As of Tuesday morning, much of the activity in New Mexico’s 121,000 square miles will grind to a halt.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, beseeching state residents to do more to stop the spread of the coronavirus, announced new restrictions Monday that will close down all but essential services in New Mexico, as the number of cases around the state and nation continues to grow.

New Mexico, she said, now has 83 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in 11 of the state’s 33 counties. Of those, nine are being treated in hospitals, including an Arizona resident who visited the state.

Officials at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center said it is not treating any patients now. Presbyterian Healthcare Services has two patients in its hospital system, officials said, but they did specify whether either of the patients were being treated at the Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center.

Of the 18 new cases reported Monday, two were in Santa Fe County: a man in his 20s and a woman in her 60s. That brings the total number of Santa Fe County cases to a dozen.

The governor’s new action, which runs through April 10, basically extended an order she gave last week to limit socializing and close some nonessential businesses such as gyms and casinos. It also limited restaurant service to takeout or delivery.

On Tuesday morning, many more storefronts will have a “closed” sign on the window.

“Basic retail is no longer available in the state of New Mexico,” she said.

“This is an instruction to stay home,” she added, equating her new order to shelter-in-place mandates implemented in other states to have people self-isolate and, it’s hoped, reduce the spread of the virus.

Health experts and political leaders have said the key to stopping the virus from infecting more residents is for people to work at home, gather only in small clusters — now, no more than five — and refrain from touching others.

Washing hands often for at least 20 seconds is also recommended.

The governor said too many people are not adhering to a previous order asking them to limit social interaction, work at home and gather in groups of no more than 10 people. “I need you to heed this order,” she said.

The new order exempts from closure businesses that provide services related to “health, safety and well-being,” such as medical facilities, child care centers and any business that assists in the production, distribution or sale of food and medical products.

The governor also issued a “stay-at-home instruction” Monday. Right now, public schools in the state are in the second week of a three-week closure initiated nearly two weeks ago following the news that several residents of the state had tested positive for COVID-19. Schools were planning to reopen April 6.

That date, the governor suggested, is in limbo. She said she has a “high degree of confidence that schools will be closed after that” because of “the reality of the situation we are in.”

She said she is working with the federal government to find out what sort of waivers and requirements the state needs to keep instructing children while schools are closed.



Meanwhile, the state Department of Health said it will continue to expand testing sites throughout New Mexico and provide updates online at cv.nmhealth.org.

State and hospital officials say there are enough protective masks and gloves — and other such equipment — to deal with the health threat right now. Department of Health spokeswoman Jodi McGinnis Porter said in an email the state is “aggressively ordering [such supplies] daily. We are evaluating and prioritizing supplies for hospital workers, first responders and where they’re needed most.”

But she added the state is only receiving about 25 percent of its requested emergency protection gear — masks, gloves, gowns and other equipment — from the federal government.

During the news conference, the governor said the state is “OK today” with the amount of those supplies, but if it does not get more supplies “that could change.”

She said since the federal government is taking so long to provide those resources, the state is trying to work with private providers, some of whom are engaging in price-gouging, to get the necessary equipment.

Lujan Grisham said she hopes New Mexico receives “hundreds of thousands [of protective gear items] but until it’s in my hot little hands, I will not stop asking” for it.

Representatives of Christus St. Vincent and Presbyterian Healthcare Services said they currently have enough protective gear for their employees, many of whom are tending to those with the virus.

Chad Smelser, the deputy state epidemiologist, said the state continues to work with hospitals to set up a plan to “expand our health care system and enhance” testing, treatment and coverage of the respiratory virus.

Gov. gives update on NM coronavirus response

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. from the capitol. Note that these events often start late.

The governor’s new order does leave doors to some businesses open: grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, health care centers, homeless shelters, media services, banks, gas stations, auto repair shops, funeral homes and real estate services can still operate in New Mexico.

But up and down New Mexico’s Main Streets, it’s a dark time. Retail stores will shutter. Places like barbershops and dog-grooming businesses must close, as must many nonprofits.

While the state Supreme Court does not have to follow the governor’s mandate in conducting court business, it issued a notice Monday that it will limit the number of people in courtrooms to 15 and require judges to conduct audio and video teleconferences for civil and criminal proceedings, “except when an emergency requires in-person appearances.”

It’s not clear how the state will keep an eye on whether businesses and people adhere to the new rule. The governor said she did not expect police officers to knock on the doors of businesses that shouldn’t be open or keep track of whether there are five or six people walking in a group in a park.

But she said the state can impose penalties on any business or nonprofit that violates the law and said the state will set up a hotline for people to report possible violations.

So far, no one has died of a coronavirus infection in New Mexico. Nearly 6,000 residents have been tested for it, and all but 83 came back negative.

