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New Mexico Department Of Health County Map Update: Los Alamos Reaches Yellow Level; Almost Every County Improving In Health Metrics And Suppressing…


DOH News:

SANTA FE The New Mexico Department of Health announced today the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Jan. 27, with seven New Mexico counties at the Yellow Level and one at the Green Level, reflecting an improving overall COVID-19 outlook for the state.

Twenty-eight of 33 counties saw improvements in their average daily per-capita rate of new cases in the last two weeks, and 29 counties saw improvements in their test positivity rate. In addition, the states most populous counties Bernalillo, Doa Ana, Sandoval, San Juan and Santa Fe each improved dramatically in both of the two health gating criteria metrics.

The states county-by-county system uses key health metrics the per-capita daily incidence of new COVID-19 cases and average COVID-19 test positivity within county borders to determine the level of public health risk and requirement for each county. A county that meets one criterion may operate at the Yellow Level; a county that meets both may operate at the Green Level.

Harding County met both health metric thresholds and may continue to operate at the Green Level, which it first reached Jan. 13. The counties of Colfax, Grant, Los Alamos, San Miguel, Sierra, Socorro and Union met one of the health metric thresholds a positivity rate below 5 percent in each county and may operate at the Yellow Level beginning Jan. 27.

Twenty four counties reported a positivity rate below 10 percent, close to the state threshold of 5 percent, an increase from 11 counties below 10 percent two weeks ago.

IMPROVING PER-CAPITA CASE RATES:

Over the past two weeks, 28 counties saw their per-capita new daily case rate improve; two other counties (Harding and Socorro) saw no change. The improving counties are: Los Alamos, Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Doa Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Lea, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, Sandoval, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Torrance, Union and Valencia, with Catron, Lea, Sierra, Mora and Union seeing the greatest improvements by percentage.

Other than sparsely populated Harding County, the county with the lowest daily per-capita new case rate is Catron County, at 10.1 per 100,000 as of Jan. 27. It is followed by Union County (10.5), Mora County (14.1), Torrance County (21.5) and Quay County (25.5). The state threshold for moving to a less restrictive level is 8 per 100,000.

The counties of Lincoln, Luna and Taos saw an increase in their per-capita new daily case rates.

IMPROVING POSITIVITY RATES:

Over the past two weeks, 29 counties saw their test positivity rate improve, with one county (Harding) seeing no change. Those improving counties are: Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Doa Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Lea, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, Sandoval, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Torrance, Union and Valencia, with De Baca, Catron, San Juan, Roosevelt, Colfax and Lea seeing the greatest increases by percentage.

Other than sparsely populated Harding County, the county with the lowest daily per-capita new case rate is Union County, with 2.1 percent of tests returning positive as of Jan. 27. It is followed by Socorro County (3.56 percent), San Miguel County (3.96 percent), Grant County (4.35 percent) and Sierra County (4.55). The state threshold for moving to a less restrictive level is 5 percent.

The counties of Luna, Lincoln and Taos saw an increase in their test positivity rates, though Taos remains on the threshold of the Yellow Level at 6.07 percent of tests returned positive.

POPULOUS COUNTIES:

The states five most populous counties Bernalillo, Doa Ana, Santa Fe, Sandoval and San Juan each increased in both of the health metrics.

Bernalillo County saw a new daily per-capita case rate of 32.7 per 100,000, a decrease of 36.5 percent over two weeks, and a test positivity rate of 6.68 percent, a decrease of 37 percent over two weeks.

Doa Ana County saw a new daily per-capita case rate of 39.6 per 100,000, a decrease of 19 percent over two weeks, and a test positivity rate of 9.46, a decrease of 27 percent over two weeks.

Sandoval County saw a new daily per-capita case rate of 36 per 100,000, a decrease of 39 percent over two weeks, and a test positivity rate of 6.14, a decrease of 43 percent over two weeks.

San Juan County saw a new daily per-capita case rate of 60.4 per 100,000, a decrease of 42 percent over two weeks, and a test positivity rate of 12.17, a decrease of 36 percent over two weeks.

Santa Fe County saw a new daily per-capita case rate of 33.1 per 100,000, a decrease of 29 percent over two weeks, and a test positivity rate of 6.24 percent, a decrease of 31 percent over two weeks.

