New Mexico - COVID-19 Covered

New Mexico

Total Cases: 7,130 (May 27)
Tests Administered: 177,361 (May 25)
Fatalities: 325 (May 27)
Testing:
  • The State will reportedly receive $77.3 million from the federal government for coronavirus testing and contact tracing. (May 14)
  • Testing is now available for all New Mexico workers. (May 12)
  • The State will participate in a pilot program offered by the White House to research contact tracing. (April 16).
  • The New Mexico Department of Health has set its standards for testing to symptomatic individuals showing symptoms of cough, fever, or shortness of breath; asymptomatic people in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus; asymptomatic residents in nursing homes, and asymptomatic people in “congregant settings.” (NM DOH)
  • An active list of all New Mexican test sites can be found here and COVID-19 alerts issued by the state can be found here.

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • New Mexicans were reported to have questioned Governor Lujan Grisham’s decision not to declare gun shops as essential. (March 28)
  • A list of essential businesses can be found here.

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • The State released a document with guidance for employers on the requirements to reopen and how to keep customers and workers safe. (May 18)
  • Dentists in all but San Juan, McKinley, and Cibola Counties, may provide non-essential dental care if they follow guidelines to protect the PPE supply. (May 8)
  • Per the Department of Health Secretary Kunkel’s amended state public health emergency order, starting May 6 all large grocery and retail stores currently operating will be required to have their employees wearing face coverings. Starting May 11, all essential business will also be required to have their employees wear face coverings. (May 5)
  • The State Supreme Court rejected a petition to release inmates in state prisons due to the coronavirus pandemic. (May 5)
  • Frontline workers have been directed to save unsoiled N95 masks to decontaminate with the state’s Battelle Critical Decontamination System. The system is expected to begin operating on May 2. (April 29)
  • The State Supreme Court postponed the bar exam in July and rescheduled it for September. Additionally, the court ordered the establishment of a working group on how to administer the exam in small groups. (April 28)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham issued guidance that plant nurseries and floral shops will only be allowed to sell live products through delivery or curbside service. (April 21)
  • New Mexico Supreme Court rejected a request from state officials to limit the upcoming primary election to mail-in voting only. (April 15)
  • The State’s Environment Department recommended that restaurant and grocery store employees wear gloves and face coverings when interacting with customers to provide take-out or curbside pickup. (April 14)
  • The State’s Environment Department’s Food Program determined that restaurants may offer grocery items for purchase along with delivery. (April 7)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham’s extended order to stay at home also dictated that all retail operations will limit the occupancy within the store. (April 6)
  • Overnight camping and New Mexico state parks will be closed through April 9 and all New Mexico state museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions are closed (March 23)
  • Under an updated order issued by the Governor, grocery stores, pharmacies, childcare and hospitals will stay open. Restaurants and bars can still only deliver food or continue with take out services. Gyms and all other non-essential retailers are ordered to close their doors or have employees work from home. (March 23)
  • A supplemental announcement ordering the closure of indoor shopping malls, flea markets, theaters, recreational facilities, health clubs, and resort spas was issued by the Governor. (March 18)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham issued a Public Health Order requiring restaurants and bars to operate at no greater than fifty percent of maximum occupancy. Additionally, all casinos and horse racing facilities, and attendant restaurant or bar operations, except those on tribal lands were ordered to close. (March 16)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Following federal approval of the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program, the State will receive over $97 million in food benefits. (May 5)
  • The Superintendent of Insurance established a toll-free call center for individuals to ask questions about health care coverage related to COVID-19. (May 1)
  • Nursing facilities within the state will receive and share $46.2 million in aid from Medicaid payments. (May 1)
  • Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver sent absentee ballot applications to “all registered major party voters in New Mexico who had not already requested one.” (April 30)
  • The State’s Department of Workforce Solutions opened the application for unemployment insurance benefits for self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. (April 26)
  • All Together NM Fund, a state relief fund, is providing grants totaling $550,000 to unemployed New Mexicans struggling with food distribution. (April 24)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham established a new Economic Recovery Council which includes a number of business and labor leaders from across the state. (April 23)
  • The State’s Superintendent of Insurance has issued orders regarding surprise medical billing including having providers cover expenses for out-of-network care for COVID-19. (April 20)
  • The State’s Department of Public Health’s Women, Infants, and Children program is offering curbside service to provide services and providing four months of food benefits instead of three. (April 15)
  • The State released NMConnect, a phone app providing free 24-hour support and “access to a behavioral health professional.” (April 14)
  • The State Board of Pharmacy authorized emergency dispensing measures for pharmacists. (April 11)
  • The State’s Department of Workforce Solutions is extending the hours for the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center from 7 am to 7 pm for the rest of the week. The Department is also waiving the waiting week for claimants. (April 7)
  • The New Mexico Supreme Court issued an order placing a temporary moratorium on evictions for those who are unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 public health emergency. (March 26)
  • The New Mexico State Investment Council approved $100 million to a Business Recovery Fund to help medium-sized companies meet payroll obligations and avoid layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic. (March 24)
  • The New Mexico Economic Development Department has created a program to assist businesses seeking emergency loans or lines of credit to deal with negative economic impacts from COVID-19. NMEDD guarantees a portion of a loan or line of credit up to 80% of principal or $50,000. Loan proceeds are flexible and can be used for (and not limited to) working capital, inventory, and payroll. (NM EDD)

