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The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) said Eddy County met COVID-19 gating criteria Wednesday for the “turquoise” category, as daily cases were reported at 6.70 out of 100,000 and the positivity rate was 2.41 percent.
The ‘low risk’ category of turquoise means that the county maintained its downward trajectory for a four week period, and public emergency health orders are somewhat more relaxed.
Eddy County was one of seven counties —Torrance, Lincoln, Chavez, Curry, Hidalgo and Rio Arriba — which improved to the turquoise level.
“This progress is not only achievable but sustainable, so we’re excited about that,” said New Mexico Health and Human Services Secretary David R. Scrase, MD, Helath and Human Services secretary .
Scrase said those counties in the turquoise category are very likely to remain there, though three rural counties’ data slid downward. San Juan County went from turquoise to yellow this week.
Cibola, San Miguel and Harding improved from yellow to green in the gating criteria.
Eddy County first entered the “green” level March 25, when positive cases were reported at 4.00 per 100,000 and the positivity rate was 1.33 percent. That data improved to 7.20 out of 100,000 cases with a positivity rate of 2.13 percent.
Before that Eddy County was in the “yellow” category, as daily cases were reported at 16.70 out of 100,000 and the positivity rate declined to 3.79%.
“This is very good news. A move to Turquoise means we will get to continue to move forward with re-opening Carlsbad, but, more importantly, it means very few families in Carlsbad right now are battling this terrible virus,” said Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway.
“We hope continued progress with vaccinations will keep Eddy County in the Turquoise from now on. We will be evaluating our exciting policies within the City and making changes as we remain in compliance with state instructions.”
Learn more about the red to green framework here.
What does Turquoise level mean?
- Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions
- Essential retail spaces: 75% of maximum capacity (indoor and outdoor)
- Food and drink establishments (if NM Safe Certified): 75% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining
- Close-contact businesses: 75% of maximum capacity; no restrictions on outdoor spaces
- Large entertainment venues: 33% of maximum capacity for any indoor/enclosed space on premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises
- Recreational facilities: 50% of maximum capacity of any indoor/enclosed space on the premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises
- Bars and clubs: 33% of maximum capacity of any indoor/enclosed space on premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises, where applicable
- All other businesses: 75% of maximum capacity indoors; no restrictions on outdoor spaces
- Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 75% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises
- Places of lodging: No maximum occupancy restrictions for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 50% of maximum occupancy for all others; 15 guests maximum for vacation rentals
- Mass gatherings limit: 150 persons, or 200 vehicles
Jessica Onsurez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @JussGREAT on Twitter at by phone at 575-628-5531.