Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Quay remains in red with latest evaluations


January 6, 2021

Quay County remained in the red zone in the latest evaluations last week on the statewide COVID-19 map, but it landed on the shortlist of greatest improvement in its per-capita and test-positivity rates for the virus.

All but one of New Mexico’s counties — Catron — also remained in the red zone in the evaluation from Dec. 15 to Dec. 28.

Catron County improved to the yellow zone, which allows it to reopen restaurants to 25% capacity in indoor dining and other relaxed restrictions.

Quay County’s per capita rate of coronavirus cases was 16.7 daily cases per 100,000 people, which stayed above the benchmark of 8 per 100,000. The county’s rate in the previous period was 63.5 per 100,000.

In test-positivity, Quay County’s rate of 6.67% in the latest evaluation was just above the benchmark of 5%. The county’s rate during the previous evaluation period was 14.3%.

A news release Wednesday from the state Department of Health stated Quay, Harding, Los Alamos and Carton counties’ improved numbers put them closest to the coveted green zone.

It also stated Quay showed among the greatest improvements in both benchmarks.

A total of 28 counties improved in at least one gating criteria.

Neighboring Roosevelt County was among several counties that saw both benchmarks worsen in the last two weeks.

Here are the restrictions for counties in the red zone such as Quay:

• Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but must limit operations to those only absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions;

• Essential retail spaces: 25% of maximum capacity;

• Food and drink establishments: No indoor dining allowed and 25% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining; any establishment serving alcohol must close by 9 p.m. nightly;

• Close-contact businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 10 customers at one time, whichever is smaller;

• Outdoor recreational facilities: 25% of maximum capacity (unless required to have less capacity under the state’s COVID-Safe Practices);

• Close-contact recreational facilities: Remain closed;

• All other businesses: 25% of maximum capacity or 75 customers at one time, whichever is smaller

• Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means but may not exceed 25% of the capacity of any enclosed space on the premises;

• Places of lodging: 40% of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training and 25% of maximum occupancy for all others; five guests maximum for vacation rentals;

• Mass gatherings limit: five persons and 10 vehicles.


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