New Mexico – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


New Mexico Department of Health coronavirus resource page.

  • March 4, 2020—Governor Lujan Grisham said state officials are engaging in tabletop exercises for how to respond if the virus surfaces in New Mexico including the possibility of “off-site locations” that could be used to provide care and limit transmission of the virus.
  • March 6, 2020—The Department of Insurance issued a bulletin stating that carriers should educate enrollees and providers on CDC guidelines around COVID, adopt new billing codes, encourage telehealth, and ensure preparedness response is ready. 
  • March 11, 2020—Governor Luhan Grisham signed an executive order declaring a state of public health emergency. The Governor is also restricted state employee travel. 
  • March 12, 2020—The Governor announced that all New Mexico public schools will close for three weeks beginning March 16th.    
  • March 13, 2020 – Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes announced a COVID-19 Business Loan Guarantee Program and Zero Percent Interest Loans from the New Mexico Economic Development Department.
  • March 15, 2020-The Governor issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of 100 people or more and also ordered that all restaurants, bars, and food establishments operate at no greater than 50 percent of maximum occupancy.  
  • March 15, 2020- The Governor issued a directive to all state agencies to accelerate remote work to minimize face-to-face contact.
  • March 16, 2020- The Governor issued five executive orders which authorize up to $3.25 million of additional funding to address the effects of COVID-19.
  • March 16, 2020- The Children, Youth and Families Department, along with the Early Childhood Education and Care Department, have expanded childcare for first responders and health providers and is also delivering paid childcare for families.
  • March 17, 2020- The Governor announced that New Mexico has qualified for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance program to assist businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • March 17, 2020- New Mexico extended eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits to those workers that have been impacted by reduced hours or layoffs due to COVID-19.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor prohibited all mass gatherings of 10 or more across the state, which also includes closures of non-essential businesses through April 10.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor and the Department of Health issued guidelines for the public concerning travel and COVID-19 testing.
  • March 18, 2020 – The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Secretary announced that the state is providing free thirty-day accounts to Parentivity, a web-based system providing customized educational resources for new parents, for all parents of New Mexico’s young children.
  • March 19, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Health issued a public health order building on earlier orders to include additional mandatory closures on bars and restaurants, among other businesses.
  • March 19, 2020 – The New Mexico Corrections Department implemented new safeguards suspending all visitation through the end of April, in tandem with increasing inmate access to phones and video conferencing.
  • March 19, 2020 – The sovereign tribal nations joined the Governor in collective efforts to prevent further transmission by temporarily closing all tribal casinos.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor extended the deadline by 90 days (July 15) for New Mexicans file and pay their 2019 personal income taxes.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced New Mexico’s Medicaid Program is requiring managed care organizations to reimburse doctors, behavioral health providers and other health care professionals for telephone and video patient visits. Additionally, managed care organizations are now required to:
    • Waive all prior authorizations for members to obtain COVID-19 testing and treatment services;
    • Expand nurse advice lines to operate 24/7;
    • Coordinate with home care providers to ensure coordinated care for those patients requiring telemedicine services;
    • Allow for replacement of durable medical equipment through telemedicine; and,
    • Reimburse for prescriptions dispensed in amounts up to a 90-day supply.
  • March 23, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Health announced a new public health emergency order closing all non-essential businesses and further restricting mass gatherings.
  • March 23, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved New Mexico’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables New Mexico to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, and extend fair hearing and appeals timelines.
  • March 24, 2020 – The New Mexico State Investment Council approved a recovery loan fund of up to $100 million designed to assist distressed New Mexico businesses facing economic hardship.
  • March 24, 2020 – The State Aging and Long-Term Services Department announced a collaborative emergency donation drive to deliver essential supplies and food to homebound seniors and disabled people.
