This story is a staff report from The Paper.

Bernalillo County remains yellow under the New Mexico Department of Health’s Red to Turquoise Framework, according to biweekly data released this week, and is now trending in the wrong direction under both gating criteria. The data release comes just days after New Mexico passed the threshold of 4,000 COVID-related deaths and shows Bernalillo County’s case cases per 100,000 people is at 11.30 (up from 9.40), and the positivity rate is at 2.74% (up from 2.43%).

“COVID has killed more than 4,000 people in New Mexico and 923 people in Bernalillo County. While we recognize that COVID continues to be a worldwide crisis, the best path to end the pandemic is widespread vaccination. The only safe way to gather is if everyone in your group is vaccinated. Everyone should do their part to curb the rise in COVID cases and get the vaccine as soon as they are able,” said Mark DiMenna, City of Albuquerque Environment Health deputy director.

While the shift in data from April 7 to April 21 may not appear to be noteworthy, it does mean the county continues to be at “high risk” and will not allow for fewer restrictions.

“The past year has been difficult for Albuquerque’s businesses and residents, but in order for us as a community to move into a phase of recovery, we need to work together so we can re-open our economy,” said Synthia R. Jaramillo, Economic Development Director. “It’s our hope that everyone will join us, continue to get tested, and get the vaccine as soon as they can.”

Until gating criteria indicates a move to green, Albuquerque will be required to continue to follow restrictions under yellow that including mass gathering limits of 10 people and reduced capacities at retail outlets, eating and drinking establishments (bars remain closed), places of worship, close-contact business, large entertainment venues, and recreational facilities.

Residents are urged to:

  • Get tested for COVID-19. Residents can get tested for free at many locations across the city.  
  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19. All New Mexico residents 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those 40 and older can self-schedule an appointment.
  • Follow COVID-safe practices including wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands frequently.