Justine Lopez & Ryan Laughlin
Updated: March 15, 2020 10:20 PM
Created: March 15, 2020 05:14 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. - The New Mexico Public Health Secretary announced new restrictions to restaurants and bars that would limit occupancy in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Secretary Kathy Kunkel issued the emergency order on Sunday.
Beginning Monday, March 16. all restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries and other food establishments shall operate at no greater than 50% maximum occupancy and no greater than 50% of seating occupancy.
Additionally, no more than six patrons will be allowed to be seated together at tables or booths and all occupied tables and booths must be separated by six feet. Patrons also may not be seated at bars and standing patrons will not be served.
The public health order also prohibits gatherings of 100 people or more, but includes exemptions for shelters, retail or grocery stores, courthouses, correction and detention facilities and hospitals, among others.
All casinos and horse racing facilities must also close until April 10. Casinos operating on tribal land are exempt from the provision.
“The best thing New Mexicans can do right now is self-isolate and limit person-to-person contact,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in a press release. “We all have to pull together in this effort. Keep washing your hands with soap and water regularly. Stay at home. Remember your neighbors and buy only what you need when you are shopping.”
New Mexicans who detect symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).
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