As more people get vaccinated, state reassessing reopening criteria for Red to Green map

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Bernalillo County remained in Yellow level of restrictions in the state’s latest Red to Green Framework for reopening map.

However, biostatistician Hubert Allen believes Bernalillo County could reach Green in two weeks, if case counts remain on the same trajectory.

Vaccines are helping drive down cases of COVID-19. It’s so effective, the state is looking into modifying the Red to Green system.

With fewer people showing symptoms and being tested, the state is concerned that the positivity rate may not be the most accurate way to determine how prevelant the virus is in a community.

"We’ve been thinking about this test positivity rate over the last six weeks, and raising the question– Will we be able to continue relying on test positivity rate as a measure of the safety of a community or the measure of the disease activity now that we have vaccines on the scene," Dr. David Scrase, cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department.

The state now plans to move away from the testing metric in two to six weeks. However, details about how that will be phased out are still being worked on.

"We are doing a major reassessment of the Red Yellow Green Turquoise Framework," Scrase said. "We are working with the Economic Recovery Council, our Mayors Council, our modeling team."

Changes to the framework have been implemented already.

State officials said they are going to consider the population of each small county as 6,250. It gives the state room to make test positivity changes without penalizing counties.

This week, Harding County would have moved into the Red due to one case if the change was not made.