The color-coded tier system Red Level, Yellow Level and Green Level enables counties to shed restrictions and provide local communities the flexibility to operate more day-to-day activities as soon as public health data show the virus is retreating within their borders.

The public health order, the red-to-green framework and frequently asked questions are all available at cv.nmhealth.org/redtogreen, where New Mexicans can also view the test positivity rate and new case incidence for each county as of Dec. 2.

The requirements for each level are available below and at cv.nmhealth.org/redtogreen.

GREEN LEVEL:

Counties at the Green Level have both a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, and an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period less than or equal to 5%.

Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions

Essential retail spaces: 50% of maximum capacity

Food and drink establishments: 50% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining

Close-contact businesses: 50% of maximum capacity

Outdoor recreational facilities: 50% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the states COVID-Safe Practices)

Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed

**All other businesses: 50% of maximum capacity

Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 50% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises

Places of lodging: 75% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 40% of maximum occupancy for all others; 10 guests maximum for vacation rentals

Mass gatherings limit: 20 persons, 100 vehicles

YELLOW LEVEL:

Counties at the Yellow Level have either a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, or an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period less than or equal to 5%.

Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions

Essential retail spaces: 33% of maximum capacity

Food and drink establishments: 25% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoors dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 10 p.m. each night

Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 20 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the states COVID-Safe Practices)

Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed

**All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 125 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 33% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises

Places of lodging: 60% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals

Mass gatherings limit: 10 persons; 25 vehicles

RED LEVEL:

Counties at the Red Level are those with a new COVID-19 case incident rate of greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period and an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period greater than 5%.

Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but must limit operations to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions

Essential retail spaces: 25% of maximum capacity

Food and drink establishments: No indoor dining permitted; 25% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 9 p.m. each night

Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 10 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the states COVID-Safe Practices)

Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed

**All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 75 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 25% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises

Places of lodging: 40% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals

Mass gatherings limit: 5 persons, 10 vehicles

Categories and definitions within the public health order:

Essential businesses (non-retail): These are any business or nonprofit entity falling within one or more of the following categories:

Essential retail spaces: These include grocery stores, supermarkets, food banks, farmers markets and vendors who sell food, convenience stores, and other businesses that generate more than one-third of their revenue from the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food, animal feed or supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other consumable food and drink products; automobile repair facilities, bike repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile or bike repair products; hardware stores; laundromats; and dry cleaner services.

Food and drink establishments: These are restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops, or other similar establishments that offer food or drink.

Close-contact businesses: These are barbershops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, nail salons, spas, massage therapy services, esthetician clinics, tanning salons, guided raft tours, guided balloon tours.

Outdoor recreational facilities: These are outdoor golf courses, public swimming pools, ski basins, youth programs, youth livestock shows, horseracing tracks, botanical gardens, outdoor zoos and outdoor skating rinks.

Close-contact recreational facilities: These are indoor movie theaters, indoor museums with interactive displays or exhibits and other similar venues, miniature golf, arcades, amusement parks, aquariums, casinos, concert venues, professional sports venues, event venues, bars, dance clubs, performance venues, go-kart courses, automobile racetracks, adult entertainment venues, bowling alleys, indoor ice-skating rinks and other places of recreation or entertainment. For purposes of the public health order, a bar is defined as any business that generated more than half of its revenue from the sale of alcohol during the preceding fiscal year.

Houses of worship: These are any church, synagogue, mosque, or other gathering space where persons congregate to exercise their religious beliefs.

Places of lodging: These are hotels, motels, RV parks, and short-term vacation rentals.

Mass gatherings: These are any public gathering, private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, funeral, or any other grouping that brings together a specified number of individuals in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space, or open outdoor space. Mass gatherings also include coordinated events in which individuals gather in vehicles. Mass gatherings do not include the presence of any number of individuals where those individuals regularly reside. Mass gathering does not include individuals who are public officials or public employees in the course and scope of their employment.

**All other businesses: These are any entities that are not identified explicitly as an essential business, house of worship, outdoor recreational facility, food and drink establishment, place of lodging or close-contact recreational facility. Examples would include non-essential retail spaces like a clothing store, a gym, a group fitness class or a personal training service, among others.

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New Mexico Department Of Health County Map Update: Los Alamos Reaches Yellow Level; Almost Every County Improving In Health Metrics And Suppressing...

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