guard down in many areas and became complacent with mitigation procedures. Fauci predicted a resurgence in the fall and here it is. Now we have to start over but that won’t do us much good without strict enforcement of mitigation efforts. Listen to Dr.Fauci, Dr. Ocaranza, wash your hands, social distance, and wear your mask. Stay out of indoor places with large numbers of people, and no large family Thanksgiving dinners this year. We’ll get it under control again. New Mexicans need to avoid El Paso if possible.

      1. Who’s we nitwit? People are wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands. But the COVID19 stats just keep going up and up. Wash, rinse repeat. Oh the same Dr Fauci that said no need to wear masks back in March. OK to take a cruise, go to a movie theater or Tinder/Snapchat date. You can’t control mother nature nitwit.

      2. Fauci predicted the resurgence for the same reason he predicted the initial outbreak, because he’s involved with the Wuhan lab that released it. He knows exactly how to stop it but refuses to because he’s making tons of money from it. Fauci cannot be trusted.

      3. So how many are false positives. People get tested and then waite 2 weeks to gets tested again. Before you say something stupid I am talking about the people with no sytoms.

  1. so after they close for two weeks can they open back up or they gotta jump through hoops? This is no real plan, it doesn’t stop anything and will just be MORE regulation

  2. must consent to spot checks…..must complete training in order to open at LIMITED capacity. She already has some of the most restrictive orders and it didn’t work. …..so add more? Just admit you can’t do anything really and tell people to be safe, instead of punishing healthy law abiding citizens

    1. Typical liberal response. Just like most schools. When kids don’t perform well, guess what they do? More of the same, more of what they already suck at, more of what they already hate. It never works.

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