LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) — On Wednesday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that New Mexico will open nine weeks from now as more people get vaccinated for COVID-19.
“In nine weeks, New Mexico, we are open,” said Lujan Grisham, adding that 60 percent of eligible New Mexicans are expected to get fully vaccinated by the end of June.
“Everyone in the state should be incredibly proud,” Lujan Grisham said. “It will be a lifelong journey, but we should always be winning against COVID and, in fact, New Mexico is.”
According to Lujan Grisham, currently, 41.6 percent of all New Mexicans who are eligible (those 16 years and older) are fully vaccinated.
She said she has no doubt that the number of vaccinations in the state are right on track to reopen at 100-percent capacity.
“At 100-percent capacity, you know, that becomes less restrictive, so I might want to sit a little bit further away from the indoor dining table but it’s not going to be a mandated aspect — that’s what being open means,” said Lujan Grisham.
She said changes regarding the state’s Red to Green color-coded by county framework is coming Friday, saying New Mexico has “graduated” the system.
“I declared we’re ready this Friday for all the businesses and all the counties that can move into the upgraded green and turquoise and yellow — let’s let them do that,” said Lujan Grisham.
As for the emergency order that’s currently in place, that will remain, despite the state’s plans to reopen by the end of June.
“It does allow us to continue to draw down federal support and federal funds that the least of which allow us to continue to provide vaccines, as an example for free, but there are many, many other benefits,” said Lujan Grisham.
Las Cruces Lyft and Uber driver Kevin Bennett told KTSM 9 News he is hopeful that the re-opening will mean more business for him.
“It was a little harder to earn income because people weren’t getting out and driving around, especially at airports,” he said.
The owner of a tattoo shop in Las Cruces said she’s relieved to hear the news after being shut down multiple times.
“It’s been frustrating for everyone, shutting down and opening and shutting down and opening,” said Diane Basler-White.