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Businesses looking forward as N.M. lifts COVID-19 restrictions

Officials from southeast New Mexico welcomed lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham July 1, but expressed concern over emergency powers and extended unemployment benefits. 

The governor confirmed New Mexico would retire its color-coded, county-by-county system and all COVID-19 health restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities as state officials continued to push for 60% of the state to receive a vaccination, a number reached just this week.

Melissa Navarrette takes a phone order on June 22, 2021 at Sweet Confections in Artesia. Eddy County government and business leaders welcomed Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's order reopening the State of New Mexico July 1 from COVID-19 restrictions. The new order means there are no restrictions on businesses in the State.

State Sen. David Gallegos (R-41) said he was grateful the governor relaxed the restrictions, which he said were the result of “too much authority” via emergency executive powers.

“We thought the Legislature would be called in if it would prolong or be expensive and none of that was relevant,” he said.

More:Eddy County stays under ‘turquoise’ restrictions after spike in COVID-19 infections

“It gives her all the authority because it’s Department of Health and it’s a health emergency. I think we’re beyond the COVID (19) health emergency,” he said.

Nora Meyers Sackett, Lujan Grisham’s press secretary, said the State was within its legal rights in managing the crisis and aid to support New Mexico families and businesses during the pandemic.

New Mexico State Sen. David Gallegos (R-41)

“The best way to continue New Mexico’s full reopening safely is by getting vaccinated, and I hope that Sen. Gallegos will join us in encouraging his community members to protect themselves by doing so,” she said.

Village of Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford said the news came as tourists flocked to Lincoln County’s population center for the summer.

He said businesses in Ruidoso weathered rules and health orders during COVID-19, and now were addressing hiring challenges.