SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a statewide “stay-at-home” instruction Monday to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico. The “stay-at-home” orders go into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 24 and run until April 10.
“If you look at what is going on around the state, there are a lot of people out and about,” Lujan Grisham said. “If we don’t limit it, who is going to stock your grocery stores,” she asked. “Who is going to be in the emergency room?”
As of Monday, March 23, there are 18 new cases in our state, the largest single day jump, putting the total to 83 cases in New Mexico. Gov. Lujan Grisham also said there are cases in 11 counties. Right now, there is a community spread of COVID-19 in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties. Of the 83 cases, nine required hospitalization. One person is from Arizona. Three required intubation. Five remain hospitalized.
“We are worried it can outpace the healthcare system in our state,” state epidemiologist Dr. Chad Smelser said.
The governor said the state is considering setting up alternative medical facilities and care sites and is expecting hundreds of thousands personal protective equipment like masks and gloves for medical professionals in the coming days and weeks.
“Until they are in my hot little hand, I will not stop asking those companies and FEMA about those shipments and what is coming to us,” Lujan Grisham said.
To help stop the spread, “non-essential” businesses have been issued to close and have people work remotely. “Essential businesses” can remain open at this time.
“Essential businesses” is business or non-profits that falls within the following categories below:
- Health care operations including hospitals, walk-in-care health facilities, emergency veterinary and livestock services, pharmacies, home health care workers, emergency dental facilities, nursing homes, residential health care facilities
- Homeless shelters, food banks and places that provide care to in-need populations
- Childcare facilities
- Grocery stores, all food and beverage stores, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores
- Farms, ranches, and other food cultivation, processing or packaging operations
- Facilities used by law enforcement, first responders, firefighters, emergency management personnel and dispatch operators
- Infrastructure operations including, but not limited to, public works construction; commercial and residential facility construction and maintenance; airport operations; public transportation; airlines; taxis; private transportation providers; water, sewer, trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal; gas; electrical; oil drilling; oil refining; natural resources extraction or mining operations; nuclear material research and enrichment; those attendant to the repair and construction of roads and highways; solid waste collection and removal; processing and disposal; data and internet providers; data centers; and telecommunications systems
- Manufacturing operations involved in food processing
- Media services such as television, radio and newspaper operations
- Gas stations, auto repair facilities
- Hardware stores
- Laundromats and dry cleaner services
- Utilities, including their contractors and suppliers, engaged in power generation, fuel supply and transmission, water and wastewater supply.
- Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
- Banks, credit unions, insurance providers, payroll services, brokerage services and investment management firms
- Real estate services, brokers, title companies and related services
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services which include post office boxes.
- Laboratories and defense and national security-related operations supporting the United States government or a contractor to the United States.
- Restaurants, but only for delivery or carry out. Local breweries or distillers, but only for carryout.
- Professional services such as legal or accounting services but only where necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities
- Logistics and businesses that store, ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residence or retailers. Restaurants will still be allowed to do pickup and delivery options.
The order advises New Mexicans to stay at home and restrict mass gatherings. A “mass gathering” is now defined as any public or private gathering that brings together five or more individuals in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space or an open outdoor space. Those who violate may face a $ 100 fine.
The state will be watching to make sure businesses are in compliance with the order. Violators of the public health order could lose their license to operate. They can also face civil or criminal penalties. People can report a violation to the non-emergency COVID-19 state hotline at 1-833-551-0518.
In an effort to limit hoarding, grocery stores and other retailers to limit the sale of over-the-counter medications, durable medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, sanitary care products and hygiene products to three packaged items per individual.
Illness and Testing
People who develop symptoms of COVIV-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453). View testing sites.
KRQE will live stream the news conference on this page.