  • March 24, 2020 – The state Supreme Court ordered a temporary moratorium on evictions for inability to pay rent due to economic displacement.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor and the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department clarified that no penalties or interest will be assessed on state income tax payments received by July 15.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor announced two public health orders with the goal of conserving personal protective equipment:
    • One order prohibits non-essential health services, defined as services that can be delayed for three months without undue risk to the patient’s health.
    • The second order prohibits health care providers and wholesale medical suppliers from selling or otherwise distributing personal protective equipment without prior approval from the New Mexico Department of Health.
  • March 26, 2020 – The New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation committed up to $25 million to its lending partners to assist New Mexico businesses that have been impacted by market disruption.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor requested that the U.S. Defense Department deploy a 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital to Albuquerque as a proactive measure intended to enhance the state’s treatment capacity.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor, in partnership with the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations, established the $1.1 million All Together NM Fund to address immediate needs and offer long-term support for work recovery. Specifically, this includes:
    • Procurement of food and medical and cleaning supplies for at-risk communities;
    • Support for childcare workers who are supporting frontline employees; and
    • Grants to address income insecurity among smaller businesses and employees affected by market disruptions.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor announced all K-12 public education will shift to a learn-at-home model as schools remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. Additionally, the school closure plan includes the following provisions, among other things:
    • Students with special needs will receive all feasible supports and accommodations that can be delivered while maintaining safe social distancing;
    • Individual districts will design measures by which seniors can demonstrate eligibility for graduation;
    • Advanced placement exams will be offered online and will be limited to material students should have covered up to March;
    • School personnel and contractors will remain on call and continue being paid as usual; and,
    • Every New Mexico school district has a plan to continue providing childhood nutrition during this period.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor announced all Motor Vehicle Division offices around the state will be closed effective immediately and until further notice.
  • March 27, 2020 – The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered the Children, Youth & Families Department to conduct family visits for children who are in foster care through video and telephone conferencing. The suspension of in-person visitations is in effect until April 26, unless extended or otherwise modified by the Supreme Court.
  • March 27, 2020 – The New Mexico State Police clarified a rumor, making it clear that law enforcement personnel are not making traffic stops to ensure the public or their travel is considered essential.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order requiring air travelers to New Mexico to self-isolate for at least 14 days. Of note, air travelers who fail to voluntarily self-isolate will be subject to forced isolation or quarantine by the New Mexico Health Department.
  • March 27, 2020 – The state Supreme Court ordered a temporary moratorium on evictions for New Mexicans who prove they are unable to pay rent on the land where they park a mobile home that they own.
  • March 28, 2020 – The Governor announced a call-in filing system for unemployment claimants in anticipation of a surge of claims for self-employed workers in New Mexico who are newly eligible under the expanded Unemployment Insurance provided through the CARES Act.
  • March 29, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Health launched two online tools for the public: a portal for receiving COVID-19 test results and a self-screening tool to aid in determining of an individual should be tested.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-015 waiving any disciplinary action for notaries who use audio-video technology rather than face-to-face meetings with clients for notary services.
  • March 30, 2020 – The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department temporarily modified some of its enforcement activities, which include, among other things:
    • The most severe collection activities will cease for 90 days;
    • Taxpayers undergoing audits will be offered the opportunity to request a 60-day suspension or a waiver giving them more time to produce records; and,
    • Taxpayers on payment plans will be offered deadline extensions of up to 60 days.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order requiring the Motor Vehicle Division of the Taxation and Revenue Department to temporarily waive fees and penalties incurred due to social distancing recommendations.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Aging and Long-Term Services Department purchased and distributed 350 tablets across the state to licensed facilities to promote connectedness between older persons and their family members.
  • April 1, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Health broadened the state’s testing criteria beyond those that are either symptomatic or recently traveled out of state or the country.
  • April 1, 2020 – The New Mexico Economic Development Department launched a website that pairs shoppers with products and services in a “Buy for Tomorrow Today” campaign to help sustain businesses during the emergency closures.
  • April 6, 2020 – The Governor extended the state’s public health emergency order encouraging social distancing, limiting capacity at retail businesses still in operation, and preserving safety equipment for health care workers until at least April 30.
