New Mexico - COVID-19 Covered

New Mexico

Total Cases: 670,929 (March 10)
Fatalities: 9,061 (March 10)
  • An active list of all New Mexico test sites can be found here. 
  • New Mexico launched a new COVID-19 exposure notification app. (March 22) 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham announced New Mexicans may now order free, at-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva tests, with accurate laboratory-confirmed results returned within 24-48 hours of receipt of the sample. (December 22) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health began administering an FDA-approved COVID-19 test that involved swabbing the mouth to collect a saliva sample. (November 23) 



Essential Service Designations:

  • A list of essential businesses can be found here.

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • New Mexico released official reopening guidance for businesses based on sector. Details for each sector can be found here.

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions ended the state’s work search waiver for those receiving jobless benefits that was put in place during the pandemic. (May 11) 
  • Governor Grisham signed a bill that would provide a $600 personal income tax rebate to front-line and low-wage workers. (March 3) 
  • Governor Grisham signed a $330 million relief package into law that would provide supplemental payments to the unemployed and other emergency food and housing relief, among other provisions. (November 25) 
  • New Mexico began paying out supplemental federal unemployment benefits of $300 a week. (September 11) 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham and the Department of Finance & Administration announced $150 million in CARES Act grants to local governments across New Mexico to cover the cost of necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency. (September 1) 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham announced that the New Mexico Community Development Council would allocate more than $13.3 million in CARES Act funding for emergency housing assistance for low- and moderate-income New Mexicans. (August 20) 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham signed a law that would give New Mexico taxpayers a break on interest and penalties typically levied on unpaid taxes. (June 29) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled there is no constitutional or statutory requirement to compensate businesses for financial losses and expenses from those COVID-related restrictions. (June 7) 
  • Governor Grisham signed several bills into law that would provide a four-month tax holiday for food and beverage businesses and allocate $500 million to small businesses seeking loans at a discounted borrowing rate. (March 3) 
  • Governor  Grisham signed a bill that would deliver $200 million in grants to support New Mexico businesses. (February 26) 
  • The New Mexico State Legislature passed House Bill 11, which would provide $200 million in grants to support New Mexico businesses to ease the hiring or rehiring of employees. (February 19 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham signed a $330 million relief package into law that would provide grants to small New Mexico businesses, among other provisions. (November 25) 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham’s Economic Recovery Council urged small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for an emergency loan program available through the New Mexico Finance Authority. (August 26) 
  • The New Mexico Human Services Department applied for federal approval to implement the Restaurant Meals Plan as a means of continuing state assistance to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 29) 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham signed the Small Business Recovery Act of 2020, which allocated $400 million from the state’s $5 billion Severance Tax Permanent Fund for loans to small businesses and nonprofits, and nearly $50 million for loans to local governments. (July 7) 



  • The New Mexico Early Childhood Education & Care Department announced that two of the largest childcare providers in the state are offering free child care to parents and caregivers getting vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovering from vaccination until the end of July. (June 9) 
  • All 33 New Mexico counties would now operate under the state’s Turquoise COVID-19 reopening rules, which lifts all capacity restrictions in essential businesses and houses of worship, allows retail spaces, food and drink establishes, and close-contact businesses to operate at 75 percent maximum capacity, allows large entertainment venues, bars, and clubs to operate at 33 percent capacity indoors and 75 percent outdoors, and allows recreational facilities to operate at 50 percent indoors and 75 percent outdoors. (June 1) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced that in most circumstances, fully vaccinated individuals would no longer be required to wear a mask in either indoor or outdoor settings. (May 14) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health said parents could start pre-registering their kids between 12 and 15 years of age for the Pfizer vaccine. (May 12) 
  • Governor Grisham announced that when 60 percent of eligible New Mexicans have been fully vaccinated, which state modeling projects may occur as early as the end of June, the state will graduate out of the color-coded county risk system and remove most pandemic-related restrictions on commercial activities. (April 28) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced that all registered residents 16 years of age and older can now schedule their own COVID-19 vaccine appointments. (April 27) 
  • New Mexico health officials rescinded pandemic-related capacity limits on churches and other houses of worship. (April 23) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced that those 40 years of age or older who are registered online can now schedule their own COVID-19 vaccine appointments. (April 19) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced residents 60 years of age or older could schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment without first being offered one by health officials. (April 8) 
  • All New Mexico residents age 16 and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (April 1) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced that residents 75 years of age and older who are registered at would no longer need event codes to schedule vaccine appointments. Instead, seniors would receive invitations to schedule appointments. (March 29) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced that New Mexicans 60 years of age and older with a chronic condition that places them at severe risk of COVID-related health complications would be prioritized for vaccination appointments within the larger pool of residents with a chronic health condition. (March 11 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced the details of its vaccine equity plan, including equitable allocation, distribution and access, organization structure and communications, community engagement, and monitoring and evaluating for equity. (February 25) 
  • The current COVID-19 restrictions on lodging capacity are suspended during times of extreme weather conditions and road closures. (February 13 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced it would follow CDC guidance and expand the time window for administering the second dose of approved COVID-19 vaccines. (February 1) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning December 16, with all thirty-three counties at the Red Level. Twenty-seven counties, however, improved in at least one of the two health gating criteria metrics, and twenty-three improved in both metrics, underscoring an improving COVID-19 outlook across the state. (December 16) 
  • The state’s emergency public health order was amended to accommodate slightly increased capacity inside essential retail spaces, such as grocery stores and certain other large “big box” retailers that generate a percentage of their revenue from consumable food and drink products. (December 16) 
  • The New Mexico Department of Health announced a new public health emergency order that implemented temporary limitations on non-essential surgeries is effective December 11 through January 4, 2021. (December 10) 
  • New Mexico transitioned to a tiered county-by-county COVID-19 risk system on December 2, enabling local communities to ease restrictions as soon as public health data showed the virus was retreating within their borders. (November 25) 
  • New Mexico’s newest mitigation efforts included an enhanced strategy for enforcing safety requirements at food and drink establishments offering limited indoor-dining options, a targeting of higher-risk hotspot places of business reporting clusters of infections, and a statewide mandatory closing time for retail entities among other measures. (October 23) 
  • Governor Lujan Grisham announced that effective August 29, the following changes would be implemented: Houses of worship would be permitted to operate at 40 percent of maximum occupancy of any enclosed building, an increase from 25 percent. Houses of worship could conduct services outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means. Food and drink establishments (including restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops, or other similar establishments) could provide indoor dining service at 25 percent of maximum occupancy. Food and drink establishments could continue to provide outdoor dining options, carryout, and delivery services. Tables – inside or outside – were required to be spaced at least six feet apart, and no more than six patrons are permitted at a single table. (August 26) 



  • Governor Lujan Grisham the state would reopen schools to students of all ages on February 8. (January 26 
  • The State’s Public Education Department released their plan to reopen schools in the fall which will include limiting the number of students in the building and students will rotate between in-person and online learning Details can be found here. (June 23) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of New Mexico universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

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