SoClose: San Juan County Misses COVID-19 Yellow Status by 0.01%

In order to move from Red to Yellow on the statewide COVID-19 map, San Juan County's test positivity rate had to move below 5% for a 2-week period. In data released today, the county's test positivity rate between January 26-February 8, 2021 was 5.01%.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

As COVID-19 numbers in San Juan County continue to improve, the area will have to wait another 2 weeks before seeing any changes to the "Red" designation on the statewide COVID-19.  

In order to move from Red to Yellow, the county needs to have an average daily case rate below 8 per 100,000 population, OR a test positivity rate of below 5%.  San Juan County's average daily case rate was recorded as 23.4 and the county's test positivity rate came in at 5.01%.  The NM Department of Health released information today, showing much improvement in the test positivity rate:

"Over the past two weeks, 30 counties saw their test positivity rate improve; one county (Harding) saw no change. The counties of Sierra, Catron, Taos, Curry and San Juan saw the greatest increases by percentage."

The 5.01% test positivity rate is not enough to move the county into the Yellow category.  San Juan County officials say they may ask the state for a waiver to move into the Yellow category and allow some business reopenings.  See related article "Local Governments Want to double-check NM's COVID Math

 

From the NM Department of Health

The New Mexico Department of Health on Wednesday announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Feb. 10, with 15 New Mexico counties at the Yellow Level and four at the Green Level, reflecting an improving overall COVID-19 outlook for the state.

 

Every county saw improvements in their average daily per-capita rate of new cases over the last two weeks, and 30 counties saw improvements in their test positivity rate.

 

The state’s county-by-county system uses key health metrics – the per-capita daily incidence of new COVID-19 cases and average COVID-19 test positivity within county borders – to determine the level of public health risk and requirement for each county. A county that meets one criterion may operate at the Yellow Level; a county that meets both may operate at the Green Level.

 

Counties that met one of the health metric thresholds and may operate at the Yellow Level beginning Feb. 10 are: Bernalillo, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, Dona Ana, Grant, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, Mora, Quay, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos and Valencia.

 

Counties that met both of the health metric thresholds and may operate at the Green Level beginning Feb. 10 are: Catron, Harding, Sierra and Union.

 

Twenty-nine counties reported a positivity rate below 10 percent, close to the state threshold of 5 percent, a dramatic increase from 11 counties below 10 percent one month.

 

“New Mexicans have been working hard to get this virus back under control,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The state’s efforts to continue our aggressive testing while efficiently distributing vaccines have contributed to the improving outlook for New Mexico. We’re not out of the woods yet, and vigilance is the only way to make sure we keep making progress. I ask all New Mexicans to please continue the hard work and continue making the right, and safe, choices each and every day, so we can see more of our state get into the Yellow and Green, and so we can keep ourselves, our families and our state safe.”

 

IMPROVING PER-CAPITA CASE RATES:

 

Over the past two weeks, every county saw its per-capita new daily case rate improve; one county (Harding) saw no change. The counties of Sierra, Catron, Taos, Union and Curry saw the greatest improvements by percentage.

 

Other than sparsely populated Harding County, the county with the lowest daily per-capita new case rate is Catron County, at 2 per 100,000 as of Feb. 10. It is followed by Union County (3.5), Sierra County (5.2), Taos County (10.5) and Mora County (11). The state threshold for moving to a less restrictive level is 8 per 100,000.

 

IMPROVING POSITIVITY RATES:

 

Over the past two weeks, 30 counties saw their test positivity rate improve; one county (Harding) saw no change. The counties of Sierra, Catron, Taos, Curry and San Juan saw the greatest increases by percentage.

 

Other than sparsely populated Harding County, the county with the lowest positivity rate is Union County, with 0.98 percent of tests returning positive as of Feb. 10. It is followed by Sierra County (1.16 percent), Catron County (1.69 percent), Taos County (2.11 percent) and Los Alamos County (2.18). The state threshold for moving to a less restrictive level is 5 percent.