  • April 7, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Health issued an FAQ for faith-based organizations intended to help faith leaders keep their communities together while abiding by the state’s public health orders strongly encouraging social distancing.
  • April 7, 2020 – The New Mexico Environment Department’s Food Program concurred that restaurants and food establishments selling products like toilet paper and other convenience items are in compliance with state and federal restaurant regulations.
  • April 7, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions announced it is extending Unemployment Insurance Operations Center call hours, waiving the “waiting week” requirement for claimants, and beginning an auto-adjudication program to clear specific pending issues that will result in a release of held payments to claimants.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, directing the New Mexico Corrections Department to compile a list of incarcerated individuals who are eligible for early release and coordinate with community-based organizations to provide supportive services upon reentry.
  • April 8, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions announced one-time $750 grants to self-employed individuals facing economic displacement.
  • April 9, 2020 – The New Mexico Livestock Board reminded brand holders that their current card expires July 2020 and encourages renewals to be completed early online.
  • April 10, 2020 – The New Mexico Human Services Department  announced it is providing $35 million in financial assistance through the Medicaid program to New Mexico’s safety-net hospitals.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Human Services Department announced it is distributing an enhanced payment of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to households that did not receive the maximum SNAP benefits during the months of March and April.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor issued outdoor recreation guidelines to help New Mexicans preserve social distancing while also getting the limited fresh air and exercise they need to stay healthy.
  • April 11, 2020 – The Governor announced measures authorizing emergency dispensing by a pharmacist through prescription adaptation without practitioner approval where limited access to prescribing health care practitioners interferes with the pharmacist’s ability to provide patient medication in a timely manner.
  • April 11, 2020 – The Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing Practices Board of New Mexico issued a statement supporting the use of telehealth to provide expanded care options.
  • April 11, 2020 – The Governor announced that houses of worship must abide by a public health order banning mass gatherings. 
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor launched a data dashboard that includes testing rates as reported by county and county-by-county breakdowns of positive cases by age, gender and ethnicity.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor launched NMConnect, a phone app that provides free 24-hour crisis and non-crisis support and access to behavioral health specialists that can provide referrals to longer-term support.
  • April 14, 2020 – The New Mexico Environment Department recommended that employees working in restaurants, food establishments and grocery stores wear gloves and a cloth face covering while serving customers and maintaining safe physical distance of at least six feet and utilizing proper handwashing techniques.
  • April 14, 2020 – The New Mexico Magazine announced it is offering free access to the full digital editions of the publication through the month of June.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Department of Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children program modified their services to provide curbside service to continue critical operations while maintaining a safe physical distance.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor announced the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and New Mexico Tourism Department are partnering to encourage statewide support of homegrown products from local businesses throughout New Mexico.
  • April 20, 2020 – The New Mexico Tourism Department partnered with the Small Business Development Center to provide business coaching and mentorship to tourism and hospitality businesses for immediate and sustainable support.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Governor provided an update on the state’s efforts to ramp up high volume shipments of PPE to state agencies, cities, counties, tribes, pueblos, elder care facilities, health clinics and other local entities.
  • April 21, 2020 – The New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance announced guidance requiring major health insurance carriers operating within the state to reimburse care received out-of-network, while imposing penalties on providers for knowingly surprise billing a patient for out-of-network care.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor issued guidance that plant nurseries selling live product, including floral shops, will be allowed to offer curbside pick-up or delivery service only, while abiding all necessary social distancing precautions and must adhere to the mass gathering rule.
  • April 21, 2020 – The New Mexico State University launched the Seed to Supper Program, which provides free seeds and gardening guidance on growing vegetable gardens while staying at home and practicing social distancing.
  • April 22, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions announced the application for unemployment insurance benefits for self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers will become available on April 26.
  • April 23, 2020 – The Governor appointed a diverse group of business and labor leaders to a new Economic Recovery Council that will advise her on strategies for gradually reopening New Mexico to help the economy grow in a safe, smart and effective manner.
