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New Mexico, Oregon order Covid-19 shutdowns as cases reach 'breaking point'

Bars, restaurants and other businesses will have to close or offer takeout-only for two weeks.
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New Mexico and Oregon will shut down businesses for two weeks to try to curb the growing spread of Covid-19, their governors said Friday.

Beginning on Monday in New Mexico, essential businesses may operate at “limited occupancy,” and state residents may leave their homes only for “essential trips.”

“Food and drink establishments may provide curbside pickup and delivery; onsite dining is prohibited,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's order states. “Non-essential entities, including close-contact businesses, must reduce in-person workforce and activities by 100%.”

Infections, hospitalizations and deaths have been spiking in New Mexico, where there were 1,176 Covid-19 deaths as of Thursday, up by more than 100 just a week earlier.

"New Mexico is at the breaking point," Lujan Grisham said in a statement. "We face a life-or-death situation, & we must & will act to preserve the lives of New Mexicans."

In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown ordered a two-week "freeze" starting next Wednesday that will force grocery stores, pharmacies and retail stores to limit capacity to 75 percent. Churches will be allowed to have only 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

A host of other businesses, such as gyms and fitness centers, museums, pools, sports courts, movie theaters, zoos, gardens, aquariums and venues, will have to be closed all together.

Restaurants and bars, which had been operating at limits of 50 to 100 customers based on local regulations, will now be limited to takeout only.

And private social gatherings will be limited to six people from no more than two households.

“These risk reduction measures are critical in limiting the spread of COVID-19, reducing risk in communities more vulnerable to serious illness and death, and helping conserve hospital capacity so that all Oregonians can continue to have access to quality care,” Brown's office said in a statement.

Oregon reported seven new deaths and 1,076 more cases on Friday.