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Governor to lift all New Mexico pandemic restrictions on July 1

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The state of New Mexico's pandemic-related public health restrictions will be completely lifted as of July 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday.

She made the declaration as health officials crunched the state's vaccination numbers.

The governor said she set New Mexico's 'opening day' for two weeks from now to allow those recently vaccinated as part of a big state push to have their shots take full effect.

Lujan Grisham had wanted at least 60% of residents 16 and older to be vaccinated two weeks ahead of the reopening. Her office said vaccinations stood at 59.4% as of Friday, but added pending federal data and the “margin of error” in the vaccination data effectively puts the state at the 60% target.

"We are totally there," New Mexico Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase told ABC-7 on Friday. "I'm the one who's the stickler for the math, but federal data comes in about three days later. We did late vaccinations last night."

Las Cruces business owners on Friday welcomed the news and reflected on a year of challenges and closures.

“We closed down for about a year and a half," said Delia Vargas, a bartender of ten years at Palacio Bar in Mesilla. "Most of our bartenders got laid off. It’s been pretty tough.” 

“I think it’s going to be great," said Pablo Lopez, the general manager of Outdoor Adventures Bike Shop. "I think everybody’s starting to feel a little more comfortable. This is a good shot in the arm of confidence.”

“I'm just excited," said Erin Johnson, the general manager of the Las Cruces locations of Allen Theaters. "Excited to get back to normal."

“To me, it just felt like the first big step toward getting back to normal," said David Tellez with Salon Cheveux. He estimates he lost between one quarter and half of his yearly wages in 2020. "That, for me, is irreplaceable.”

“In the future, we need to do a better job of strategizing and balancing," said Marci Dickerson, who led a protest of restaurant owners of state restrictions last July. "How can we balance the economy with the perceived health threat?”

Note: Allen Theatres was granted two Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $2,098,462.50. Dickerson's Catering was granted two PPP loans totaling $161,862.50.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the former Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is a former ABC-7 New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and weekend evening newscast anchor.


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