New Mexico lifts pandemic restrictions

The state’s pandemic restrictions ended on Thursday, marking the end of restrictions that have been in place for over 470 days.

The state first put occupancy rules in place last March, when the state recorded its first cases of COVID-19. Since then, the state has reported 205,542 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,340 deaths related to COVID-19.

The reopening means that all capacity restrictions will be lifted and all businesses can operate at 100 percent capacity. There is also no longer any limit on mass gatherings, indoor or outdoor.

The state had moved all of its counties in the turquoise level, which was at the time the lowest level of restrictions. 

“I am incredibly proud of New Mexico,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “We stepped up. We looked out for one another. We sacrificed, and we saved lives. And now we’re all ready for a safe and fun summer. Lord knows New Mexicans have earned it.”

Lujan Grisham also encouraged New Mexicans who haven’t already to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

The reopening comes because the state reached 60 percent of those age 16 and older who have become fully vaccinated. As of Tuesday’s update, 62 percent completed their vaccination series, and 70.7 percent had received at least one shot.

Additionally, 20.9 percent of those age 12-15 had received at least one shot and 29.4 percent are fully vaccinated.

The changes came as part of a new public health order, which covers testing, contact tracing and other state responses.

The governor has said in the past that continuing the public health emergency order allows the state to continue to access federal relief efforts.

The state has been pushing people to get vaccinated in recent weeks, including starting a “Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes” in which state residents who have been vaccinated in New Mexico could win millions in prizes.

This article was originally posted on New Mexico lifts pandemic restrictions

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