KOB Web Staff
Updated: March 23, 2020 12:48 AM
Created: March 11, 2020 04:47 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- People are encouraged to avoid large crowds as the coronavirus spreads across the country.
Several large events have announced that they will either be canceled or postponed this year.
The New Mexico health secretary has also issued an order temporarily prohibiting mass gatherings of 100 people or more.
Why are mass gatherings a concern?
The Centers for Disease Control says the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes, producing respiratory droplets that can reach others who are within about 6 feet. Canceling or postponing large gatherings is a prudent public health measure to prevent spread of the virus.
What is a mass gathering?
The order defines a mass gathering as any public or private gathering of 100 or more individuals in a single room or connected space where they could be in close proximity to one another. Examples include sporting events, concerts, conferences, auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, convention centers, meeting halls and theaters.
Are there exemptions?
Yes. Excemptions from the governor's order includes shelters, retail and grocery stores, typical office environments, businesses, courthouses, restaurants and bars, correctional and detention facilities, all educational institutions, hospitals and other health care facilities and places of worship – as long as they are operating under normal business hours.
Does this affect funerals and weddings?
Weddings and funerals are exempt. Individuals should determine that for themselves.
Have other states done this in response to COVID-19?
Yes. As of March 12, Washington, Oregon and California all have similar measures.
How long will this last?
The order is in effect for 29 days – through April 9. However, it could be extended based on need.
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