SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday that the state is on track for thousands of more businesses and services to start opening on June 1. Most of the graphs in Wednesday’s news conference show clear progress New Mexico is making in the fight against COVID-19.
It’s not a promise, but the governor says as of May 20, the state is on track for dine-in restaurant services, salons, gyms, malls and other services to potentially start reopening on June 1. “We might come to you even earlier, but right now we want you to know… there’s nothing that we’re seeing, even though we had an increase in cases today largely related to a high-risk area, that we aren’t going to get to our targets exactly when we should,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
Dr. David Scrase, Human Services Secretary, presented the slides showing New Mexico’s progress. Most regions are seeing a decline while the northwest part of the state continues to see an uptick. He also talked about how for the first time, New Mexico is under the state’s target “rate of speed.”
Dr. Scrase also pointed out that New Mexico is one of only two states that are on track to go onto Phase 1, according to the CDC guidelines. However, despite all the progress New Mexico is making, Dr. Scrase says everyone still needs to be cautious.
“If we jumped out of a plane with a parachute on and we’re descending and drifting toward earth and slowing down but still 1,000 feet above… we would not conclude its time to take off the parachute. It would be time to continue that slow descent and prepare for a landing in a COVID positive world,” said Dr. Scrase.
Dr. Scrase also says everything can still change if the public doesn’t not follow the social distancing rules. Gov. Lujan Grisham also says in order to keep moving forward and allow for those reopening, everyone still needs to stay home and socially distant.
In Wednesday’s news conference, the governor pointed out that the El Paso, Texas region is still seeing a surge in cases and that could quickly ripple into New Mexico if New Mexicans don’t stay home.
The governor said even though businesses like restaurants are not completely open yet, you can still help them out. The state set up a website with a directory of local businesses people can buy gift cards from and support in other ways.
What should I be doing to help minimize the spread?
The governor and health officials say New Mexican’s should practice the following:
- Stay home except for work/urgent needs/emergencies
- Wear a cloth face covering
- Keep 6-feet of physical distance in public spaces
- Don’t congregate in groups – at parks, on hikes ect.
- Support local businesses (buynmlocal.com)
- Help neighbors
- Offer to shop for groceries
- Make face coverings if you have extra fabric or other resources
- Reach out, stay in contact
- Monitor yourself for symptoms and find out how to get tested.
Gov. Lujan Grisham says she is targeting June 18 for the start of a special legislative session. The session would be held to adjust the state budget amid a major hit to expected revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor hopes to reach bipartisan agreement on financial measures and wrapping up the session in a few days. New Mexico’s budget faces pressure due to the economic disruptions related to the pandemic and collapse in oil prices.