Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to lift pandemic restrictions in New Mexico by July 1

New Mexico
New Mexico Flag file photo

SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — The office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Friday, June 18, that New Mexico will lift all COVID-19 health restrictions allowing for “recent shots to take full effect.”

The office stated that the counties where the virus has been “suppressed” are operating with almost no restrictions and that beginning July 1 all pandemic related restrictions, including limitations on mass gatherings, will be lifted in New Mexico. Businesses, large events, and organizations may operate at 100% maximum capacity.

In accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, businesses may still adopt and require additional precautions at their discretion and are still advised to social distance and wear facemasks to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff, the release stated.

According to the release, the state will continue to follow CDC guidelines about facemasks including requiring masks for unvaccinated individuals and businesses, while workplaces and tribes may continue to require masks to protect staff and customers.

Until July 1 all counties in New Mexico will remain at the least-restrictive, Turquoise Level, where restrictions are minimal, the office said.

According to the release, the state has been a national leader in vaccine usage and distribution throughout the effort to get individuals vaccinated and the New Mexico Dept. of Health reports that 59.4% of New Mexicans have fully been vaccinated. The state is expecting additional data by Sunday, June 20.

“Frankly, we need to be better than 60 percent fully vaccinated,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “The variants across the globe and in the U.S. present very serious risks to unvaccinated people, even young people. We all, each of us, have the power to stop the serious illnesses and deaths: Get your shot. It’s safe. It works. It’s that simple. Don’t wait for COVID to infect you or someone you love and wish you’d decided differently.”

Grisham continued, “This week was a particularly productive week for our vaccination efforts. We will continue to push forward with getting shots into arms, and we need everyone – all New Mexicans – to continue to help mitigate vaccine hesitancy and resistance by sharing productive, data-backed information about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines with family and friends. Disinformation kills. We have to keep pushing back.”

“I know some will say this day is late in coming. I sure wish we’d gotten here sooner. I said all along: Vaccines are the way out, getting shots gets us there quicker. We were always going to put health and safety first, Grisham said. “All along we have taken the approach that will protect the most New Mexicans, knowing the unique health risks of our population, understanding and respecting how dangerous this virus is. I believe, on the whole, New Mexicans made the right public health decisions in their day-to-day lives, following the science and helping us get to this point quickly and, more importantly, as safely as we possibly could.”

Grisham explained the reasons for fully opening up after the pandemic.

“All that said, this is an exciting announcement. We’re rounding up, setting a date for a conclusive introduction of the new normal: July 1. We have made incredible progress, and I’m proud of New Mexico. The simple fact is: We are beating this pandemic,” Grisham explained. “The best is yet to come. It would not have been possible without the commitment and sacrifice of so many in our state. We looked out for one another. We made the tough choices.”

“We did this together – with the fortitude and perseverance and compassion that makes us who we are as New Mexicans. I firmly believe limitless possibility awaits us on the other side of this crisis, and I am confident that, continuing to work together, for the betterment of all New Mexico workers and families, we will be a national model for recovery, growth and new opportunity. I greatly look forward to Opening Day in two weeks, and I hope tens of thousands more New Mexicans come forward for their vaccines by that day,” Grisham said.

“We will continue to work with vaccine providers in and outside of New Mexico to be sure that every single vaccination is counted,” said Human Services Secretary David Scrase, M.D. “We are grateful to all New Mexicans who have stepped up to receive their shots and who have called us to provide their data. We believe our level of immunity is in fact greater than 60 percent, including the immunity of those in our state who have had COVID-19 and have not been vaccinated, and those who have had a mild infection as well. For all practical purposes, we have met the governor’s 60 percent goal, and we need to keep up our efforts to increase vaccinations and enhance good public health practices throughout the summer.”

“We are learning that just receiving the first of two vaccines in a series is not enough to protect you against some of the highly infectious variants,” said Health Secretary Tracie Collins, M.D. “So if you have had only one Pfizer or Moderna vaccination, please, schedule your booster shot today. And help us keep moving forward, and keep your family and your neighbors safe.”

The office said that all New Mexicans, 12 years and older, are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and are strongly encouraged to schedule their vaccine appointment today at vaccineNM.org or by calling 1-855-600-3453. Parents of New Mexicans age 12 to 15 are encouraged to register their child for the approved Pfizer vaccine at vaccineNM.org.

The state’s Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes, including five $1 million drawings (for New Mexicans who have received at least one vaccine shot) and a $5 million grand prize (for New Mexicans who have completed their vaccination series), continues; vaccinated New Mexicans who would like a chance to win must opt in to the sweepstakes at vax2themaxNM.org.

As of June 14, New Mexico counties with the best rate of individuals that have completed their vaccination series, and helped pull the state to the 60 percent mark, are:

  • Los Alamos County: 81.5 percent
  • McKinley County: 77.9 percent
  • Taos County: 69.7 percent
  • Rio Arriba: 67.5 percent
  • Santa Fe County: 67 percent
  • Sandoval County: 65.6 percent
  • Cibola County: 64.2 percent
  • Bernalillo County: 62.2 percent
  • San Juan County: 61.7 percent
  • Guadalupe County: 60.9 percent

As of June 14, the New Mexico counties with the worst completed vaccination rates, and where risk of infection and illness are thus highest, are:

  • Roosevelt County: 28.3 percent
  • Curry County: 34.4 percent
  • Torrance County: 35.5 percent
  • Eddy County: 35.7 percent
  • Quay County: 37.2 percent

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