Governor adds new restrictions
October 14, 2020
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Tuesday she will add stricter measures to the state’s public health order in response to rising COVID-19 cases.
The new order, which goes into effect Friday, will:
• Reduce the definition of mass gatherings to five people from 10. The state defines mass gatherings as “any public or private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, organized amateur contact sport, or other grouping that brings together individuals in an indoor or outdoor space.”
• Require any food or drink establishment serving alcohol to close no later than 10 p.m.
• Reduce occupancy for places of lodging from 75 percent to 60 percent for those that have completed the state’s Safe Certified training program. Hotels/motels that have not completed the training program will be reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent occupancy.
• Change standards that require a mandatory self-quarantine for individuals arriving into New Mexico from out of state. Those details are explained at cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations.
In a Tuesday statement, Lujan Grisham said, “When the community spread of the virus becomes uncontrollable — and we are fast approaching that point — our only option is to simply shut down those opportunities for the virus. We’ve made so much progress to sustain reopenings and our limited, safe in-person learning efforts — but that progress is rapidly disappearing.
“Rollbacks will mean more economic turmoil for so many workers and business owners in our state who have already suffered and sacrificed so much. But it is our only chance to prevent more devastating illness and to save lives. No one wants to come to that point. I detest the very thought of it. We have got to turn it around and fast.”
The state announced 355 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, including 24 in Curry County and six in Roosevelt County. Through Tuesday, the state had reported 33,713 cases since March, with 918 deaths and 18,960 cases designated as recovered.
Curry County also recorded its eighth COVID-19 death. The woman in her 90s was hospitalized and had underlying conditions, and was a resident of Retirement Ranch in Clovis.
The governor is scheduled to discuss the renewed health order with Tuesday’s additions during her regular press conference on Thursday.
In other COVID-19 related news:
• The Clovis Senior Services Department closed Tuesday due to positive testing for COVID-19. A city release noted the Curry Resident Senior Meals Association, which is housed at the Friendship Center along with the Senior Services Department, is not impacted by the closure.
• Out of an abundance of caution, a local brewery has closed its doors until further notice following a staff member’s positive test for COVID-19.
Ali Cattin, operations manager for Red Door, said the Clovis taproom and the Hook’s Alley it shares the building with both closed on Friday and staff are taking steps to ensure the safe return of staff and customers.
Red Door’s staff of 10 were tested on Monday, and the brewery will reopen when the results show it is safe for them to do so. An issue arose when the staff at Red Door had difficulty finding a place to receive tests because they were not exhibiting symptoms.
“The challenge was, in Clovis and in Portales, there wasn’t anywhere that would test them on a Saturday without symptoms,” Cattin said. “Not having anywhere that would test them because they were exposed but not showing symptoms on a Saturday is delaying us opening for a couple more days.”
Cattin said Red Door was able to initiate a strong response to the positive case by following the example of other breweries.
“It’s something that we’ve seen happen here in Albuquerque where I’m based out of. There’s been a few breweries and restaurants that have had to close, so just through my contacts here I was able to reach out,” she said. “The community here has been very supportive and just sharing their experience on what they went through, their processes, that really just helped us do everything that was necessary.”
New Mexico businesses must notify the Department of Health within four hours of learning a staff member tests positive for COVID-19. Cattin said Red Door began the official process within 90 minutes of receiving the news.
“The state contacted us and gave us some next steps. Then we were able to find a company in Clovis really quickly who could come in and do the disinfecting and basically spray down everything. We worked with Hook’s Alley to also disinfect the (bowling) alley out of an abundance of caution,” she said.
The Red Door employee did not have contact with the bowling alley, but with the brewery being in the same building, management decided to disinfect both areas.
On its Facebook page Red Door said staff will not return until they receive a negative COVID result, and the positive staff member is in quarantine.
Editor Kevin Wilson contributed to this report.