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San Juan County, N.M., achieves Green Level for COVID-19 risk

‘New Mexico is going to lead recovery efforts in the country,’ governor says
San Juan County, New Mexico, is now in the Green Level on the state’s COVID-19 risk assessment, according to the Department of Health’s updated county map.

FARMINGTON – San Juan County is now in the Green Level after the New Mexico Department of Health announced the updated county map Wednesday afternoon.

Two weeks after San Juan County was initially considered in the Yellow Level, the county will be able to open up even more and bring more economic relief to those struggling to stay employed because of limited business hours and closures during the pandemic.

“COVID-safe practices are paying off,” said San Juan County Manager Mike Stark. “Our local businesses will continue to benefit from those good practices. Every person wearing a mask, social distancing, being vaccinated and doing all they can do to keep from spreading the coronavirus has brought us to this first step toward a full reopening. Any step in that direction, is a step in the right direction.”

To qualify for Green Level, a county must demonstrate a new COVID-19 case rate of no greater than eight cases per 100,000 during a two-week period, and have a COVID-19-positivity rate of less than or equal to 5%.

San Juan County currently sits at a positivity rate of 1.55% and a daily case rate of 5.8 per 100,000, according to a New Mexico Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard.

Now, San Juan County will be able to expand the capacity of retail spaces to 50% up from 33%. If a restaurant establishment is N.M. Safe Certified and has been through the program, then indoor dining will open to 50% capacity, up from 33%.

For large entertainment venues, indoor operations are now at 25% up from zero, and outdoor spaces can operate at a maximum of 50% capacity, which is up from 25%. Indoor recreation is now permitted at 25% capacity, and outdoor capacity is up to 50%.

Bars and clubs can now open. Mass gatherings have been increased from 10 to 20 people or 120 vehicles. Houses of worship can also increase capacity from 33% to 50%. Lodging capacity also increased.

The next level San Juan County can shoot for is the Turquoise Level, which surpasses the Green Level as far as opening things up. To qualify for the Turquoise Level, counties must have been in the Green Level for four consecutive weeks.

“I believe New Mexico is going to lead recovery efforts in the country,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during a Zoom conference Wednesday. “While the pandemic has been really terrible all across the globe, we never lost focus.”