SANTA FE (KSMX)- Four people in New Mexico have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state’s first known cases of infection, prompting Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to declare a public health emergency on Wednesday and advise that all large public events be postponed to limit the spread of the virus. New Mexico health officials have now issued an order temporarily prohibiting mass gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the release, the governor, in consultation with leadership at the New Mexico Department of Health, on Wednesday issued enhanced public health advisory steps that New Mexicans should take to protect themselves, their families and New Mexico communities from the potential occurrence or spread of the disease in our state.
It defines mass gatherings as events that bring together 100 or more people in a single room or connected space like auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, conference centers and theaters, according to a health department news release. Exempt from the order are airports, other mass transit, shopping malls, shelters, retail and grocery stores, offices and businesses, courthouses, all educational institutions, child-care centers, health care facilities and other congregate care facilities and places of worship.
“The governor and Department of Health have directed the state government and are advising local governments across New Mexico to cancel events with large crowds through at least the end of April.
And in connection with this directive that large gatherings be avoided when possible, and in light of concern about a significant number of out-of-state travelers arriving in New Mexico, the governor has instructed EXPO New Mexico to postpone the 37th Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, which had been scheduled for April 23-25 and will postpone or cancel any other forthcoming large public events under her administration’s purview.”
According to a Tweet from the New Mexico Athletic Association, “per the guidance of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham & recommendations from the New Mexico Department of Health, the remainder of the 2020 State Basketball Tournament will go on as scheduled, however without fans.”
Teams will have a certain amount of players, coaches, trainers allowed into the tournament.
Department of Health urged New Mexicans to:
- Avoid large public gatherings, particularly if you are a high-risk individual
- High-risk individuals are older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease
- Avoid all non-essential travel to affected out-of-state areas; and exercise extreme caution with all out-of-state travel
- Remain home (“self-isolate”) if you are sick and call the Department of Health at 1-855-600-3453 if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19
- Those symptoms include fever, cough or trouble breathing
- And continue taking precautionary steps to protect your individual health, such as:
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily with regular household cleaners
- Avoid sharing personal household items