BREAKING – COVID CLOSURE COMPROMISE: Environment Department Announces Agreement with Businesses to Cut Down on Closures

The Environment Department and the Department of Health announced today an agreement that could ease the pressure on essential businesses who fear a two-week closure as a result of four rapid responses within a 14-day period.

The agreement requires businesses to conduct regular COVID-19 testing of their workers and to continue to partner with the state in contact tracing efforts in the event of a positive case. In exchange for their proactive cooperation, rapid responses that result from this testing won’t count against them in the mandated closure requirement. Further, the agreement says that businesses that are currently closed may reopen before their 14 days are up if they agree to these requirements.

This agreement comes in the midst of increasing statewide concern over the closure of grocery stores and other essential businesses, leading to lines that keep shoppers waiting outside the store for long periods and, in some parts of the state, exacerbated food deserts for New Mexicans who have fewer options.

The Chamber was one of several organizations encouraging the State to consider alternatives to the strict two-week closure mandate and applauds this agreement as a way for businesses and the State to work together to keep communities safe – and keep business going.

Read the full announcement on the Environment Department’s website here.

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