In Monday’s afternoon press briefing from the Governor New Mexicans received some clarity on the new system the state will be using to control the spread of the virus while allowing business to reopen starting Wednesday. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham discussed the shift in how the state will be attempting to control the virus spread and the minutiae of the new ‘red to green’ system with Human Services Secretary David Scrase. Under the new rules, the state will allow businesses to reopen on a county by county basis depending on the infection rate and other gating criteria. Some critics of the new plan said it could take months for counties to shed the most stringent restrictions under the new red-to-green approach. This is especially true for large metropolitan centers like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces who are seeing high infection rates with no sign of slowing down.
The factors for determining if a county can move from red to yellow are two fold. A county must hit at least one of two statistical targets – one on the share of virus tests that come back positive, the other on the number of new cases per capita each day. The state is currently nowhere near the second target to move to yellow. The statewide rate of new cases stands at roughly 79 for every 100,000 people, nearly 10 times the target, which is just eight cases. the new county based system is modeled after similar plans from other states. “We are going to empower local governments and constituents to work more closely together so we can move the entire state to green,” the governor said.
while there will still be business restriction in place, they are less stringent than the “two week reset” lockdown the state is just coming out of. Counties in the red zone can allow outdoor dining and trips to the gym, hair salon and most other businesses – all at partial capacity. For more information click the links below.