Recently, with the data relating to new COVID-19 cases showing significant decline, updated guidance from the New Mexico Heath Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has relaxed some of the directives that have previously been in place. The great majority of New Mexico counties are now in the Turquoise area which allows for churches to reopen with an attendance of up to 100% of the official rated occupancy of the facility. However, it should be noted that an additional provision strongly encourages limiting indoor attendance to 75% of the official rated occupancy while also maintaining established COVID Safe Practices.
The latest pronouncement by the CDC regarding the wearing of face coverings provides that individuals who have been vaccinated may choose to not wear one when attending indoor public gatherings. This represents a departure from the previous recommendations in that more indoor and outdoor activities are now being described as no longer requiring the use of face coverings. The State of New Mexico continues to recommend the use of face coverings when participating in groups and gatherings, except as has been clarified by the above CDC statement on vaccinations. We request that everyone in attendance at church or school events be aware of their current health status and take personal responsibility for following the appropriate safety precautions.
As before, we have provided the guidelines and it is up to the local church to put them into practice. Based on these new developments, we are recommending that you review and revise your worship practices with your church board to determine how you should proceed, considering what is best for your members and guests.
Texico Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administration
Corrales, New Mexico
May 28, 2021