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

Roosevelt joins Curry in yellow designation


Last updated 2/24/2021 at 6:16pm

Curry County remained in the yellow zone, Roosevelt County reached it and both nearly made the green designation as New Mexico released its latest two-week data in its “Red to Green” reopening modeling.

A release from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office also added a fourth level, turquoise, with more relaxed public health orders. The key framework remains in place, with counties measured every two weeks on whether they meet gating criteria of 8 daily cases per 100,000 residents and test positivity of 5% or less. Green counties meet both metrics, yellow counties meet one and red counties meet neither. Turquoise counties are those that reach green designation for two consecutive data collection periods.

Curry County stayed in the yellow designation with 3.11% test positivity, while Roosevelt County had 2.43% test positivity. Regarding daily cases per 100,000, Curry was at 9.7 while Roosevelt was at 9.0. Four counties are in the turquoise designation, with Quay and De Baca among six in the green designation. More than half of the state’s 33 counties, 19, are in the yellow zone. Four counties — Dona Ana, Eddy, McKinley and Otero, remain in the red designation.

The move to yellow means Roosevelt County restaurants can immediately begin indoor dining at 25% capacity and 75% outdoor capacity. Other changes include the definition of mass gatherings going to 10 people or 80 vehicles, and houses of worship gaining permission to operate at up to 33% capacity.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had said the state would look into providing a “Green plus” level during an update two weeks prior. The turquoise level has several more relaxed restrictions than green, notably 75% capacity at essential retail space, close contact businesses and houses of worship and restaurants (indoors and outdoors, measured separately).

“I know New Mexicans are tired of COVID-19 — I am too,” Lujan Grisham said in a release from her office. “We have made very solid progress in recent weeks and months, and we have all together saved lives and protected our family members and neighbors. We have to keep it up. We've seen what happens when we ease up too quickly or let our guard down all at once — our hospitals fill back up and more New Mexicans lose their lives. We can and we must keep making safe choices in our day-to-day lives. We can introduce a little more risk, based on our progress, and start to feel a little bit closer to normal — but only if we keep making those safe choices to protect our families and one another. I know New Mexicans are up to the task.”

New definitions of venues in the most recent public health order include:

• Large entertainment venues: Any publicly or privately owned venue typically or actually used to host large audiences for the purposes of entertainment or amusement, and include movie theaters and performance venues. They may not operate in red counties, while yellow counties can operate at 25% capacity in outdoor spaces, green counties can operate at 25% capacity indoors and 50% capacity outdoors and turquoise counties can operate at 33% capacity indoors and 75% capacity outdoors.

• Recreational facilities: Any publicly or privately owned facility typically or actually used for recreational activities capable of bringing persons within close proximity of one another, including bowling alleys, miniature golf courses, youth programs, and zoos. Recreational facilities in red counties can operate at 25% outdoor capacity, while yellow counties can operate at 33% capacity in outdoor spaces, green counties can operate at 25% capacity indoors and 50% capacity outdoors and turquoise counties can operate at 50% capacity indoors and 75% capacity outdoors.

• Bars and clubs: Any business that typically or actually generates more than half of its revenue from the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption. They may not operate in red or yellow counties, and can operate at 25% outdoor capacity in green counties and 33% indoor capacity and 75% outdoor capacity in turquoise counties.

The state also cleared state parks, previously open only for day-use for New Mexico residents, for camping with reservations and day-use for all.

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