Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state is on track for a June 1 reopening of gyms, salons, restaurants and other facilities. In order to reopen these businesses, Lujan Grisham said during a Wednesday (May 20) press briefing, the state would need to continue to lower the rate of spread of COVID-19 and continue to practice social distancing.
Gyms, barber shops, salons and other businesses have been closed since March 24 to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and have been awaiting reopening. Even if the businesses are allowed to open, it may not be to full capacity at the beginning, officials said.
“I’d like to believe that we are going to reopen,” said Michael Timber of Michael’s Barber Shop in Taos. “It’s a nice thought. I’m getting calls every day. If (opening) happens, it's going to be great.”
Timber said he is hopeful for reopening, but also understands the circumstances and will abide by the governor’s orders.
Restaurants currently can only offer take out or delivery services, and not dine-in service. That could change in June.
New Mexico Human Service Secretary David Scrase said New Mexico is on the right track to decreasing the number of COVID-19 cases.
During Wednesday's press conference, Scrase said overall the state is making “good progress” in slowing the spread of the virus.
“Social distancing measures are really what's controlling the virus,” Scrase said.
The rate of spread of COVID-19 across New Mexico is nearing the target of 1.15, according to Scrase. The rate of spread is the approximate number of people one infected person could spread the virus to.
New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel said testing locations have been increasing across the state, which helps address the rate of spread by identifying the virus before an infected person can infect more people.
Kunkel also said 25 percent of detainees in State detention facilities have been tested and all the staff having been tested. There are 22 counties, including Taos County, who have the same statistics in their jails, according to Kunkel.
Lujan Grisham reminded the state to stay home, wear a face covering and continue to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet from each other.
An additional 134 new cases of COVID-19 were announced at Wednesday’s press conference, bringing the state total to 6,317.
In New Mexico, 283 people have died due to complications from COVID-19 and 58 people in the state are currently on ventilators.