Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said yesterday, April 22, 2020, in her live address, that New Mexicans should expect the stay-at-home order to be extended through, at least May 15, 2020, because our best defense against this virus is still social distancing. She also said she wants everyone to wear a mask when going into a business as well as the employees at all open businesses to wear a mask.
The Governor announced she is planning, a phased reopening of New Mexico. She said we are now in the “Preparation Phase,” which means we are still in a stay-at-home order phase.
Currently, officials are developing a “COVID Safe Practices” to define how businesses will protect employees and when businesses may begin opening.
“Between now and May 15 we will be in the preparation phase for a gradual and safe reopening of segments of our economy. The state will get direct input from business and employee groups in industries across the state – and we will make health-driven decisions about safe reopening procedures. I want to be crystal clear: While we’re making progress, we are not yet out of the woods. We will not be able to reopen everything on May 16. The virus will not be gone. The pandemic will not be over. There is no magical date.” said the Governor.
Going from the Preparation Phase into Phase One will still require “at-risk” individuals to stay home but will allow some businesses to reopen. Then Phase Two will allow some more businesses to reopen. Large gatherings, of all kinds, will still be restricted. This means sporting events, concerts in the parks, any large events or gatherings, going to the movies or dining in at a restaurant will still be months away. When questioned by reporter Chris McKee with KRQE, ” Should New Mexicans be prepared for closures for the rest of 2020?”, Governor Lujan-Grisham answered, ” I do think New Mexicans should be prepared that its not going to be like it was pre COVID-19 until there is a vaccine. I mean that is fair.”
The Governor has put together a New Mexico Recovery Council, tasked with giving their recommendations on the reopening phases of the economy. The members she named to this special council are listed below:
During the live broadcast, Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel said, they are trying to expand testing. There are now 64 testing sites in all 33 counties. She said the testing strategy was designed to focus on targeted communities. In these targeted communities, testing is being done in 35 nursing homes. Secretary Kunkel also said that testing on asymptomatic essential workers like grocery store workers and others who are at risk, began last week.
Dr. Scrase said the latest state data is encouraging and that Santa Fe County should be a model for the rest of the state, in how to continue social distancing. He also said there is some good news, but there are still areas of concerns regarding positive cases in New Mexico. He said that for every one case we do know about, there might be 30 to 40 more coronavirus cases out there that we don’t know about.
When asked about reopening the healthcare system, he said there are criteria that need to be met before reopening the healthcare system: new case rate trends, adequate testing to achieve containment or about 100,000 tests a day (they have conducted 41,232 tests total to date), contact tracing and surveillance, PPE, hospital capacity, healthcare worker health and well-being and an outbreak containment plan. He also said testing capacity has to be in place in order for any kind of reopening for the economy.
What does this mean for Angel Fire and the surrounding Moreno Valley? It means the Public Health Emergency orders will be extended until at least May 15. It means you are to stay at home. Staying at home doesn’t mean inviting guests over for dinner or gathering in groups of more than 5, period.
It means you are to wear a mask when you go into the post office, grocery store, Family Dollar, hardware store, real estate office or any other place that is open for business. It means the employees of these businesses are to wear masks too when serving the public. It means when you are in an open business, stay at least 6 feet away from others, respect social distancing, not just in the check out line, but the entire time you are in the business. It means do not shake hands or hug one another while you are in these locations. What it does NOT mean is you have permission to be rude or aggressive to others that may not be following the rules, even on social media. It means you should make sure that you following the rules.
It also means short term rentals are still not allowed until the orders are lifted. If you or someone you know has a vacation rental of any kind, it may not be rented while this Public Health Emergency order is in place. The definition of short term rental is normally 30 days or less, but that does not come into play at this time. It very plainly says, short term rentals cease until at least May 15. It does not mean if someone wants to rent for 31 or 32 days, etc. that you may accept the rental, it means NO rentals at all. It does NOT effect long term rentals for the people who live and work in Angel Fire.
It means you are to promote a collective caring community, using positive ways to stay safe and to protect the health, welfare and safety of our residents.