 

The counties of De Baca and Socorro saw an increase in their test positivity rates, though Socorro is on the threshold of the Yellow Level at 6.26 percent of tests returned positive. Socorro County is the only county to regress to a more restrictive level during the two-week period that began Jan. 27; in accordance with the operative public health order, a county that moves to a more restrictive level must begin operating at the more restrictive level within 2 days.

 

The color-coded tier system – Red Level, Yellow Level and Green Level – enables counties to shed restrictions and provide local communities the flexibility to operate more day-to-day activities as soon as public health data show the virus is retreating within their borders.

 

The public health order, the red-to-green framework and frequently asked questions are all available at cv.nmhealth.org/redtogreen, where New Mexicans can also view the test positivity rate and new case incidence for each county as of Dec. 2.

 

The requirements for each level are available below and at cv.nmhealth.org/redtogreen.

 

GREEN LEVEL:

 

Counties at the Green Level have both a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, and an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period less than or equal to 5%.

 

Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions

Essential retail spaces: 50% of maximum capacity

Food and drink establishments: 50% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining

Close-contact businesses: 50% of maximum capacity

Outdoor recreational facilities: 50% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)

Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed

**All other businesses: 50% of maximum capacity

Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 50% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises

Places of lodging: 75% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 40% of maximum occupancy for all others; 10 guests maximum for vacation rentals

Mass gatherings limit: 20 persons, 120 vehicles

 

YELLOW LEVEL:

 

Counties at the Yellow Level have either a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, or an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period less than or equal to 5%.

 

Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions

Essential retail spaces: 33% of maximum capacity

Food and drink establishments: 25% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoors dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 10 p.m. each night

Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 20 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)

Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed

**All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 125 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 33% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises

Places of lodging: 60% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals

Mass gatherings limit: 10 persons; 80 vehicles

 

RED LEVEL:

 

Counties at the Red Level are those with a new COVID-19 case incident rate of greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period and an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period greater than 5%.

 

Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but must limit operations to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions

Essential retail spaces: 25% of maximum capacity

Food and drink establishments: No indoor dining permitted; 25% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 9 p.m. each night

Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 10 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices)

Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed

**All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 75 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 25% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises

Places of lodging: 40% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; 5 guests maximum for vacation rentals

Mass gatherings limit: 5 persons, 40 vehicles

 


 

Categories and definitions within the public health order:

 

Essential businesses (non-retail): These are any business or nonprofit entity falling within one or more of the following categories:

  • Health care operations including hospitals, walk-in-care health facilities, pharmacies, medical wholesale and distribution, home health care workers or aides for the elderly, emergency dental facilities, nursing homes, residential health care facilities, research facilities, congregate care facilities, intermediate care facilities for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, supportive living homes, home health care providers, drug and alcohol recovery support services, and medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers;
  • Homeless shelters, food banks, and other services providing care to indigent or needy populations;
  • Childcare facilities;
  • Farms, ranches, and other food cultivation, processing, or packaging operations;
  • Infrastructure operations including, but not limited to, public works construction, commercial and residential construction and maintenance, self-storage facilities, airport operations, public transportation, airlines, taxis, private transportation providers, transportation network companies, water, gas, electrical, oil drilling, oil refining, natural resources extraction or mining operations, nuclear material research and enrichment, those attendant to the repair and construction of roads and highways, gas stations, solid waste collection and removal, trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal, sewer, data and internet providers, data centers, technology support operations, and telecommunications systems;
  • Manufacturing operations involved in food processing, manufacturing agents, chemicals, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, household paper products, microelectronics/semiconductor, primary metals manufacturers, electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturers, and transportation equipment manufacturers;
  • Services necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences or essential businesses including security services, towing services, custodial services, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled trades;
  • Veterinary and livestock services, animal shelters and facilities providing pet adoption, daycare, or boarding services;
  • Media services;
  • Utilities, including their contractors, suppliers, and supportive operations, engaged in power generation, fuel supply and transmission, water and wastewater supply;
  • Crematoriums, funeral homes and cemeteries;
  • Banks, credit unions, insurance providers, payroll services, brokerage services, and investment management firms;
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services;
  • Laboratories and defense and national security-related operations supporting the United States government, a contractor to the United States government, or any federal entity;
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, but only where necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities; and
  • Logistics, and also businesses that store, transport, or deliver groceries, food, materials, goods or services directly to residences, retailers, government institutions, or essential businesses.

