SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The loosening of some restrictions imposed on nonessential businesses by New Mexico’s governor two months ago to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak took effect Saturday, along with a new edict that people wear masks in public under most circumstances.
Also Saturday, state officials reported six additional deaths from the outbreak and 185 more COVID-19 cases.
Figures released by state officials put the death toll at 259 as of Saturday, with the total number of cases statewide at 5,847.
Though only three of the state’s 33 counties haven’t reported any COVID-19 cases, the outbreak is most prevalent in Bernalillo County, neighboring Sandoval County and northwestern New Mexico’s McKinley and San Juan counties. Northwestern New Mexico include parts of the Navajo Nation, which has become a hot spot in portions of New Mexico and Arizona.
The loosening of restrictions that took effect Saturday applied to most of the state but not in the northwest region, where McKinley and San Juan counties are located along with Cibola County.
The additional deaths reported Saturday included four from McKinley County and one each from San Juan and Sandoval counties.
Under the loosening, retailers and many services along with houses of worship could reopen at limited capacity.