Las Cruces and Doña Ana County were upgraded Wednesday, March 10, 2021 to the “Yellow” health risk level in the latest COVID-19 map released by the New Mexico Department of Health.
Las Crucens and Doña Ana County residents are reminded to continue following COVID-safe practices, including wearing face masks when in public and maintaining proper social distancing of six feet. An Emergency Proclamation issued by Mayor Ken Miyagishima and unanimously adopted May 15, 2020 by the Las Cruces City Council still requires all City residents to wear a face mask while at any public venue.
Las Cruces and Doña Ana County were in the “Yellow” risk category on February 10 but were downgraded to the “Red” level on February 24. As a result of the downgrade, the City and county were required to enact the strictest restrictions to minimize risks of spreading the coronavirus. With the upgrade to the Yellow level, restrictions, particularly for businesses will be eased.
The state’s county-by-county system uses key health metrics – the per-capita daily incidence of new COVID-19 cases and average COVID-19 test positivity within county borders – to determine the level of public health risk and requirement for each county. A county that meets one criterion may operate at the Yellow Level; a county that meets both may operate at the Green Level. A county that has met both for two consecutive biweekly map updates may operate at the Turquoise Level.
While the upgrade to the Yellow level is encouraging, City and county residents are strongly urged to continue wearing face masks, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently, continue to get tested for COVID-19, and register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Lapses could cause the City and county to be downgraded again. Continued improvement could boost Las Cruces and Doña Ana County to the Green, and ultimately, Turquoise levels.
The color-coded tier system – Red Level, Yellow Level and Green Level – enables counties to shed restrictions and provide local communities the flexibility to operate more day-to-day activities as soon as public health data show the virus is retreating within their borders.