San Juan County reverts back to 'yellow' in New Mexico's latest COVID-19 map update

Matt Hollinshead
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — San Juan County reverted back to the yellow level in the New Mexico Department of Health’s latest “red to green” update on Wednesday.

San Juan County is averaging 9.30 positive cases per 100,000 people with a test positivity rate of 3.16% over the last two weeks.

Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett said the latest update for San Juan County boiled down to the latest two-week case average data, but didn't take San Juan County's vaccination efforts into account.

"The yo-yo has got to stop... This color coding system has got to go," Duckett said, adding he and other mayors have petitioned to NMDOH and Dr. David Scrase to update the criteria to include vaccination data so scenarios like this don't happen again. "These are things that have to have a higher level of review.

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The latest "Red to green" numbers from the New Mexico Department of Health shows San Juan County reverted back to "yellow" on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

“Yellow” counties over a two-week period have either a test positivity rate less than or equal to 5% or an average of no more than eight positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The latest data highlights the time frame of March 23 to April 5.

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Assessing the latest daily case numbers, Rubia's Fine Mexican Dining co-owner Randy Hodge said he anticipated this scenario of returning to "yellow" would happen. Hodge also said the fate of his establishment will ultimately depend on getting everyone in the county vaccinated as soon as possible.

"It's going to be cat-and-mouse for the next six months," Hodge said. "That's going to be the key to our success, getting everybody vaccinated."

A health care professional collects a sample during the free testing site for COVID-19 on May 5, 2020 at Shiprock High School in Shiprock.

Under “yellow,” San Juan County’s restaurants are now only allowed 33% capacity for indoor dining. Close-contact businesses. essential retail spaces and houses of worship are only allowed 33% capacity. 

For high school sports, “yellow” counties are allowed 25% capacity for outdoor events only.

“I don’t even know where to begin… We just started basketball… It’s really going to devastate the families,” Bloomfield athletic director Ben Tensay said, adding that Bloomfield fans are following the guidelines at games. “We’re doing the best we can with what we’re supposed to do… Our players are following the guidelines, our coaches are following the guidelines.”

For recreation facilities, outdoor spaces are allowed 33% capacity, and indoor spaces are not permitted.

At right, Robbin Tanner, public health nurse with Northern Navajo Medical Center, prepares to give the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Nina Mays during a home visit on Feb. 24 in Fruitland.

Where New Mexico stands on vaccines

As of Wednesday, 49.4% of New Mexicans have gotten at least one vaccine dose, and 31.7% of New Mexicans are fully vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, per the NMDOH website, 41.1% of San Juan County residents have received at least one vaccine dose, and 31% of San Juan County residents are fully vaccinated.

San Juan County COVID-19 vaccine tracker:23% people fully vaccinated

All New Mexicans ages 16 and over now eligible for receive a dose.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports and business for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577, and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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