The governor and the health department are allowed to close or restrict businesses via an emergency public health order. So says the state Supreme Court in a unanimous written opinion issued today. The decision provides the legal reasoning for a decision issued orally from the bench last August, which upheld a ban on indoor dining the state had imposed a month prior as COVID-19 cases increased in the state.

The case stemmed from the governor's July 13 public health order that curtailed indoor dining. Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Raymond L. Romero in Eddy County issued a temporary restraining order against the indoor dining ban, which the state Supreme Court then stayed at the request of the governor's administration. Yesterday's opinion, written by retired Justice Judith K. Nakamura, says the health department doesn't need to follow rule-making procedures to impose public health restrictions on indoor dining; the court also rejected arguments that it should declare an "end date" to the governor and health secretary's authority to issue emergency orders, thus allowing the Legislature to address the pandemic.

"New Mexico has not entered a 'new normal,' nor do the temporary emergency orders constitute 'long-term policy' decisions. New Mexico remains in a state of emergency," the court opinion concludes. "The argument that special sessions of the Legislature should be used in lieu of Petitioners' emergency orders is so facially unworkable that it only reinforces the conclusion that it was appropriate for the Legislature to grant the executive branch ample authority to immediately and flexibly respond to a public health emergency."

However, a special concurring opinion written by Justice David K. Thomson notes Thomson's "…concern that the broad and vague statutes that grant emergency powers to the Governor combined with the deference given to the executive to act in times of emergency may pose potential long-term consequences to our system of checks and balances."

While Thomson writes that he endorses the majority opinion, he says he disagrees that the state "has not entered a 'new normal.'" Rather, he writes, "the majority's holding should not communicate that executive or legislative responses to the pandemic will always receive the same level of judicial deference as when the crisis first emerged. In addition, I believe we must be wary of the precedent we set beyond the scope of the COVID-19 crisis."

The written opinion arrives as cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to drop. New Mexico health officials today reported 200 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 180,761. The health department has designated 121,606 of those cases as recovered.

Bernalillo County had 65 new cases, followed by Doña Ana County with 21 cases and San Juan County with 20. Santa Fe County had two new cases today.

The state also announced nine additional deaths, including one from Santa Fe County: A man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions. There have now been 3,538 fatalities statewide.

As of today, 286 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*

New cases

  • 65 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 2 new cases in Catron County
  • 6 new cases in Chaves County
  • 4 new cases in Cibola County
  • 1 new case in Colfax County
  • 2 new cases in Curry County
  • 21 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 13 new cases in Eddy County
  • 8 new cases in Grant County
  • 3 new cases in Hidalgo County
  • 5 new cases in Lea County
  • 1 new case in Los Alamos County
  • 2 new cases in Luna County
  • 19 new cases in McKinley County
  • 4 new cases in Otero County
  • 2 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 10 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 20 new cases in San Juan County
  • 3 new cases in San Miguel County
  • 2 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 2 new cases in Socorro County
  • 1 new case in Taos County
  • 1 new case in Torrance County
  • 1 new case in Union County
  • 1 new case in Valencia County
  • 1 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Federal Prison Facility

New fatalities

  • A male in his 60s from Bernalillo County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 80s from Chaves County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 40s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 60s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 90s from Lea County
  • A female in her 70s from Luna County
  • A female in her 70s from Sandoval County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 70s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 80s from Valencia County

Congregate facilities

The Department of Health has identified at least one positive COVID-19 case in residents and/or staff in the past 28 days at the following facilities:

