All 33 counties of New Mexico within the Turquoise Plain

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – For the first time ever, all 33 New Mexico counties are now operating under the turquoise COVID-19 state reopening rules on the updated statewide COVID-19 map. However, the latest change would not have happened had the state not suspend the rules to determine the counties’ color-coded status.

Red, yellow, green, turquoise dashboard

According to a new public health ordinance enacted on Wednesday, the state is now instructing all counties to operate in the turquoise framework, regardless of whether they meet two of the three COVID-related criteria. Since late last year, the state has been measuring the spread of COVID-19 in the community by analyzing new cases per 100,000 people and testing positivity rates. In the spring, the state added total vaccinations as a third measure.

In the latest update, Chaves County switched from the green level to the turquoise level. For the past two weeks, Chaves County was the only county in New Mexico that wasn’t turquoise.

The latest public health ordinance grants all New Mexico counties permanent turquoise status. However, according to state data, at least five of the state’s less populated counties fail to meet two of the three criteria the state has set for postponing reopening levels. These include Torrance, De Baca, Harding, Guadalupe, and Roosevelt counties, which each vaccinated less than 50% of their county’s total population and are either above the state’s target cases per 100,000 people or the test positive rate.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s health advisors said the “all turquoise” frame was in part an attempt to keep the state’s economy on track.

“The governor is so confident in our vaccine efforts and so committed to restoring the state’s economic balance that she is generously presented with the instruction, signed by Secretary of State Collins in the Public Health Ordinance, that all counties are fully open until we are fully open , it will be turquoise, “said Dr. David Scrase, New Mexico Human Resources Secretary. “I think it’s just an opportunity to do all we can to give the economy a chance to grow again and open things up again and make businesses better at every opportunity. not perfect.”

The change in rules simply means that the state will no longer withhold the counties’ reopening status if they don’t meet all of the desired vaccinations, cases per 100,000 people, or test positive rates.

The state is expected to fully reopen two weeks after reaching the 60% threshold for New Mexicans 16 and older. As of Wednesday, the state’s vaccine dashboard shows that 56% of New Mexico residents now have two vaccinations.

Among all New Mexico counties, 15 counties of New Mexico are currently below the state’s target to vaccinate 50% of the county’s population. The state expects a surge in new vaccination activities, especially among the rural and younger populations, with the new multi-million dollar vaccine sweepstakes.

Once New Mexico hits the 60% mark, the state is expected to still be under some sort of public health order. However, this order is not expected to have any capacity limits among other more restrictive rules.

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