New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Monday that all New Mexico residents must stay at home, saying that the approach is “the only way to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The public health order will be effective on Tuesday at 8 a.m. local time and last until at least April 10.
Lujan Grisham said that residents need to avoid gatherings and avoid face-to-face contact as much as possible and practice social distancing.
“All New Mexicans are instructed to stay at home except for outings essential to health, safety, and welfare,” Lujan Grisham wrote in an announcement.
“It is urgently important that New Mexicans understand: You must stay home. Don’t panic—but it’s no time for business as usual. This is life-and-death, and the most important thing the average New Mexican can do to help, right now, is stay at home,” she added.
“All businesses except those deemed essential to public health, safety and well-being will be ordered closed. Our society must continue to operate—but in an extremely limited way.”
Essential services include health care services, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, utilities, child care for essential workers, banks & credit unions, shelters, emergency services, and infrastructure operations.
“Right now, every time you leave your house, you are putting yourself, your family and your community at risk,” Lujan Grisham said, according to a statement.
“As we wait for the federal government to get states the help we need in expanding capacity and testing materials and financial assistance, staying home is the one action all of us, individually and as a group, can control,” she added. “Please stay home. Help protect New Mexico.”
The order also restricts gatherings of five or more people in outdoor spaces.
“Does this order mean you cannot walk your dog? No. Does it mean you can’t go for a jog? No,” the governor said. “But you should not do those things in a group—and you should be home as soon as possible.”
At least 12 other states have issued similar stay-at-home orders.
Businesses that violate the order could lose their licenses to operate and face civil or criminal penalties, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
“New Mexicans wishing to report a violation will soon be able to call the non-emergency COVID-19 state hotline, 1-833-551-0518,” the statement reads.
New Mexicans who experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath—suspected symptoms of COVID-19—should call their doctor or the state’s health hotline on 1-855-600-3453.
Testing and travel guidelines for New Mexicans can be found here.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.