Eddy County government and business leaders happy with yellow status

Artesia residents enjoy indoor dining at the Chaos Cafe in Artesia on March 12, 2021.

Carlsbad Department of Development Executive Director (CDOD) John Waters admitted relief when the State of New Mexico announced Eddy County had reached COVID-19 gating criteria which would loosen restrictions on local businesses.

Eddy County was one of 13 counties in New Mexico that moved to lesser COVID-19 restrictions Wednesday. Daily cases of the virus dropped to 16.70 out of 100,000 and the positivity rate declined to 3.79%, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) noted.

More:Eddy County moves into yellow category on New Mexico’s updated COVID-19 map

Eddy County moved from red — the most restricted COVID-19 level enacted by the State — to yellow, which means restaurants may have 33% of maximum capacity for indoor dining and 75% of maximum capacity for outdoors.

Executive Director the Carlsbad Department of Development John Waters attends a luncheon hosted by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Dec. 12, 2019 in Carlsbad.

Large entertainment venues are allowed to seat 25% of maximum capacity of any outdoor space.

“I’m glad to see the numbers coming down and we’re getting back to trying to find some sort of normalcy in this crazy year,” Waters said.

The state’s county-by-county system uses key health metrics – the per-capita daily incidence of new COVID-19 cases and average COVID-19 test positivity within county borders – to determine the level of public health risk and requirement for each county, read a DOH news release.