  • Adobe Assisted Living in Las Cruces
  • Advanced Health Care in Albuquerque
  • The Aldea House – Heaven Sent LLC in Albuquerque
  • The Aristocrat Assisted Living Center in Las Cruces
  • Artesia Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Artesia
  • Atria Vista Del Rio in Albuquerque
  • Avamere at Rio Rancho
  • Aztec Healthcare in Aztec
  • BeeHive Homes Edgewood
  • BeeHive Homes Gallup
  • BeeHive Homes Taylor Ranch in Albuquerque
  • Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation in Bloomfield
  • The Bridge of Farmington in Farmington
  • Brookdale Santa Fe
  • Care Free Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Carefirst Assisted Living Willow Wood House in Albuquerque
  • Casa Bella Residential Care in Las Cruces
  • Casa de Oro Center in Las Cruces
  • Casa Maria Health Care Center in Roswell
  • Casa Real in Santa Fe
  • Clovis Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Clovis
  • Colfax Long-Term Care Center in Springer
  • El Castillo in Santa Fe
  • Fairwinds Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • Fort Bayard Medical Center in Santa Clara
  • Genesis San Juan Center in Farmington
  • Genesis Silver City Care Center in Silver City
  • Golden Hands Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Good Life Senior Living and Memory Care in Los Lunas
  • Good Life Senior Living in Carlsbad
  • Good Samaritan Society – Betty Dare in Alamogordo
  • Good Samaritan Society Socorro
  • Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales
  • Ladera Center in Albuquerque
  • Laguna Rainbow Care Center in Casa Blanca
  • Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • Landmark at Desert Gardens in Hobbs
  • La Posada Assisted Living in Las Cruces
  • Las Palomas Center in Albuquerque
  • La Vida Llena Healthcare in Albuquerque
  • The Legacy at Santa Fe
  • Life Spire Assisted Living North Albuquerque Acres in Albuquerque
  • Lovington Healthcare in Lovington
  • McKinley Center in Gallup
  • Mimbres Memorial Nursing Home in Deming
  • Mission Arch Center in Roswell
  • MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care of Albuquerque
  • MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care of Santa Fe
  • The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho Assisted Living in Rio Rancho
  • New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • North Ridge Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Odelia Healthcare (Camino Healthcare) in Albuquerque
  • Pacifica Senior Living in Santa Fe
  • Palmilla Senior Living in Albuquerque
  • Princeton Place in Albuquerque
  • Ravenna Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Retirement Ranches in Clovis
  • Retreat Healthcare in Rio Rancho
  • The Rio at Las Estancias in Albuquerque
  • Rio Rancho Center
  • Sandia Ridge Center in Albuquerque
  • Sandia Senior Suites Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Santa Clara Assisted Living in Santa Clara
  • Senior Living Systems in Los Lunas
  • Sierra Health Care Center in Truth or Consequences
  • Skies Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Los Alamos
  • Spanish Trails Rehabilitation Suites in Albuquerque
  • St. Anthony Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Clovis
  • Sugar Hollow Assisted Living Center in Albuquerque
  • The Suites at Rio Vista in Rio Rancho
  • Tercer Cielo 2 in Albuquerque
  • Village Retirement Community in Roswell
  • Vida Encantada Nursing & Rehabilitation in Las Vegas
  • Vista Sandia Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Westwind House Assisted Living in Albuquerque
  • Wheatfields Senior Living Community in Clovis
  • White Sands Healthcare in Hobbs

Statewide cases

According to a health department news release, previously reported numbers included nine cases that have been identified as duplicates (three in Chaves County, three in McKinley County, one in San Juan County and two in Santa Fe County) and one case in Doña Ana County that was not lab confirmed—these have now been corrected. County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

  • Bernalillo County: 51,245
  • Catron County: 81
  • Chaves County: 8,515
  • Cibola County: 2,686
  • Colfax County: 688
  • Curry County: 4,843
  • De Baca County: 131
  • Doña Ana County: 22,033
  • Eddy County: 6,230
  • Grant County: 1,429
  • Guadalupe County: 339
  • Harding County: 8
  • Hidalgo County: 338
  • Lea County: 7,954
  • Lincoln County: 1,495
  • Los Alamos County: 467
  • Luna County: 3,036
  • McKinley County: 11,881
  • Mora County: 151
  • Otero County: 3,107
  • Quay County: 413
  • Rio Arriba County: 3,343
  • Roosevelt County: 1,817
  • Sandoval County: 10,614
  • San Juan County: 13,345
  • San Miguel County: 1,192
  • Santa Fe County: 9,438
  • Sierra County: 679
  • Socorro County: 1,196
  • Taos County: 1,488
  • Torrance County: 623
  • Union County: 213
  • Valencia County: 6,017

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 426
  • Otero County Federal Prison Facility: 442
  • Otero County Processing Center: 197
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 47

Cases among people being held by the New Mexico Department of Corrections

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 286
  • Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 251
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 430
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 166
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 123
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 472
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 215
  • Roswell Correctional Center: 229
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 217
  • Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 151
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 74

*Per the health department, hospitalization figures include people who were tested elsewhere but are hospitalized in New Mexico, but don't include people who were tested here but are hospitalized out of state.