Updates on Public Health Order (May 13, 2020)
On Wednesday, May 13, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced updates to the Public Health Order. Below are some of the key takeaways:
What will change come Saturday, May 16:
- All retailers may operate according to COVID-Safe Practices (“CSPs”) at 25 percent fire code occupancy (a “retailer” is any business that sells goods directly to the ultimate consumer or end-users and does not include wholesalers or suppliers, not does it include entertainment venues such as movie theaters, concert halls, or amusement parks);
- Non-essential businesses (other than retailers; such as office spaces, call centers) generally may operate according to CSPs at up to 25 percent of pre-crisis staffing levels. All employees should continue to work from home wherever possible;
- Houses of worship may operate at 10 percent occupancy;
- Additional state parks and certain outdoor recreation guides with COVID-Safe Practices;
- Masks will be required of everyone in public places, with exceptions for eating, drinking and exercising and medical requirements.
*The eased restrictions above do not apply to the Northwest public health region, which includes Cibola, McKinely and San Juan counties.
What will remain the same:
- New Mexicans must remain home except for outings essential for health, safety and welfare, especially elderly and vulnerable individuals. If you must leave home, gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited and 6 feet of physical distance from others must be maintained.
- Large retailers like big-box stores and grocery stores will continue operating at 20 percent capacity as determined by fire code.
- Locations and services where high-intensity contact is unavoidable – such as gyms, salons and dine-in service at restaurants and bars – will remain temporarily closed. Limited in-person operations for those types of businesses could be included in the next modification of the public health order, as soon as early June, depending on New Mexico’s rate of COVID-19 transmission, testing capacity and other gating criteria.
- Other high-intensity contact services that must remain closed include indoor malls, massage and tattoo parlors, theaters, casinos.
- 14-day quarantine order remains in place for out-of-state airport arrivals.
- Vacation rentals prohibited to out-of-state residents.
- Visits to long-term care and other congregate care facilities remain restricted.
COVID-Safe Practices for all retailers
- Adhere to maximum occupancy limits per public health order
- Face coverings for all employees
- Maintain schedule of stringent daily cleaning/sanitizing, including frequent cleaning of high-contact items and surfaces (doors, credit card terminals, counter tops, etc.)
- Establish protocols for contactless pickup and delivery wherever possible
What comes next?
New Mexico is looking at early June for Part II of Phase I in the reopening process. The state will be looking at more high-intensity contact businesses and services such as salons, barbers, gyms, indoor malls, dine-in restaurants – all with limited occupancy and sector-specific CSPs. Part II might also see potential expansions of occupancy limits for hotels.
The ability for the state to move to Part II depends on our ability to meet gating criteria.
For more information on the Public Health Order, including definitions and specifics, click here.
For the latest news from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, click here.
New Mexico Prepares Phased-in Approached for Reopening Businesses and Services
On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham provided more information for New Mexico residents and businesses on what to expect as the state prepares its phased-in approach for reopening businesses and services.
Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel has amended the public health emergency order to provide clarification for businesses and how they should expect to operate:
- Beginning Wednesday, May 6, all restaurants and food establishments currently offering curbside and delivery service will be required to ensure that all employees have at least cloth face coverings.
- Beginning Wednesday, May 6, all large grocery and large retail spaces (greater than 50,000 sq. ft.) will be required to ensure that all employees have at least cloth face coverings.
- All employees must wear face coverings in the workplace at all times when in the presence of others.
- Beginning Monday, May 11, all essential businesses of any size currently operating under the public health order must also comply with the face covering requirement.
Employers are strongly encouraged to acquire face coverings for their employees in preparation for the potential Phase One reopening in mid-May. Otherwise, employers may not be able to operate in compliance with state requirements. Retailers will not be required to provide face coverings for customers, but are encourage to post signage strongly encouraging customers to wear their own masks. Retailers may require customers to wear masks at their own discretion.
Governor Appoints Economic Recovery Council
SANTA FE—Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday named a diverse group of business and labor leaders from across New Mexico to a new Economic Recovery Council that will advise her on strategies for gradually reopening New Mexico businesses in a smart, safe and effective manner and for helping New Mexico’s economy to grow and thrive as it emerges from the current public health emergency.
The 15 members of the council represent a broad swath of New Mexico’s business community, including leaders from the state’s high-tech industries, tourism and hospitality, film, construction, energy, agriculture and locally based retail.
“I know how hard this has been on everybody. New Mexicans’ resilience is being tested now more than ever, but we will come out of this with the resolve we need to heal and thrive again,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “If we’re smart and patient about how we move forward, New Mexicans can show the rest of the country how it’s done.”
The governor said the advisory council’s discussions must be grounded in science, data, and sound public health research, with regular input from the state’s public health authorities and the Medical Advisory Team.
Reopening will happen in phases, beginning with a preparation phase now under way. Once it is deemed safe to do so and safe-operating procedures are in place, some non-essential businesses will be allowed to open alongside those already permitted to operate under the current stay-at-home order. All businesses will need to employ COVID-safe practices appropriate to their specific industry and work environment so that employees and customers can be confident about safely returning to work or patronizing a business. As New Mexico’s economy reopens, social distancing and COVID-safe practices will be paramount in order to mitigate the risk of a second surge of infections.
Brian Moore, co-owner of the Ranch Market in Clayton, and Christina Campos, administrator of Guadalupe County Hospital in Santa Rosa, will co-chair the Council.
To view a complete list of council members, please click here:
New Mexico Reopening Plan Preview
Thursday, April 30, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham formally announced the Public Health Order will extend to May 15, effective May 1 with modifications to gradually and safely reopen New Mexico’s economy.
During Thursday’s COVID-19 update, Gov. Lujan Grisham called the amended public health order the “Preparation Phase” of the Economic Recovery plan. As the order relaxes several restrictions to begin to alleviate economic pressure, health precautions are still in effect to ensure the safety of other and decrease the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Beginning May 1, the public health order allows for:
- Non-essential retails can operate via curbside pickup and delivery services where permitted by their license only
- State Parks will reopen for day-use-only basis if staffing is available
- Camping and Visitor Centers will remain closed
- Pet services (adoption/groomers/daycares/boarding) permitted to operate
- Veterinarians permitted to operate
- Golf courses allowed to reopen for golf only – no dine-in food services or retail
- Gun stores can operate (by appointment only given need for background checks)
- Instruction to stay home remains in place for all individuals
- Offices, workspaces, retailers (except for curbside/delivery)
- Dine-in restaurants and bars (except for curbside/delivery)
- Still unsafe and closed: indoor malls, gyms, salons, theaters, casinos
- Mass gatherings prohibited
- 14-day quarantine order remains in place for out-of-state airport arrivals
Gov. Lujan Grisham also announced the development and implementation of a Navajo Nation Rapid Response Team that will work to assess and address the needs of communities in the northwest corner of the state, as McKinley County has passed Bernalillo County in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.
More information can be found at newmexico.gov.