Business Support & Resources:

  • The All Together NM Fund will provide grants of up to $5,000 for small businesses with five employees or fewer. The Fund has $750,000 to award these grants. (May 8)
  • New Mexico Arts of the State’s Department of Cultural Affairs plans to give $1.5 million in relief to 200 arts organizations, schools, tribal governments, and government entities. (April 29)
  • The State’s Office of Science and Technology is partnering with the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University in their offerings for assisting businesses, including their BizSprint accelerator program. (April 27)
  • The State’s Tourism Department is partnering with the Small Business Development Center to offer tourism and hospitality businesses coaching and mentorship. (April 20)
  • The State’s Department of Agriculture and the Tourism Department are partnering to promote homegrown and homemade products from the state. (April 17)
  • New Mexico’s Department of Workforce Solutions announced two thousand one-time $750 stimulus payments for self-employed citizens. Funding is limited and the resulting high traffic on the website crashed the website and will be reposted in the next day. (April 9)
  • The New Mexico State Investment Council has directed $100 million to help enterprises struggling with the impact of COVID-19. (March 24)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • No statewide records found as of May 26.
  • The city of Mescalero and the Mescalero Apache Tribe declared a state of emergency and ordered a lockdown for the next two weeks which will lift Sunday, June 7 at midnight. (May 26)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham established June 1 as the target date to resume dine-in service at restaurants and to reopen gyms, hair salons, and shopping malls at limited capacity. (May 21)
  • The Navajo Nation went into its strictest weekend lockdown thus far, closing grocery stores and gas stations and requiring essential workers to remain at home. (May 15)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham extended the state’s emergency public health order to May 31, and modified the order so that most retailers will be able “to operate at 25 percent of their maximum occupancy.” Additionally, everyone will be required to wear masks in public places with exceptions for eating, drinking, exercising, or for medical reasons beginning May 16. (May 13)
  • The Navajo Nation extended its state of emergency until June 7, and the stay-at-home order for reservation residents remains in effect. (May 13)
  • Eight State Parks were reopened in the State for day use beginning May 1, with additional parks to follow in a phased reopening. (April 30)
  • Health Secretary Kunkel has amended her health order, allowing for partial re-openings for businesses deemed non-essential; allowing curbside pickup and delivery service if it is included in the business’s license. State parks and golf courses may also reopen. (April 30)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham issued an executive order extending the public health orders through May. (April 30)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham stated that there would be a “phased reopening” when the time comes. First, some businesses considered to be nonessential now would reopen. Second, additional businesses would be allowed to reopen but large events and gatherings will be prohibited. (April 23)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham issued a “stay-in-home” order which dictated that residents are instructed to stay at home and not to leave except for essential business whether it be work or recreational. Any gatherings of more than five people, including families, are now punishable by citation. The governor encourages large families to split up if they need to go out in public with only a couple leaving at a time. (March 23)

Curfews:

  • No records found.
  • The Navajo Nation imposed a weekend-long curfew beginning Friday, April 10 at 8 pm. (April 10)

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • The Navajo Nation is requiring all individuals on the reservation to wear masks when out in public. (April 19)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham reported that the state is going to use cell phone data to evaluate New Mexicans’ efforts at social distancing. (April 13)
  • The State has set up self-isolation locations equipped with food, lodging, and counseling for healthcare workers along with Native American communities. (April 10)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham ordered the NM Correction Department to make a list of incarcerated individuals who meet specified criteria for early release. (April 6)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham issued an order banning gatherings of five or more individuals in outdoor spaces. (March 23)
  • Governor Lujan Grisham issued a public health order directing that all mass gatherings were prohibited until further notice and advising residents to avoid non-essential travel. (March 16)

Delivery Services:

  • All dining establishments are currently limited to pick up and delivery services. (March 19)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • New Mexican Schools will remain closed until the end of the school year. (March 26)

State Higher Education:

  • No orders affecting New Mexico state colleges and universities have been issued to date. (May 26)

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com