N.M. to lift pandemic restrictions Thursday
SANTA FE – Having met Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s goal of 60 percent of eligible residents completing their COVID-19 vaccination series, the state of New Mexico on Thursday will enjoy the removal of remaining pandemic occupancy restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities, including the color-coded county-by-county system.
Sixty-two percent of eligible New Mexicans have completed their vaccination series as of Tuesday, according to Department of Health data. The agency reports almost 71 percent of eligible New Mexicans have received at least one dose. The state’s vaccination distribution and education efforts will continue.
Effective July 1, all pandemic-related occupancy restrictions on all forms of commercial activity will be lifted. All businesses across the state may once again operate at 100 percent of maximum capacity. In addition, all limitations on mass gatherings are gone; businesses, large events and organizations may operate at 100 percent of maximum capacity, whether indoor or outdoor.
Businesses and local governments may still adopt and require additional precautions for residents, employees and/or patrons, at their discretion, and are still advised to enact whatever social distancing and facemasking measures may be appropriate to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
The state’s updated COVID-Safe Practices, a set of best practices and safety guidance for businesses, will also now follow CDC guidance and will be streamlined for businesses in general; previously, state COVID-Safe Practices had outlined industry-specific requirements.
There have been no state travel restrictions or requirements since mid-February.
Facemasks, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, have not been required in New Mexico for individuals who have completed their vaccination series since May 14.
The state will continue to follow CDC guidance with respect to face-coverings: Masks will remain required for unvaccinated individuals; regardless of state guidance, businesses, workplaces and tribes may continue to require masks for employees, customers or visitors on the premises, regardless of vaccination status, at their discretion.
Most health care facilities will continue to require masking, screening for COVID-19 symptoms, limited numbers of visitors, limited visitation times and continued COVID-19 testing for hospitalized patients and those undergoing certain procedures. State health officials said health care facilities are safe, and stressed that individual health care should not be delayed for any reason.
The majority of counties in the state had been operating at the least-restrictive Turquoise Level for months.
“I am incredibly proud of New Mexico,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “We stepped up. We looked out for one another. We sacrificed, and we saved lives. And now we’re all ready for a safe and fun summer. Lord knows New Mexicans have earned it. Please, get your shot if you haven’t already – don’t risk these dangerous new variants that present incredible risk to unvaccinated and even young people. Go to vaccineNM.org and help protect yourself and your family.”
The state will continue to promote and administer COVID-19 vaccinations all across the state.
All New Mexicans age 12+ are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and are strongly encouraged to schedule their vaccine appointment today at vaccineNM.org or by calling 1-855-600-3453. Parents of New Mexicans age 12-15 are encouraged to register their child for the approved Pfizer vaccine at vaccineNM.org.
The state’s Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes, including four more $1 million drawings (for New Mexicans who have received at least one vaccine shot) and a $5 million grand prize (for New Mexicans who have completed their vaccination series), continues; vaccinated New Mexicans who would like a chance to win must opt in to the sweepstakes at vax2themaxNM.org.
The next $1 million drawing is scheduled for Friday, July 2; vaccinated New Mexicans must opt in to the sweepstakes by 6 p.m. Thursday, July 1, to be eligible for the July 2 drawing.
The amended public health order, issued June 30 and effective July 1, can be found here.