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

Revised health order includes quarantine relaxation


Last updated 9/5/2020 at 2:38pm

SANTA FE — A revised public health order, issued Thursday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and effective Friday, includes some relaxation of the requirement for a 14-day quarantine when arriving to New Mexico from other states.

However, restrictions still in place under the health order only slightly relax quarantine requirements on travel from border states Texas and Arizona.

According to the public health order, individuals arriving from a state with either a 5% test positivity rate or greater or a new case rate of 80 per million residents must separate from others in a residence or place of lodging for at least 14 days or the duration of their stay in New Mexico, whichever is shorter. Additionally, anybody who visits during the quarantine shall quarantine themselves for 14 days following the visit.

In addition, individuals who can show documentation of a valid negative COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours before or after entry into New Mexico are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement, regardless of the state from which they have traveled. However, those persons shall self-quarantine while they await test results.

The list of applicable states will be updated weekly on As of Wednesday, 35 states and one territory were listed: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The 14-day quarantine remains for any international travel, with no exemption for a documented negative COVID-19 test.

“We have to maintain the necessary precautions to keep the people of New Mexico safe while identifying areas where we can amend restrictions to address our state’s economic crisis,” Lujan Grisham said in a release from her office. “Without a coherent federal plan, we are on our own, and it is up to New Mexicans to keep making the right decisions every day to protect themselves, their families and our state.”

Individuals arriving from low-risk states are not required to quarantine, but are advised to be tested for COVID-19 within five to seven days and consider self-isolation. Low-risk states are defined as having a test positivity rate at or below 5% and fewer than 80 new daily cases per million residents calculated on a seven-day rolling average. Colorado is currently the only low-risk state bordering New Mexico.

Prior to the amendment, the state required a 14-day quarantine from anywhere outside of New Mexico.

The health order continues to require hotels and places of lodging limit operations to 50% capacity, but those businesses can operate at 75% capacity upon completion of the NM Safe Certified program.

Exempted from the quarantine requirement are airline employees, people performing public safety or public health functions, military personnel and their dependents, federal employees, anybody employed by a federal agency or national defense contractor, first responders and health care workers, people arriving pursuant to a court order, employees of an essential business conducting business activities and New Mexicans who have either left the state to obtain medical care or who leave for less than 24 hours for matters involving parental responsibilities.


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