The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday released new guidelines allowing for judges to reestablish in-person visits between children in state custody and their biological parents or guardians.

Visitations were suspended in late March amid health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, in regions where the coronavirus’s transmission rate has dropped to 1.15 or less, the order said, “in-person visits between children in CYFD custody and respondents can be conducted in a safe manner.” In-person visits remain prohibited in areas with higher rates.

Charlie Moore-Pabst, a spokesman for the state Children, Youth and Families Department, said the order won’t affect anyone immediately. “The decision to resume visits will still need to be made on an individual basis by all parties conferring and agreeing to submit stipulated orders to the court,” he said.

Statewide, there are about 675 families with CYFD cases and visitation orders, he said.

The New Mexican

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