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Tierna Unruh-Enos is the managing editor and associate publisher at The Paper.

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The New Mexico Department of Health announced some good news on Wednesday that all 33 counties have moved away from the Red Zone in the COVID-19 Red to Turquoise framework. The DOH shared an updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period starting on March 24 and there’s a lot to celebrate. There are 13 New Mexico counties now at the Turquoise Level and 10 are at the Green Level. Each of these metrics signals a win, even if your county (ahem, Bernalillo) still hasn’t made it past Yellow. It means there are fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities and a decreased virus risk.


Counties that met two of the health metrics for two consecutive weeks and can operate at the Turquoise Level beginning March 24 are: Catron, De Baca, Hidalgo, Lea, Los Alamos, McKinley, Quay, Roosevelt, San Juan, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro and Union.


Counties that met two of the health metrics and can operate at the Green Level beginning March 24 are Chaves, Colfax, Curry, Eddy, Guadalupe, Lincoln, Mora, Rio Arriba, Taos and Torrance.


Counties that met one of the state health metrics and can operate at the Yellow Level beginning March 24 are: Bernalillo, Cibola, Dona Ana, Grant, Harding, Luna, Otero, Sandoval, San Miguel and Valencia.

As more eligible people get those vaccines, the state is seeing a lower COVID positivity testing rate. Almost 25 percent of New Mexicans are fully vaccinated, and almost 40 percent have received their first shot. DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins announced that the department hopes the state will open up vaccine eligibility to all New Mexicans by mid-April. Right now, people in most of the phases are eligible for the vaccine, but the state said they’re still prioritizing at-risk people.

So we’re just going to keep saying it, get the shot, wear a mask and maybe one day Albuquerque will open back up.

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