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor announced the alternate care facility at Miyamura High school is operational and will begin accepting COVID-19 patients.
  • April 24, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture announced the state’s food industry has supplied tons of food to tribal communities across the state and is gearing up to provide more wherever needed.
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor launched a series of PSAs intended to highlight the personal stories of New Mexicans who have experienced first-hand the pain and suffering of COVID-19 to underscore the importance of remaining physically distant and protecting public health.
  • April 27, 2020 – The New Mexico Office of Science and Technology announced a partnership with the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University to provide activities to support small businesses.
  • April 28, 2020 – The state Supreme Court postponed the bar examination in July for law school graduates and attorneys seeking to practice in New Mexico, rescheduling it for September.
  • April 28, 2020 – The state Supreme Court ordered the establishment of a working group to develop recommendations to conduct the bar exam in small groups to comply with social distancing requirements if those remain in place in September.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Secretary of State sent absentee ballot applications to all registered major party voters in New Mexico who had not already requested one, in an effort to encourage absentee voting and reduce the number of voters at in-person polling locations during the 2020 Primary Election.
  • May 1, 2020 – The New Mexico Human Services Department announced nursing facilities across the state will share $46.2 million in Medicaid payments to help mitigate and control the spread within their facilities.
  • May 1, 2020 – The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s State Parks Division announced eight state parks will begin reopening for day-use only.
  • May 1, 2020 – The New Mexico Economic Recovery Council voted unanimously to endorse a preliminary plan for reopening the New Mexico economy, starting with a preparation phase that begins May 1. 
  • May 1, 2020 – The New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance launched a toll-free call center for New Mexicans with questions about health insurance coverage related.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor announced that New Mexico families will receive more than $97 million in food benefits – feeding roughly 245,000 children – following federal approval of a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Department of Health Secretary amended the state public health emergency order clarifying retailers and businesses shall require employees to wear face coverings as the state eases into Phase 1 of reopening.
  • May 7, 2020 – The Governor extended a modified emergency declaration requested by the mayor of Gallup through noon on May 10, as that city continues to contain the virus.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor announced the state’s dentists in all but three counties may resume providing non-essential dental care provided they agree to comply with guidelines developed to protect the supply of personal protective equipment.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor announced the All Together NM Fund will award $750,000 in grants to help small businesses survive.
  • May 13, 2020 – The Governor and state health officials announced the state’s emergency public health order will be extended through May 31 and modified to allow most retailers to operate at 25 percent of their maximum occupancy as determined by fire code.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor announced New Mexico Mask Madness Tournament, a statewide competition intended to highlight the creativity and artistic ability of New Mexicans.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor issued an emergency public health order that eases certain restrictions on retail operations and requires everyone to wear a cloth face covering in public, among other changes.
  • May 22, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Health and the State Personnel Office began accepting applications to fill 200 of 250 contact tracing positions around the state.
  • May 26, 2020 – The Governor announced the state’s emergency public health order will be amended to permit limited outdoor dine-in services for most of the state beginning May 27. Under the amended order, the following stipulations apply:
    • No dine-in service may be provided in indoor seating areas;
    • Outdoor dine-in service may only be provided to patrons who are seated;
    • Tables must be placed with at least six feet of distance between one another;
    • No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table; and,
    • No bar or counter seating is permitted.
  • May 27, 2020 – The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division offices in three counties will not reopen on June 1 as previously scheduled due to continued spread of the virus in those areas.
  • May 28, 2020 – The Governor announced the state’s emergency public health order will be extended and amended to permit indoor dining, hair salons, gyms and indoor shopping malls to reopen the first week of June on a limited basis and in accordance with required COVID-Safe Practices. Additionally, the following is to be incorporated in the amended public health order:
    • Nine additional state parks will reopen for day-use only beginning May 31, with five more opening June 1, some with capacity limits;
    • Hotels may operate at 50 percent of maximum occupancy under COVID-Safe Practices; and,
    • The 14-day quarantine order for airport arrivals will be amended to permit certain business travel under COVID-Safe Practices.
