Governor Lujan Grisham held her weekly news conference with the state earlier than usual this week to address the dramatic spike in Covid cases NM is currently experiencing. The increase in positive tests is breaking previous records for New Mexico and putting serious strain on the state’s hospitals and ability to treat patients, the Governor said. To that end, she announce new business restrictions intended to bring down the rising case numbers in hot spots across the state. “We’re not shutting down,” Lujan Grisham said. “We’re trying to learn to live with the virus during what’s coming, which is even tougher winter months.”
The Governor made a point to note that business were not responsible for the rise in case counts but did say the fault lies with the people frequenting businesses and not following the guidelines listed in her public health orders. “Businesses are not spreading the virus,” Lujan Grisham said. “People coming to businesses are spreading the virus.” The new business restrictions are listed below:
- Individual businesses may face state-mandated closures more often. Food and drink establishments, gyms, salons, retail stores, places of lodging and similar businesses will be required to close for two weeks if they have four separate instances of a COVID-positive employee in a 14-day period.
- Grocery, big-box and other retail stores will have to close at 10 p.m. Restaurants and breweries already face a similar mandatory closing time.
- Restaurants and breweries will have to maintain a log of customers who dine in, agree to spot testing of employees and participate in training, if they want to continue operating at 25% capacity indoors.
- State museums and historic sites will close until further notice.
- A new watchlist will be published at www.env.nm.gov alerting the public to businesses with at least two instances of infected employees. Click the link for “Rapid Response COVID-19 Watchlist.”