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This new page on the Beat, as of March 18, 2020, will be dedicated to news on COVID-19 as we receive it. Some articles in front page news, in legal notices,  columns, in sports, in editorials or letters to the editor, as well as in local and non-local news releases may also pertain to COVID-19. So please look at all pages in the Beat for ongoing news.

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials this week once again reminded New Mexicans to limit their travel outside of the home in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“Every time we leave the house, we take a risk, because the virus is out there, and it is an awful, invisible enemy,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “But if and when we must go out, we should think about how to minimize the number of places we visit, the things we do, the people we come into contact with. If we limit ourselves to three trips or places to go or things to do each day – or fewer! – we will ultimately reduce the opportunities for catching and spreading the virus. And it will make an enormous difference in our state’s overall health and well-being and permit us to get more students safely back in the classroom and more New Mexicans safely back to work.”

New Mexicans are encouraged to think about categorizing their limited daily travel outside the home into the following categories:

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday announced she is temporarily self-quarantined in Santa Fe after a possible exposure to COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with state Department of Health guidelines.

A custodial staff member of the governor’s residence reported feeling unwell in the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 1, and was immediately sent for a COVID-19 test. The staff member – who wore a facemask at all times, as is required for all staff members and workers at the residence – had worked on the personal side of the governor’s residence but did not come into personal contact with the governor. 

Gov. Lujan Grisham received a COVID-19 test on Friday, Oct. 2. The governor’s test result was negative. The governor shows no symptoms of COVID-19.

SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico, pursuant to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order requiring quarantine for out-of-state visitors arriving from high-risk states, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, amended the list of states from which visitors and arriving residents must quarantine.

Per the executive order intended to protect New Mexicans by minimizing the risk of spread from out-of-state travel, Colorado, Oregon and Rhode Island have been added to the list of high-risk states as of Sept. 23. Individuals arriving from those states must quarantine for a period of 14 days or for the duration of their stay in the state of New Mexico, whichever is shorter.

Michigan and Hawaii moved from high-risk to low-risk, according to the rolling positivity and test rates of those states.

Safe-certified hotels may increase capacity

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday issued a revised executive order amending the mandatory quarantine for individuals arriving into the state of New Mexico, exempting travelers and residents arriving from states with lower COVID-positivity rates while retaining the quarantine requirement for those arriving from high-risk states. The governor also announced a change to the state’s operative emergency public health order, amending occupancy limits for hotels. The changes are effective Friday, Sept. 4.

“In order to strike a balance between public health and ensuring New Mexicans can live and move safely in a COVID-positive world until the arrival of an effective and widely available vaccine, we have to make tough, strategic and data-driven decisions,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.

 PDF of New Mexico epidemiological and model update for Sept. 1, 2020 is located below the Read More.

Here is the link to the website, which has the same information. https://cvmodeling.nmhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/09/WebCOVID-19EpiUpdate2020_09_01.pdf

Document offers overview of strategies for the public, healthcare providers and employers

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health has published a 21-page overview document providing guidance on COVID-19, Policies for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in New Mexico. It is intended as a resource for members of the public, health care providers and employers who may have general questions about COVID-19 and the recommended guidance in responding to and protecting against the virus.

These policies reflect the recommendations of the New Mexico Department of Health and are based on a combination of CDC guidance, scientific evidence, New Mexico’s experience to date with the disease. The state has adopted a careful approach in its response to the pandemic that underscores the fact there is still limited understanding of the virus and who may be more vulnerable to significant illness and harm.

State plans for expanding COVID-safe visitation options at long-term care facilities                                                                

SANTA FE -- Under the leadership of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department is working with the New Mexico Department of Health and the Medical Advisory Team to create gradual re-opening plans for long-term care facilities. 

The Statewide long-term care visitation guidelines follow public health data in facilitating additional safe visitation options to residents and their loved ones in these high-risk settings. 

Starting Monday, August 10, 2020, long-term care facilities, not experiencing a new positive or outbreak, located within the 21 counties with a COVID-positivity rate below 5%, will be able to provide additional visitation options for their residents and their loved ones.

ALBUQUERQUE -- The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and its testing partners want to collaboratively assure the public that COVID-19 testing remains widely available to those who need it in the state of New Mexico, and that people who need to get tested are still able to do so. Individuals who are unsure about whether they should be tested are encouraged to call the New Mexico Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

To date, more than 600,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed statewide thanks to consistent cooperation and proactive planning work between the Department of Health and private-sector partners. As a result, New Mexico has consistently ranked as one of the top five states nationally for per-capita testing.  

“Testing is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19," said Kathy Kunkel, Secretary of Health. “Identifying positive cases quickly ensures that individuals who may have been exposed to the virus are notified, tested and directed to quarantine, preventing further spread.”

A Message from Rebecca Dow

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