More than half of New Mexico’s counties improving in COVID-19 rates

El Paso News

El Paso,Texas (KTSM) – 15 New Mexico counties are at Yellow Level and four at Green Level, reflecting an overall COVID-19 improvement for the state.

The New Mexico Department of Health, on Wednesday, announced an update of the statewide COVID-19 map for a two-week period beginning Feb. 10.

Every county saw improvements in their average daily per-capita rate of new cases over the last two weeks and 30 counties saw improvements in their test positivity rate.

Counties that met one of the health metric thresholds and may operate at the Yellow Level beginning Feb. 10 are: Bernalillo, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, Dona Ana, Grant, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, Mora, Quay, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos and Valencia.

Counties that met both of the health metric thresholds and may operate at the Green Level beginning Feb. 10 are: Catron, Harding, Sierra and Union.

Twenty-nine counties reported a positivity rate below 10 percent, close to the state threshold of 5 percent, a dramatic increase from 11 counties below 10 percent one month.

Green Level:
Counties at the Green Level have both a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, and an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period less than or equal to 5%.

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: 50% of maximum capacity
Food and drink establishments: 50% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining
Close-contact businesses: 50% of maximum capacity
Outdoor recreational facilities: 50% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)
Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed
**All other businesses: 50% of maximum capacity
Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 50% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises
Places of lodging: 75% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 40% of maximum occupancy for all others; 10 guests maximum for vacation rentals
Mass gatherings limit: 20 persons, 120 vehicles

Yellow Level:

Counties at the Yellow Level have either a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, or an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period less than or equal to 5%.

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: 33% of maximum capacity
Food and drink establishments: 25% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoors dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 10 p.m. each night
Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 20 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)
Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed
**All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 125 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 33% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises
Places of lodging: 60% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals
Mass gatherings limit: 10 persons; 80 vehicles

Red Level:

Counties at the Red Level are those with a new COVID-19 case incident rate of greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period and an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period greater than 5%.

Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but must limit operations to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions
Essential retail spaces: 25% of maximum capacity
Food and drink establishments: No indoor dining permitted; 25% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 9 p.m. each night
Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 10 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)
Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed
**All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 75 customers at one time, whichever is smaller
Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 25% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises
Places of lodging: 40% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals
Mass gatherings limit: 5 persons, 40 vehicles

“New Mexicans have been working hard to get this virus back under control,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“The state’s efforts to continue our aggressive testing while efficiently distributing vaccines have contributed to the improving outlook for New Mexico. We’re not out of the woods yet, and vigilance is the only way to make sure we keep making progress. I ask all New Mexicans to please continue the hard work and continue making the right, and safe, choices each and every day, so we can see more of our state get into the Yellow and Green, and so we can keep ourselves, our families and our state safe.”

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