  • May 29, 2020 – The Governor, in coordination with New Mexico mayors, released video messages urging residents to wear cloth face masks in public.
  • June 2, 2020 – The New Mexico Environment Department began conducting inspections at some public aquatic venues to ensure that pools are prepared to open in a safe and sanitary way.
  • June 2, 2020 – The New Mexico Department of Health announced it is providing COVID-19 virus screening every Thursday at the Otero County Public Health Office in Almagordo.
  • June 3, 2020 – The New Mexico Departments of Economic Development, Workforce Solutions, and Environment, as well as the New Mexico Small Business Development Center have partnered to offer a series of Virtual Discussions for New Mexico Employers to provide additional resources and assistance as they seek to reopen in compliance with executive health orders.
  • June 3, 2020 – The Governor awarded the Pueblo of Cochiti nearly $2.9 million in emergency funding to bring high-speed internet to the pueblo to promote social distancing.
  • June 8, 2020 – The Governor announced, due to the detection of community spread, that are residents are instructed to stay home except for outings deemed necessary for health, safety, and welfare.
  • June 11, 2020 – The Governor announced the state’s emergency public health order will be amended to permit a limited reopening for breweries on the weekend of June 13, followed by a broader reopening on June 15. Under the soft reopening, the following stipulations apply:
    • No service may be provided in indoor seating areas;
    • Outdoor service may be provided only to patrons who are seated;
    • Tables must be placed at least 6 feet from one another;
    • No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table; and
    • No bar or counter seating is permitted.
  • June 17, 2020 – The Governor announced she will urge the New Mexico Legislature to consider tax relief for individuals, loans for small businesses and local governments, police reform and election improvements, among other topics, when it meets in a special session on June 18.
  • June 19, 2020 – The State of New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, Human Services Department and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced a public-private partnership to feed more than 3,000 New Mexicans who are food insecure.
  • June 19, 2020 – The Economic Development Cabinet Secretary announced that new forgiveness and flexibility rules for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program will benefit more New Mexican businesses and urged those who have not yet applied to reconsider applying for a loan.
  • June 30, 2020 – The Governor authorized an amended Fiscal Year 2021 state budget (House Bill 1), using her line-item veto authority to restore legislative cuts to public education and other areas while employing state reserves, spending reductions and federal monies to patch a revenue shortfall caused by the economic fallout of the pandemic.
  • July 1, 2020 – The Governor extended the state’s emergency public health order through July 15 and issued a severe warning about the risk of New Mexico being forced to reinstate severe public health restrictions in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
  • July 2, 2020 – The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department extended some modifications to its collection and enforcement efforts through July 31.
  • July 7, 2020 – The Governor delivered hundreds of millions of dollars for low-interest, low-risk loans to help small New Mexico businesses recover financially.  
  • July 9, 2020 – The Governor announced the state will re-enact emergency public health restrictions on high-contact indoor environments where face-coverings are not worn in order to slow the rising spread of COVID-19 across the state, effective July 13.
  • July 13, 2020 – The Governor announced a public health emergency order re-enacting emergency public health restrictions on high-contact indoor environments where face-coverings are not worn. Specifically, the order prohibits indoor dining at restaurants and restricts indoor seating at breweries.
  • July 24, 2020 – The New Mexico Public Education Department announced updates to the state’s plan for the safe and methodical reentry into school for students and educators this fall, delaying the eligibility date for the return to in-person learning until September 8.
  • July 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that applications have gone out for $178 million of CARES Act funding for tribal and local governments.
  • July 29, 2020 – The New Mexico Human Services Department applied for federal approval to implement the Restaurant Meals Plan (RMP) as a means of continuing state assistance to individuals who receive SNAP benefits to have greater access to meals by allowing them to purchase prepared meals from participating New Mexico restaurants.