New health orders issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday means churches may now operate at 25% occupancy beginning this week.
Prior health orders by Lujan Grisham had set the threshold at 10% after closing churches earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They have to maintain COVID-safe practices,” Lujan Grisham said, which includes wearing masks.
All retailers and office spaces can now operate at 25% at fire code occupancy. Prior to Friday, the percentage was at 20% for large big box retailers.
“To the degree that you can … if you can operate your business by having your worker telecommute, work from home please continue to do that,” Lujan Grisham.
Also on Friday, Grisham said the state Motor Vehicle Division offices will open June 1 by appointment to provide services that can be provided online. Those services include first time REAL-IDs, driving test and VIN inspections.
Movie theaters, concert halls and amusement parks must remain closed statewide and none of the announcements on Friday apply to McKinley, San Juan and Cibola counties.
“If New Mexicans don’t help us as we ease restrictions, we’ll see cases rise, and as they rise, we’ll have to shut down again. That’s the only tool I have,’’ the governor said. “If I can’t get New Mexicans to protect vulnerable populations, to protect our seniors and children and minority populations and homeless populations and essential workers and health care workers and first responders and so many more, I will do whatever it takes to protect them. But you can help me. And if we all do this together, we can keep easing restrictions in a safe manner and go on living in a COVID-19 world.”
Meanwhile state health officials on Friday announced 164 additional positive tests for COVID-19. Included in those new cases were two in Curry County. No other new cases were announced in southeastern New Mexico.
As of today, there are 1,671 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health out of 5,662 positive cases.
Per the state Department of Health, the most recent cases are:
• 36 new cases in Bernalillo County
• 1 new case in Cibola County
• 2 new cases in Curry County
• 11 new cases in Doña Ana County
• 2 new cases in Guadalupe County
• 57 new cases in McKinley County
• 4 new cases in Sandoval County
• 37 new cases in San Juan County
• 2 new cases in San Miguel County
• 1 new case in Santa Fe County
• 1 new case in Taos County
• 3 new cases in Valencia County
• 7 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility
The Department of Health on Friday also reported eleven additional deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19. Those cases are:
• A female in her 60s from Bernalillo County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
• A male in his 70s from Bernalillo County. The individual was a resident of the Robin House Assisted Living Center in Albuquerque and had underlying conditions.
• A female in her 50s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
• A female in her 80s from McKinley County. The individual had underlying conditions.
• A male in his 50s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The individual was a resident of the Dungarvin New Mexico facility in Gallup.
• A male in his 60s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The individual was a resident of Sundance Care Home in Gallup.
• A male in his 70s from McKinley County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
• A male in his 80s from McKinley County. The individual had underlying conditions.
• A female in her 50s from San Juan County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.
• A female in her 80s from San Juan County. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. The individual was a resident of the Cedar Ridge Inn facility in Farmington.
• A second female in her 80s from San Juan County. The individual was a resident of the Cedar Ridge Inn facility in Farmington and had underlying conditions.
The number of deaths of New Mexico residents related to COVID-19 is now 253.
Previously reported numbers included 3 cases that were duplicates and 2 cases that were not laboratory confirmed: 4 from Bernalillo County and 1 from Cibola County – these errors have been corrected. 1 case previously reported in Bernalillo County has been corrected to be reported at the Otero County Processing Center. Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 5,662 positive tests for COVID-19:
• Bernalillo County: 1,180
• Catron County: 2
• Chaves County: 30
• Cibola County: 100
• Colfax County: 5
• Curry County: 36
• Doña Ana County: 270
• Eddy County: 17
• Grant County: 16
• Guadalupe County: 19
• Harding County: 1
• Lea County: 15
• Lincoln County: 2
• Los Alamos County: 6
• Luna County: 8
• McKinley County: 1,787
• Otero County: 8
• Quay County: 5
• Rio Arriba County: 30
• Roosevelt County: 14
• Sandoval County: 483
• San Juan County: 1,274
• San Miguel County: 9
• Santa Fe County: 114
• Sierra County: 1
• Socorro County: 49
• Taos County: 23
• Torrance County: 18
• Union County: 3
• Valencia County: 63
The Department of Health currently reports at the following numbers of COVID-19 cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the following facilities:
• Cibola County Correctional Center: 2
• Otero County Prison Facility: 31
• Otero County Processing Center: 40
• Torrance County Detention Facility: 1
County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.
As of today, there are 223 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.
The Department of Health has detected community spread in the state of New Mexico and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.
The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.
New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or loss of taste or smell should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).
Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing:
• Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;
• Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;
• Asymptomatic people in congregate settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers;
• Asymptomatic people who are currently working;
• Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or loss of taste or smell.