Updated: May 15, 2020 10:11 PM
Created: May 15, 2020 03:13 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham discussed her new public health order, which takes effect May 16.
The order requires every New Mexican to wear a mask or face covering while out in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Changes to Public Health Order
Gov. Lujan Grisham made changes to what she announced on Wednesday. She initially said places of worship could open up to 10% capacity. But the change says places of worship can open to 25% capacity.
Also, all retailers can reopen with up to 25% capacity. Previously, some retailers were only allowed to have 20% capacity.
The changes do not apply to San Juan County, Cibola County or McKinley County.
The governor also reminded vulnerable populations to stay home. She said vulnerable populations include:
Possibility of Outdoor Restaurant Seating
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was asked why restaurants are not allowed to use outdoor seating to serve customers.
"There are still droplets outside, right, they're airborne, they move right in the wind, they're moving," the governor said. "It is not safe. You could make an argument potentially that it's a little bit safer outside, but not safe enough, and we need another two weeks of data to make sure that we're moving in the right direction. And it's tough. These decisions, it's much tougher opening than it is not opening, right, because we really have to think about these COVID-safe practices and get ready."
Relief Package for Businesses
The governor said she will be working on a relief package for the restaurant, tourism and entertainment industries in New Mexico.
"I think that we can mitigate those financial consequences and concerns. It's not going to be enough for every small business that's been affected. There's no one that I know anywhere in the world, who is not upset about the economic implications and impacts here," the governor said. "I am too. It's devastating. But where we can mitigate that by having an economic response we will, we are, and we're working with the restaurant industry, and many individual owners to do that and of course, they're represented on the Recovery Council, and they're represented in any number of groups within the cabinet to make sure that we get this right."
The governor added that she will work with lenders and Congress to make sure loans, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, are still forgivable due to the state not fully being open when businesses received their money.
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