Governor announces business closures
March 25, 2020
SANTA FE — With the coronavirus spreading across New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday announced the closure of all “non-essential” businesses statewide and delivered a blunt message to state residents.
The message: Stay home and only go out when absolutely necessary.
“If we limit person to person contact, we will be doing everything in our power to slow the spread,” Lujan Grisham said during a Monday news briefing at the state Capitol.
The “stay at home” order is functionally no different than the “shelter in place” orders implemented by the governors of California, New York and several other states, the governor’s aides said.
Starting Tuesday, most retail stores, call centers and other businesses were closed, under an amended public health order issued by Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel. The order is in effect through April 10, but could end up being extended.
Hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, homeless shelters, construction work, gas stations and hardware stores are among the various workplaces that are deemed essential and can remain open.
“I need you to heed this order,” the governor said. “I need every New Mexican to do their part.”
The new order also expands an existing ban on large public gatherings, directing that such gatherings be limited to no more than five people, even family outings. The limit had previously been set at no more than 100 people, and more recently at no more than 10.
“Everyone in this state has a social contract for responsibility for one another,” Lujan Grisham said. “If you don’t take this serious, then we can’t reduce the spread of COVID-19.”