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New Turquoise Level Added: What Does It Mean?

Updated: Mar 10

Amended Public Health Order Eases Restrictions on Recreational Facilities, Entertainment Venues, Casinos

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the state of New Mexico published the revised Public Health Order, which permitted the operation of Recreational Facilities, Entertainment Venues, and Casinos.


The Public Health Order also amended the "Red to Green" framework to allow for further eased restrictions on mass gatherings and tourism-related businesses. The amended Public Health Order introduces a "Turquoise" level for counties that meet the criteria of the "Green" level for the two most recent 14-day reporting periods.

What does the Turquoise Level cover?


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%.


  • 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: 75% of maximum capacity (indoor and outdoor)

  • Food and drink establishments (if NM Safe Certified): 75% of maximum capacity for indoor dining; 75% of maximum capacity for outdoor dining

  • Close-contact businesses: 75% of maximum capacity; no restrictions on outdoor spaces

  • Large entertainment venues: 33% of maximum capacity for any indoor/enclosed space on premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises

  • Recreational facilities: 50% of maximum capacity of any indoor/enclosed space on the premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises

  • Bars and clubs: 33% of maximum capacity of any indoor/enclosed space on premises; 75% of any outdoor space on premises, where applicable

  • **All other businesses: 75% of maximum capacity indoors; no restrictions on outdoor spaces

  • 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: No maximum occupancy restrictions for those that have completed NM Safe Certified training; 50% of maximum occupancy for all others; 15 guests maximum for vacation rentals

  • Mass gatherings limit: 150 persons, or 200 vehicles


With the introduction of Recreational Facilities, Entertainment Venues and Casinos, there are also changes to the Red, Yellow and Green Levels. You can review changes to those levels here, as the framework now accounts for recreational facilities, entertainment venues, casinos, and bars and clubs.


This order is effective as of TODAY, Feb. 24.

Additionally, the state updated its list of counties that meet the requirements outlined in the "Red to Green" framework. This update include four counties that have reached the "Turquoise" level.


Counties in Turquoise

  • Union

  • Catron

  • Harding

  • Sierra

Counties in Green

  • De Baca

  • Quay

  • Torrance

  • Mora

  • Taos

  • Los Alamos

Counties in Yellow

  • Lea

  • Lincoln

  • Guadalupe

  • Hidalgo

  • Colfax

  • Curry

  • Santa Fe

  • Roosevelt

  • San Juan

  • Chaves

  • Rio Arriba

  • Luna

  • Valencia

  • Bernalillo

  • Sandoval

  • Socorro

  • San Miguel

  • Cibola

  • Grant

Counties in Red

  • McKinley

  • Eddy

  • Otero

  • Doña Ana


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