The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Health secretary limits restaurant capacity


March 15, 2020

Click Here for Public Health Order

New Mexico restaurants and other food establishments have been ordered to operate at "no greater than 50 percent of maximum occupancy and no greater than 50 percent of seating capacity," by the state's health secretary, Kathy Kunkel.

In addition, tables and booths may not seat more than six people, and all occupied tables and booths must be separated by at least six feet. Patrons may not be seated at bars, and standing patrons will not be served, according to a news release from the governor's office.

The order becomes effective at 9 a.m. Monday, amending a public health order issued last week aimed at curbing COVID-19.

The amended order also clarifies that all casinos and horse racing facilities must close until April 10. This provision does not apply to casinos operating on tribal lands, the release said.

The public health order prohibits gatherings of 100 or more but includes specific exemptions for shelters, retail or grocery stores, courthouses, correction and detention facilities and hospitals, among others.

The order defines mass gatherings as events that bring together 100 or more people in a single room or connected space like auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, conference centers and theaters.

“The best thing New Mexicans can do right now is self-isolate and limit person-to-person contact,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “We all have to pull together in this effort. Keep washing your hands with soap and water regularly. Stay at home. Remember your neighbors and buy only what you need when you are shopping.”


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