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(46) comments

Ramon David

When did building someone's second home become essential?

Connie Lopez

Good question, Ramon. What bothers me equally are all these Santa Fe real estate agents currently peddling their million $$ homes via various marketing. Really? How insensitive. Unemployment on the rise, 401K (IRA's) slashed, retrement dreams on hold, travel highly discouraged, etc. Yet folks are in the mood for buying a 1.2 million dollar home in NE SFe? Of course.

Mari Martin

correction to the previous post Covid-19 Corona virus.

Mari Martin

They report the county where the civic-19 is but not the cities. Santa Fe county covers a lot of towns and pueblo’s, villages etc. Bernalillo county has a lot of cities, Albuquerque, pueblo’s, villages etc. we the as the public need to know what city not just what county. what locations

Elizabeth Pettus

Not only are medical situations private, I would be concerned that people might go and hurt the victims. There have been horrible threatening posts on social media wanting to punish the victims.

Markeeta Brown

Would that Darwinian Selection be the only factor at work in terms of the defiant, non-cooperative attitude of some commenters on here. Unfortunately, they endanger the rest of us indirectly or directly. Whole point is that China, South Korea and Italy got hit hard before they had a chance to understand just how contagious this is. We were lucky here in NM to see what happened in NYC and elsewhere before we had our first case; I think MLG is doing the only things she can to try to flatten the curve as much as possible, and hasten the point at which we might be able to return to some kind of normalcy. In the absence of perfect knowledge, it's a prudent course. It's not like the normal cold or flu where your symptoms show up in a day or two.

buddah johnson

2020 new mexico flu deaths as of feb 20th> 110

2020 new mexico auto crash deaths as of feb 20th>69

2020 new mexico corona deaths as of feb 20th, other than drinking too much corona> ZERO !

stupid is what stupid does.

buddah johnson

this dope is pointing at floriduh

JW Carey

Thank you Governor Grisham for your courage in taking this step. It's tough ask of New Mexicans, but I would rather suffer inconvenience than lose my friends, neighbors and families to this disease. Thank you for following your own team's guidance and not the confusing and chaotic information coming from the Federal government.

buddah johnson

baloney, it does not take courage to do any of what she has done or will do. get real.

Carmen Gurule

I am trying to do my part. Yes, I too have to go to the grocery store for food for my family, so yes you will see me at the store. I applaud our Governor for trying to protect all of us New Mexicans from getting this virus, or better yet slowing it down. I am not a medical Dr. so I can't comment as to the severity of this virus or how it is "like the flu". I do know that our state took the necessary precautions "prior" to the direction of the Federal Government. It is my understanding there are not enough tests to test everyone, so they are only testing those who show symptoms. Rand Paul recently tested positive without having displaying any symptoms, so yes this is concerning. Maybe you should call the President, (202) 456-1414, and ask him where the tests are for every person in the USA. Also, call your Senators Heinrich (202) 224-5521, Udall (202) 224-6621, Congressman Lujan (202) 225-6190, Torres (202) 225-2365 or Haaland (202) 225- 6316 and tell them you are not happy with how things are being handled and share your ideas as to how you would handle this crisis. This is a new and scary time and I wish for everyone to be safe and healthy.

kyle renfro

so this means drug dealers, hookers, criminals all have to stay home how great

Stefanie Beninato

I would like to see MLG talk about the state's plan and efforts to engage in mass testing. Without testing we are operating blind.

And BTW the state does not have stats on those who died or who recovered (latter may be premature). A kind operator at the state's hotline number went to the CDC map and gave me the info that so far no deaths in NM from coronavirus.

I want to see more testing. And how are state workers being tracked in terms of working from home? How are parks and maintenance workers working from home?

I have asked Fast Money Webber about this with no response. I also do not see Webber working on getting us Santa Feans tested. Why not? Why just ICE and closing down markets months in advance?

Leesa Vigil

Glad the Governor's taking this seriously. If only the residents, judging by the comments here, would as well. No deaths yet in the state. Hope it stays that way. Take care of your elderly relatives/neighbors. It's particularly dangerous for them.

Connie Lopez

I am no fan of D. Trump, but I kinda think he may be correct about everyone going back to business. This virus tantamount to bad flu. So what? People die, people get infected, some people cover their mouths when sneezing, some don't . . . so what? I think measures taken by California, NY, etc. are extreme and 100% unnecessary. I know MLG trying her best to avoid worse-case scenario, but allowing all State employees to telework? These same employees are out and about, just look around. If the casinos were open, State employees would flock there during telework hours. Let's stop fooling ourselves and get back to business as usual. All of this defies common sense.

