On March 23, 2020, New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel announced a new public health emergency order suspending operations of all businesses and nonprofit entities except for those deemed essential, and further restricting mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All New Mexicans must immediately heed the directive to stay home except as needed to maintain continuity of functions critical to public health and safety.

This list does not include government services, which are unaffected by this order. State government has already implemented telework policies for all employees who are able to work from home; local governments have been strongly encouraged to do the same.

The following is a list of private operations deemed essential per that order:


  • Hospitals
  • Walk-in-care health facilities
  • Emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • Pharmacies
  • Medical and wholesale and distribution
  • Home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • Emergency dental facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Residential health care facilities
  • Research facilities
  • Congregate care facilities
  • Intermediate care facilities for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Supportive living homes
  • Home health care providers
  • Medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
  • Medical cannabis


  • Law enforcement personnel
  • First responders
  • Firefighters
  • Emergency management personnel
  • Dispatch operators
  • Court personnel


  • Facilities necessary to provide services to those workers employed by essential businesses and essential non-profit entities.


  • Homeless shelters
  • Food banks
  • Other services providing care to indigent or needy populations


  • Public works construction
  • Commercial and residential construction and maintenance
  • Utilities, including their contractors and suppliers,  involved in water and waste-water supply
  • Sewer, trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • Road and highway repair and construction
  • Solid waste collection and removal
  • Nuclear material research and enrichment
  • Data and internet providers
  • Data centers
  • Telecommunications systems


  • Farms, ranches and other food cultivation, processing or packaging operations
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • All food and beverage stores
  • Food banks
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Vendors who sell food
  • Convenience stores
  • Other businesses that generate most of their revenue from the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food, fresh meats, fish and poultry, and any other household consumer products
  • Businesses that store, ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences or retailers
  • Restaurants, but only for delivery or carryout


  • Gas and oil drilling and refining
  • Electrical production and distribution
  • Natural resources extraction or mining operations
  • Utilities, including their contractors and suppliers, engaged in power generation, fuel supply and transmission


  • Food processing
  • Chemicals
  • Fertilizer
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Sanitary products
  • Household paper products
  • Telecommunications
  • Microelectronics/semiconductors
  • Primary metals
  • Machinery
  • Electrical equipment
  • Appliance
  • Components
  • Transportation equipment


  • Laboratories
  • Defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. government or a U.S. government contractor


  • Airport operations
  • Airlines
  • Taxis and other private transportation providers
  • Gas stations
  • Automobile repair facilities
  • Retailers who generate most of their revenue from the sale of automobile repair products


  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Security services
  • Custodial services
  • Other skilled trades necessary to maintaining the safety and sanitation of residences
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes


  • Legal services as necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities
  • Accounting services as necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities


  • Banks
  • Credit unions
  • Insurance providers
  • Payroll services
  • Brokerage services
  • Investment management firms


  • Television
  • Radio
  • Newspaper operations


  • Essential manufacturing
  • Laboratories and defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. government or a contractor to the U.S. government
  • Hardware stores, nurseries and  businesses that generate most of their revenue from the sale of home-improvement goods
  • Laundromats and dry cleaner services
  • Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • Real estate services including brokers, title companies and related services