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

By Kevin Wilson

State to lift most COVID-19 restrictions July 1


Last updated 6/19/2021 at 2:47pm

Close enough.

New Mexico will, as planned, move out of its “Red to Green” COVID-19 restrictions on July 1, despite just missing a Thursday goal of 60% of New Mexicans 16 and older receiving their final vaccination dose.

The lifting of the color-coded system means all pandemic-related occupancy restrictions for commercial activity will be lifted. Facemasks will still be required for unvaccinated individuals.

Businesses can still adopt their own policies above and beyond state guidelines.

Until July 1, all 33 New Mexico counties will remain at the turquoise designation, the least restrictive of four categories.

As of Thursday, state officials said 59.4% of adults in New Mexico had been vaccinated.

State officials considered the 59.4% to be close enough to 60%, given data lags from New Mexicans receiving vaccinations at federal entities, and rounded up.

“Frankly, we need to be better than 60% fully vaccinated,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“The variants across the globe and in the U.S. present very serious risks to unvaccinated people, even young people. We all, each of us, have the power to stop the serious illnesses and deaths: Get your shot. It’s safe. It works. It’s that simple. Don’t wait for COVID to infect you or someone you love and wish you’d decided differently.”

Senate Republican leaders responded to the governor’s announcement Friday afternoon, noting, “It’s about time.”

Roosevelt and Curry counties carried the lowest full vaccination rates in the state — 28.3% for Roosevelt and 34.4% for Curry. Los Alamos County led the state with an 81.5% full vaccination rate.

In other COVID-19 developments:

n The state made its first drawing in its vaccination lottery, with four $250,000 prizes awarded.

Prospective winners, who were identified as residents of Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Ruidoso and Santa Fe, will have three business days to come forward after initial contact from the Department of Health.

Five more lottery drawings remain for individuals who have registered at - July 2, 16, 23 and 30 for $250,000 prizes, and an August grand prize drawing of $5 million.

Officials said 460,587 New Mexicans were entered in the Friday drawing. Non-winners are automatically entered into the following drawing.

• During a Wednesday webinar on what will be the final color-coded map since the state began the “Red to Green” framework in November, Human Services Secretary David Scrase was brief.

“I’m not going to spend time on the red-yellow-green framework,” Scrase said. “It’s turquoise; everybody’s turquoise.”

The state measures counties based on the benchmarks of 10 new cases per 100,000 residents, 7.5% test positivity and a floating vaccination rate. Both Curry and Roosevelt counties easily met the first two criteria - 2.1 daily cases and 1.28% test positivity in Curry, and 2.5 daily cases and 1.79% test positivity in Roosevelt.

• Friday’s DOH report confirmed 122 new cases of COVID-19, including four in Curry County and one in Roosevelt.

The report confirmed three recent deaths, including a male in his 60s from Curry County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.

Officials have reported 85 Curry County residents’ deaths have been related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began early last year. Roosevelt County has recorded 59 COVID-related deaths. More than 4,300 New Mexicans’ deaths are tied to the virus, officials have said.


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