Chaves County to remain in Yellow after county-by-county metrics are updated

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Chaves County will remain in the Yellow level of restrictions when the state updates its reopening map Friday.

However, there is still hope for the county to move to Green as early as May 5 because the state relaxed its gating criteria.

Vaccination rates are now among the metrics being used in the county-by-county reopening system.

Matt Bieber, spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Health, said the goal is to reach out to people who are hesitant about being vaccinated.

“I think there’s conversations to be had with all of those people, and you know, some of them, you know, they’re all smart people are all taking in a lot of new information, they’re all asking questions,” he said.

Chaves County reports 29.4% of its population is fully vaccinated.

Despite a lower percentage than the entire state, pharmacies in the county have been busy.

“We’ve been doing the Johnson & Johnson here probably since late March," said Weston Bradley, pharmacist at Farmer’s Uptown Pharmacy. "We’ve had a really good response from the community. We’re doing anywhere from 10 to 30 a day.

New Mexico plans on reopening after 60% of the state is fully vaccinated, regardless of vaccination rates in each county.