Socorro County’s positivity rate is 1.25 percent, with average daily cases at 6.60 per 100,000.
John Larson | El Defensor Chieftain

As if right 0n time for St. Patrick’s Day, with COVID-19 infection rates steadily going down, Socorro County has now been reclassified as Green. On Wednesday, the New Mexico Department of Health recalculated the county’s positivity rate at 1.25 percent for the 14-day period of February 23 through March 8. In the red-to-green system, a county qualifies for Green if daily cases averaged no greater than eight per 100,000, and test positivity less than or equal to five percent over a two-week period.

Socorro County falls within both metrics.

As of Wednesday, Socorro County is looking at 1,228 total cumulative cases reported, with 56 deaths and 1,034 recovered.

Besides Socorro, 12 other counties – more than a third of the state – reached a less restrictive level. Those counties are: De Baca, Doña Ana, Eddy, Hidalgo, Lea, Los Alamos, McKinley, Otero, Quay, Roosevelt, San Juan and Santa Fe.

The next level for Socorro to shoot for is Turquoise. Neighboring counties Catron and Sierra have already reached the Turquoise threshold.

Counties at the Turquoise Level have both a new COVID-19 case incidence rate of no greater than 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the most recent four-week period, and an average percent of positive COVID-19 test results over the most recent four-week period less than or equal to 5 percent.

In the meantime, at the Green Level:

  • Essential businesses (non-retail): No capacity restrictions but operations must be limited to only those absolutely necessary to carry out essential functions
  • Essential retail spaces: 50 percent of maximum capacity, indoor and outdoor.
  • Food and drink establishments that are NM Safe Certified: 50 percent of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75 percent of maximum capacity for outdoors dining.
  • Close-contact businesses: 50 percent of maximum capacity (indoor and outdoor).
  • Large entertainment venues: 25 percent of the maximum capacity for any indoor/outdoor enclosed space on-premises; 50 percent for any outdoor space on-premises.
  • Recreational facilities: 25 percent of maximum capacity of any indoor/enclosed space on the premises; 50 percent of any outdoor space on the premises.
  • Bars and clubs: 25 percent of maximum capacity of any outdoor space on-premises, where applicable; indoor not permitted.
  • All other businesses: 50 percent of maximum capacity (indoor and outdoor).
  • Houses of worship: May hold religious services, indoors or outdoors, or provide services through audiovisual means, but may not exceed 50 percent of the maximum capacity of any enclosed space on the premises.
  • Places of lodging: 75 percent of maximum occupancy for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 40 percent of maximum occupancy for all others; 10 guests maximum for vacation rentals.
  • Mass gatherings limit:20 persons, 120 vehicles.