Essential retail spaces: These include grocery stores, supermarkets, food banks, farmers’ markets and vendors who sell food, convenience stores, and other businesses that generate more than one-third of their revenue from the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food, animal feed or supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other consumable food and drink products; automobile repair facilities, bike repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile or bike repair products; hardware stores; laundromats; and dry cleaner services.

 

Food and drink establishments: These are restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops, or other similar establishments that offer food or drink.

 

Close-contact businesses: These are barbershops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, nail salons, spas, massage therapy services, esthetician clinics, tanning salons, guided raft tours, guided balloon tours.

 

Outdoor recreational facilities: These are outdoor golf courses, public swimming pools, ski basins, youth programs, youth livestock shows, horseracing tracks, botanical gardens, outdoor zoos, tennis courts and outdoor skating rinks.

 

Close-contact recreational facilities: These are indoor movie theaters, indoor museums with interactive displays or exhibits and other similar venues, miniature golf, arcades, amusement parks, aquariums, casinos, concert venues, professional sports venues, event venues, bars, dance clubs, performance venues, go-kart courses, automobile racetracks, adult entertainment venues, bowling alleys, indoor ice skating rinks and other places of recreation or entertainment. For purposes of the public health order, a bar is defined as any business that generated more than half of its revenue from the sale of alcohol during the preceding fiscal year.

 

Houses of worship: These are any church, synagogue, mosque, or other gathering space where persons congregate to exercise their religious beliefs.

 

Places of lodging: These are hotels, motels, RV parks, and short-term vacation rentals.

 

Mass gatherings: These are any public gathering, private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, funeral, or any other grouping that brings together a specified number of individuals in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space, or open outdoor space. “Mass gatherings” also include coordinated events in which individuals gather in vehicles. “Mass gatherings” do not include the presence of any number of individuals where those individuals regularly reside. “Mass gathering” does not include individuals who are public officials or public employees in the course and scope of their employment.

 

**All other businesses: These are any entities that are not identified explicitly as an “essential business,” “house of worship,” “outdoor recreational facility,” “food and drink establishment,” “place of lodging” or “close-contact recreational facility.” Examples would include non-essential retail spaces like a clothing store, a gym, a group fitness class or a personal training service, among others.

More from COVID-19/Coronavirus

  • San Juan Co. Remains YELLOW on NM COVID-19 Map

    Counties at the Yellow Level have either a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent two-week period, or an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent 14-day period less than or equal to 5%.

  • Daily NM COVID-19 Statistics: 195,990 (+228) cases, 4,023 Deaths (+3)

    There were 33 new COVID 19 cases and no additional deaths in San Juan County reported on Thursday by the Department of Health

  • *Updated* Navajo Nation Active COVID-19 Cases Total: 30,404 (+15), 1,263 Deaths (+0)

    The total number of deaths is 1,263 as of Thursday. Reports indicate that 16,522 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 262,009 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 30,404.

  • NM Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility

    All New Mexicans 16+ will be eligible for the vaccine beginning Monday, April 5 as the state moves to Phase 2 of its vaccination schedule.

  • NM Modifies Red-Green Restrictions, Adds Turquoise Level

    The framework includes a new least restrictive level where all categories of business can operate indoors with minimal occupancy limitations, depending on the risk level of the activity. A county will reach this least restrictive level, the Turquoise Level, by meeting key health criteria for two consecutive two-week periods and effectively graduating out of the Red-Yellow-Green framework, provided the virus remains suppressed.

  • Navajo Nation to Lessen Restrictions March 15

    "This is a carefully-crafted soft reopening that includes specific guidelines to continue helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while allowing more businesses to reopen at no more than 25-percent capacity along with strict provisions. We continue to rely on the data and the advice of public health experts as we move forward in this pandemic. The recent data shows that there is a consistent reduction in new infections, a reduction in hospital visits and hospital bed usage, and very high rates of vaccinations across the Navajo Nation,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

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