Governor addresses spread of COVID-19, political rallies, mask enforcement | KOB 4

Governor addresses spread of COVID-19, political rallies, mask enforcement

Tommy Lopez
Updated: July 30, 2020 10:10 PM
Created: July 30, 2020 08:55 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham praised New Mexicans for flattening the curve again, but asked for people to do more to slow the spread of COVID-19.

She made the statement as she extended her public health order Thursday.


"We're doing better at this gradual approach, far fewer people impacted, far fewer people infected, far fewer deaths per capita, and a system indicates that as we add this risk, we're going to get to a place where, for the businesses that are really tough, right -- indoor movies, entertainment, large crowds -- those are goals once we start to deal with all the other business aspects," the governor said. 

Tracking COVID-19

Dr. David Scrase, cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department, said cases are still high in New Mexico, but added that hospitalizations continue to be low.

He also said the death count is also not rising at an exponential rate with the case count.

New Mexico is nearly meeting all the gating criteria for reopening. Dr. Scrase said testing is increasing at a faster rate than in any other state.

He also said New Mexicans aren't doing a tremendous amount of traveling, which is recommended to slow the spread of the virus.

Financial Help For Businesses

The governor rolled out the largest loan program since the start of the pandemic. Starting next week, nearly $550,000 dollars in loans will be available for small business. 

Two-thirds of the money will come from the state's permanent fund.

Political Rallies

As the general election approaches, candidates will be trying to get their message out to voters.

However, the governor said political rallies are considered mass gatherings, which are banned in the state.

The governor also said candidates cannot go door-to-door.

Mask Enforcement

Albuquerque police and New Mexico State Police have only given out a total of two citations to people who allegedly weren't wearing face coverings. 

The focus has been on education and warnings.

Other law enforcement agencies have decided not to enforce the governor's health order. The governor said the decision is disappointing.

"This really has to stop in this state where everyone is now deciding that they can pick and choose, the rules they like or don't like," Gov. Lujan Grisham said. "A productive society that is fair universally applies the rules in the same way to everyone and enforces them, and I find it appalling that any local leader or any law enforcement entity would just say, 'you can't make us.'"

The governor's office would not say whether anything would be done differently to ramp up enforcement.

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