How to stay safe when businesses reopen in New Mexico | KOB 4

How to stay safe when businesses reopen in New Mexico

Patrick Hayes
Updated: June 03, 2020 06:42 PM
Created: June 03, 2020 05:51 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -  Restaurants and retailers are starting to reopen after getting the green light from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Thoser businesses have to implement social distancing and limit the number of customers inside dining areas and shopping areas, according to the state’s public health order.

Since June 1., restaurants have been able to seat up to 50 percent capacity. Meanwhile, salons, barbershops and indoor malls are limited to 25 percent.

"I think again it relates to figuring out how we can do this safely and it's kind of a trial,” Dr. Tracie Collins, dean of  UNM College of Population Health.

"But you want to make sure as you re-enter, as you think about going to a restaurant that's adhering to the recommendations for capacity which is at 50 percent and that they're clearly spacing things out, you see they're wiping down things so that you can feel safe,” she added.

Collins said the risk of contracting coronavirus isn’t gone.

Instead, she urged residents to continue practicing social distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands.

According to Collins, she thinks the number of people allowed in businesses has to do with how long people are sitting or standing in a specific place.

For example, people are usually walking around indoor malls as opposed to movie theaters where people are sitting for hours.

KOB 4 asked why restaurants could be open at 50 percent capacity, but bars could not.

"So at a restaurant, they're able to really separate people at tables, but they can't separate people at a bar,” said Collins.

When asked if it’s safer to eat inside or outside, Collins said outside.

"The aerosolized droplets from COVID-19 are less of an issue when you're on a patio,” she said.

“It's still an issue but less so than being inside,” Collins added.

Collins said if the coronavirus behaves like the flu, New Mexico could see a second wave before the fall.

Again, she recommends people practice social distancing, wash their hands and wear face masks.

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