Published: 3:57 pm, Wed. Aug. 26th, 2020
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will host a remote news conference Thursday afternoon during which she and New Mexico health officials will discuss amendments to the state’s emergency public health order impacting food and drink establishments and houses of worship, among other changes, reflecting the state’s relative recent progress against COVID-19.
The state’s operative emergency public health order expires Friday, Aug. 28. Effective Saturday, Aug. 29, the following changes, among others, will be implemented:
• Houses of worship may operate at 40 percent of maximum occupancy of any enclosed building, an increase from 25 percent, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Houses of worship may, as before, conduct services outdoors or provide services through audiovisual means.
• Food and drink establishments (including restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops or other similar establishments) may provide indoor dining service at 25 percent of maximum occupancy, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices.
• Food and drink establishments may continue to provide outdoor dining options, carryout and delivery services, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Tables – inside or outside – must be spaced at least six feet apart, and no more than six patrons are permitted at a single table.
The governor and state health officials are scheduled to discuss these and other amendments to the public health order, as well as preparations for fall semester public schooling, on Thursday at 3 p.m. on Facebook (and in Spanish on YouTube). (The time of the press conference is subject to change.)
The state’s modeling outlook has improved in recent weeks as daily COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations have dropped from earlier in the summer; in addition, New Mexico’s testing capacity and health care resources have remained steady.
The forthcoming new emergency public health order will be effective through at least mid-September.
“I know New Mexicans are ecstatic about our recent progress against COVID-19,” said Lujan Grisham. “But, given what we know about this virus, we must sound a note of caution: Our progress is only as good as our willingness to stay the course. This virus is still looking for opportunities to spread. We’ve got to adhere to COVID-safe practices in our day-to-day lives to minimize and eliminate those opportunities. I am so grateful to the New Mexicans who have made sacrifices and changed their behaviors to help get us to this point. Now we must – we absolutely must – sustain it.
“Tomorrow we’ll talk more about how far we’ve come and what we’ve still got to do, but I’m happy to announce these changes today and hope that New Mexicans feel that our hard work has begun to pay off.”