Joe Danna

Are you a Russian plant? I sure you would be happy to be among the 2% moralities of the infection.

Connie Lopez

Getting a royal flush in your first hand of poker – 1 in 649,740. Dying from COVID-19 three times unlikely nationwide!...just sayin'.

David Ford

too bad ignorance is also contagious (for some groups)....

buddah johnson

you calling yourself ignorant?

Connie Lopez

sd

reta saffo

We feel very confident with this sharp Governor at the helm-- and the measures she has taken thus far.

buddah johnson

barf

Khal Spencer

My concern is whether this action gives government unregulated power to declare an emergency and then wipe it bottom with our Constitutional rights.

Peter Feldner

Power grabbing politicians will destroy our country long before this virus does

Jessica Bicoll

I think the issue is that people who aren't as self-regulated as you are might not understand how important it is to cooperate as a community to slow the spread of the virus, and "deprive it of oxygen" so that we can put it out and resume normal activity asap without overwhelming our healthcare system. If you can see what's happening around the globe, and become aware that the same WILL happen here if we don't take what seem like extreme measures NOW, then our country WILL be destroyed by the virus, not power grabbing politicians (those in touch with reality, that is). I'll agree to disagree, but I don't see this as a power grab, but a (now mandated) call to action for us all to care about the greater good, if only for a little while.

reta saffo

Am in complete agreement with you. She has a lot of smarts-- and has a great handle on things so far. Am very impressed with her and the actions she's taking, along with the timeline in which she has acted.

buddah johnson

baloney

buddah johnson

what spread? where is it in new mexico?

Chris Mechels

The Governor needs to wake up... All she has to do is visit the Santa Fe grocery stores, a grand place to pass the virus around. Needed, some discipline, for masks, distance, etc. Also, they should take temperature scans of those entering, and working at, these grocers. Simple, and effective, and happening around the world. Not here. Is she serious??? Not clear. More exhortations don't cut it, and that's what we got. We're in trouble, and she's not helping.

buddah johnson

jeez someone here who can think logically ! ty!

Loyal Customer

Why wasn’t the Governor wearing a mask during her speech ? Blab. Blab. Blab. Also, she was not six feet away from the interpreter. Blab. Blab. Blab. All her hot air will make anyone sick. Have our great citizens taken leave of common sense ? Why not simply require every one to keep their hands washed, wear gloves and masks, and go about their daily activity ? All this government interference has destabilized our great nation.

buddah johnson

good one! typical blue state dem, do as i say not as i do!

Susan Haseltine

I have been checking what other governors are saying and doing. Ours MLG is doing a great job, charts, statistic, explanations, other officials who also had the data. The Gov. of Mississippi offered scripture and prayers, and lots of people were "doing hard work across Mississippi".

buddah johnson

gag

Chris Mechels

She should go visit the grocery stores, and see the chaos, and wake up. She'd probably meet some of her employees there.

buddah johnson

others do that for her, she is too busy enacting gestapo law

Chris Mechels

The Governor is living is some alternative universe. Sending all government employees to "work at home", means no daily oversight of their health and activities. It seems they are all busy shopping at the grocery stores, and hoarding. The grocery stores now make a lovely place to pass the virus around, with few masks, no regard for "separation", etc. The virus reigns....

What "should" be done. For starters, insist that those entering the store use hand sanitizer, also encourage the use of face masks, as the CDC does. Next, put some of the well paid government workers to work, taking temperature readings of incoming shoppers with a hand scanner. The rest of the world does this, as a quick way to catch those with the virus. Why not here??? Duhhhh...

MLG seems to think that exhortations work, and that those "at home" government workers are "working". An alternative universe. She needs to wake up, as other Governors have. Even simple steps, like taking temperatures at the grocers. Too invasive?? Like the 1918 flu, we may well be the "worst" state in responding to this crisis. Must we always be last???

Robby Roquemore

I wonder if Shelter in Place Lite was considered as a naming option.

Craig Gl

Today the ski slopes in Santa Fe were packed with people. Guess they aren't heeding this order.

Rick Lohmann

The order starts tomorrow at 8 am.

Nancy Murata

???

buddah johnson

they are not sheep needing a dope to lead them over cliffs.

Maxwell Vertical

WHERE IS THE DATA? Running cases are becoming meaningless because recovered cases aren’t being reported. We need ‘net current cases’. Also, how many hospitalizations and deaths in the state. I’m getting the feeling important information is being withheld to make the situation look worse than it is.

Kathy Krickhahn

There is, and has been for some time, a link to the NM Dept of Health site with that information on the home page of the New Mexican.

Mike Johnson

None of this is working to see it, what went wrong?

John Jones

It was just on KOB live - looks like they'll replay it on the web

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