SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday announced the state will update its guidance within the emergency public health order to permit small groups in exercise settings and safe outdoor activities for New Mexicans.

An amended emergency public health order, which will be effective through mid-October, will permit youth sports conditioning and skills development, with no more than 10 individuals in any one group, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Competitive contact play remains off-limits.

In addition, New Mexicans may overnight camp at most state parks in groups of no more than 10. That change will be effective Oct. 1. 

Other changes include:

  • Pick-your-own pumpkin patches will be permitted to operate in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices for agri-tourism businesses
  • Ice skating rinks may operate for athletic training and practice by reservation only
  • Swimming pools may open with no more than 10 individuals in a pool at any one time; previously swimming pools were permitted only to provide lane swimming.

The state’s full complement for COVID-Safe Practices for different industries and activities, compiled with the assistance of the Economic Recovery Council and industry leaders, is available here.

“We all want to keep making progress in combating the virus,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “New Mexicans have done incredible work. These changes are hopefully an opportunity for families and kids to safely enjoy more activities. But we’ve got to keep making the right decisions – keep wearing face coverings, keep avoiding large groups and contact with others – and avoid a false sense of security. The results are clear: A safer state, safer communities and fewer dangerous illnesses in New Mexico. We can keep up the great work, I am confident, and my goal will be to make additional moves in this direction this fall.”

The amended emergency public health order will be effective Friday, Sept. 18 and distributed upon its execution Friday.

New Mexico’s progress in slowing the incidence and spread of COVID-19 has continued, with the statewide 7-day rolling average of daily cases at 90 as of Sept. 15, well below the gating criteria target of 168. The statewide rate of spread, or r-effective, remains below 1, meaning the virus is spreading slower and not exponentially. Although the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations remain significantly lower than earlier this summer, the southeast region made up the highest percentage of hospital admissions last week, according to the state Medical Advisory Team.


The state of New Mexico would like to remind residents that testing for COVID-19 is free and available to all at Department of Health offices and testing sites, many of which have expanded hours of availability. Information about those sites is available at


The state also reminds New Mexicans that a complete count of state residents for the 2020 Census is essential to ensuring billions in federal funds — for education, food assistance, roadway infrastructure, health care and more – are provided for New Mexicans over the next decade. The Census is simple, secure and important – please visit to complete the form or call 844-330-2020.