Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state Department of Health announced on Friday the details of the state’s “red to green” reopening system for counties. The system, which will go into place on Dec. 2 when the current two-week “reset” with a shutdown of in-person business at non-essential workplaces is set to end, would allow counties to further reopen based on the rate of spread and the per capita numbers of cases.
Counties that are in the “red” zone have a “very high” risk of COVID-19, while those marked “yellow” have high risk and those that are “green” have medium risk. As of now, 32 of the 33 counties in the state are red, while Los Alamos County is yellow.
DOH: Over 2,100 new COVID-19 cases again, 23 new deaths
The state Department of Health reported 2,142 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The department also reported 23 additional deaths related to the disease. On Saturday, the department reported 854 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, a decrease of 20 since Friday. This could include those from other states who are hospitalized in New Mexico, but would not include New Mexicans who are hospitalized out of state. Bernalillo county had by far the most new cases again, with 719.
The state Department of Health reported 1,708 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the second-straight day of fewer than 2,000 cases. The department also reported 18 additional deaths related to the disease
On Thursday, the department reported 880 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, an decrease of 17 since Wednesday. This could include those from other states who are hospitalized in New Mexico, but would not include New Mexicans who are hospitalized out of state. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases, again, with 671. Four other counties reported 100 or more cases as well: Doña Ana County (182), Sandoval County (120), San Juan County (119) and McKinley County (100).
The state of New Mexico reported fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in over a week. The state Department of Health announced 1,873 new cases of the disease on Wednesday, the fewest in a single day since Nov. 16. The department also reported 23 new deaths related to COVID-19. While the new cases dropped, the number of hospitalizations once again increased, with 897 individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, an increase of 26 since Tuesday.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the $330 million COVID-19 relief package into law on Wednesday, less than a day after the Legislature passed the package in a one-day special session. The bill includes funds to provide more aid for small businesses, the unemployed and more money for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and preparations for the rollout of vaccines. While acknowledging that this will mean a lot for those who have been impacted by COVID-19, Lujan Grisham said “our work isn’t done.”
Related: Legislature passes COVID relief bill during quick special session
“The pandemic has never been more dangerous in our state, and the economic pain caused by the spread of the virus is felt in every corner of New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said. “We must remain vigilant in our fight against the virus. We must continue to evaluate how we can get more assistance to more New Mexicans who need it in this time of crisis.”
The two largest line items are $100 million in grants for small businesses, which will be handled by the New Mexico Finance Authority and a one-time $1,200 unemployment benefit for New Mexicans who have claimed unemployment.
It also includes $15 million for housing assistance, $10 million for contact tracing, testing and vaccine distribution efforts, $5 million for food banks in the state and $5 million in direct assistance to those who did not receive a stimulus payment from the federal government earlier this year.