New Mexico is still leading the nation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with well over half of the state’s population vaccinated against the disease.

The entire state has moved out of the Red Level; in the East Mountains and Estancia Valley both Torrance and Santa Fe counties are at the Turquoise Level and Bernalillo County remains at the Yellow.

Restrictions are lifting and congregrate settings like music venues are slowly reopening. State parks are reopening and allowing hiking and camping.

People 16 and older can now get vaccinated and development of a vaccine for children is underway.

Counties at the Turquoise Level have the fewest restrictions, which means “essential” businesses can operate without capacity restrictions, though operations are still limited to necessary functions of the business.

Retail spaces can operate at 75% of capacity indoors with no restrictions on outdoor spaces.

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Food and drink establishments, if they are NM Safe Certified, can operate at 75% of maximum capacity for indoor and outdoor dining.

Close-contact businesses can operate at 75% of maximum capacity with no restrictions on outdoor spaces.

Large entertainment venues can operate at 33% of maximum capacity for any indoor and enclosed space on premises and at 75% of any outdoor space on premises.

Recreational facilities can operate at 50% of maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises and at 75% outdoors.

Bars and clubs can operate at 33% of maximum capacity and 75% of any outdoor space on premises.

All other types of businesses can operate at 75% of maximum capacity indoors with no restrictions on outdoor spaces.

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Houses of worship may hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 75% of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises.

Places of lodging have no maximum occupancy restrictions for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 50% of maximum occupancy for all others; and a 15 guest maximum for vacation rentals. Mass gatherings are limited to 150 persons, or 200 vehicles.

Event Codes

The state health department announced March 29 that residents 75 years and older who are registered at vaccinenm.org will no longer need event codes to schedule vaccine appointments.

Instead, seniors will receive invitations to schedule appointments. At that point, they will log in to vaccinenm.org using their confirmation code and date of birth and schedule an appointment at a time and location that is convenient for them. No event code will be required, but they will still need to make an appointment to receive their vaccine.

In addition, as of April 5, all residents aged 16 or older are eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccine and over half of the state population is already vaccinated.

According to the 2019 population estimate based on 2010 Census data, 22.7% of New Mexicans are under the age of 18.

The Department of Health will continue to prioritize vaccine invitations for New Mexicans 75 years and older, and those 60 years and older with a chronic condition. The Department has chosen to open the final distribution phase, because providers in some parts of the state are no longer able to fill appointments.

In addition, the CDC has indicated that states should expect meaningful increases in vaccine supply over the coming weeks.

New Mexicans who have vaccine questions can visit vaccineNM.org/facts.

State Parks

The State Parks Division announced that the state oparks are returning to normal seasonal operations.

Covid-safe practices are still in place, including group size limits depending on county tier status, social distancing, and mask wearing.

Beginning on April 16, camping will be expanded in many state parks. Some parks will now allow camping without an online reservation, but reservations ahead of time are still strongly encouraged.

Limited dispersed camping in undeveloped sites will be allowed in some parks. With different seasonal closures in effect, the public is encouraged to “know before you go” and check the website for specific park information before you embark on your next adventure.

Visitors may also purchase day-use passes online for their convenience. Those who purchase day-use passes online or make camping reservations online are encouraged to print a receipt or download the receipt and have it available on an electronic device to present upon arrival at the park.

Several state parks are currently managing for seasonal closures and some campgrounds, services, and

facilities may not be available. Visit emnrd.state.nm.us to learn more.

Covid-safe practices including wearing a mask or cloth face covering is still mandatory in public settings.

Group size limits vary by county.