Fri. May 24th, 2024

Governor extends public health order banning mass gatherings in places of worship

SANTA FE (KSMX)- New Mexico state health officials on Saturday announced 86 additional positive tests for COVID-19 including 1 in Quay County. Curry County remains at 9 cases and Roosevelt County has 1. The Department has identified a total of 1,174 positive COVID-19 cases in the state and 20 additional deaths related to the virus.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Saturday that places of worship must now abide by a public health order banning mass gatherings to mitigate COVID-19 spread. Houses of worship were previously exempt from the public health emergency order banning mass gatherings, defined as five or more people in a single confined space.

“I am so grateful for the support and cooperation from the vast majority of religious leaders of all faiths who have already made the difficult decision to cancel services in the interest of the health and safety of their members,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “I understand the tremendous social and spiritual burden this places on New Mexicans, but ultimately, we must do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19, including being absolutely clear that mass gatherings of any type are not permitted in houses of worship,” she said.

Of the 39 states that have implemented stay-at-home orders, only 11 now have exceptions for religious gatherings, and most of those require social distancing at services.

Most New Mexico churches, synagogues and mosques have already ended face-to-face gatherings, and many Christian churches are planning virtual Easter services via Livestream, broadcast or other technical means.

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