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32 of 33 New Mexico counties now at least restrictive virus level

SANTA FE, New Mexico – New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins, Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase, and Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart provided a Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

In an update to the statewide Covid-19 reopening map, the state officials announced that 32 of New Mexico’s 33 counties were in the Turquoise level as of Wednesday - with just one county in Green.

Southern New Mexico's Doña Ana, Luna and Otero counties were all listed as Turquoise, which is the least restrictive of the color codes based on virus infection and vaccination rates. Alongside relaxed restrictions, counties in the Turquoise level are reevaluated every month instead of biweekly.

Chaves County was the lone in the state operating at the Green level, while no counties were in Yellow or Red.

State officials are planning to retire the color-coded system once 60% of New Mexicans are fully vaccinated. As of Wednesday, the officials said 52% of New Mexicans were fully vaccinated.

(The May 19 New Mexico color-coded Covid restrictions map.)


Counties at the Turquoise Level have three of the following or two of the following in two consecutive reporting periods: 1) a new Covid-19 average daily case incidence rate of no greater than 10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, 2) an average percent of positive Covid-19 test results less than or equal to 7.5%, or 3) a fully vaccinated rate at or above 35%.

  • Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions
  • Essential retail spaces: 75% of maximum capacity for indoor spaces and 100% outdoor
  • Food and drink establishments (if NM Safe Certified): 75% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining
  • Close-contact businesses: 75% of maximum capacity; no restrictions on outdoor spaces
  • Large entertainment venues: 33% of maximum capacity for any indoor/enclosed space on premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises
  • Recreational facilities: 50% of maximum capacity of any indoor/enclosed space on the premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises
  • Bars and clubs: 33% of maximum capacity of any indoor/enclosed space on premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises, where applicable
  • All other businesses: 75% of maximum capacity indoors; no restrictions on outdoor spaces
  • Houses of worship: May operate at 100% capacity indoors or outdoors should they so choose
  • Places of lodging: No maximum occupancy restrictions for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 50% of maximum occupancy for all others; 15 guests maximum for vacation rentals
  • Mass gatherings limit: 150 persons
Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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