New Mexico will begin a two-week lockdown Monday to mitigate the spread of coronavirus as cases continue to rise, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday.
“New Mexico is at the breaking point,” Grisham said on Twitter Friday. “We face a life-or-death situation, & we must & will act to preserve the lives of New Mexicans. On Monday New Mexico will hit reset, re-enacting the most heightened level of statewide public health restrictions to slow the spread & save lives.” (RELATED: New Mexico Governor Criticized For Purchasing Jewelry During Stay-At-Home Order)
New Mexico is at the breaking point. We face a life-or-death situation, & we must & will act to preserve the lives of New Mexicans.
On Monday New Mexico will hit reset, re-enacting the most heightened level of statewide public health restrictions to slow the spread & save lives. pic.twitter.com/XvcHCK3hU3
— Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) November 13, 2020
Under the new restrictions, which are planned to last through November 30, essential businesses can remain open but “must minimize operations and in-person staffing to the greatest extent possible,” according to a press release from the governor’s office. Essential retail businesses, such as grocery stores, liquor stores and hardware stores, are limited to 25% capacity or 75 customers at one time, whichever is smaller.
Businesses must be closed between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM under the lockdown order. Restaurants can offer curbside pickup or delivery, but on-site dining is prohibited. Residents are ordered to stay home “except for only those trips that are essential to health, safety and welfare,” such as getting a COVID-19 test or getting emergency medical care. (RELATED: Michelle Lujan Grisham Calls Trump Presidency An ‘Existential Crisis’)
Businesses that violate the order could face fines of up to $5,000 per day, the press release said.
“The rate of spread and the emergency within our state hospitals are clear indicators that we cannot sustain the current situation without significant interventions to modify individual behavior,” Grisham said in the press release. “We had hoped targeted crackdowns, limited hours of operation and amplified messaging and enforcement would make the difference and slow the spread and relieve our hospitals. The public health data make clear, however, that more aggressive restrictions are not only warranted but essential if we are to prevent mass casualties.”
New Mexico is recording “unsustainable rates of new infections of COVID-19” and hospitals are approaching or exceeding capacity, according to the press release. The rolling weekly average for new coronavirus cases is 1,012, which is “nearly 10 times greater than the state’s target for a safe ‘reopening’ process.”
Hospitalizations have increased by at least 214%, and the state set a record number of deaths during the past 2-week period, during which 182 people died.