New Mexico on Friday eliminated coronavirus-related capacity restrictions on religious services.
A revised public health order issued by the state’s health secretary permits houses of worship to have full-capacity indoor services, while previously, New Mexico religious institutions had faced capacity caps that ranged from 25% to 75%.
While the order permits full capacity services, it states that religious institutions are “are strongly encouraged” to have decreased capacity levels for indoor services.
“This change was made in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that enjoin states from enforcing capacity limits on churches that are more restrictive than other entities like factories and schools,” press secretary to the governor Nora Meyers Sackett wrote in a statement from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News. “Nonetheless, houses of worship are strongly encouraged to protect their congregants and communities by enacting social distancing measures to bolster public health and minimize risk of viral spread of their own accord,” she noted.