For the first time since September, no state in Mexico will be green on the coronavirus stoplight map next week after health authorities announced that Campeche would lose its low risk status on Monday.
Health Ministry official Ricardo Cortés said the state, low risk green since late September, would switch to yellow light medium risk on Monday, joining Chiapas – which was green until two weeks ago – as the only two states in the country with that designation.
The Yucatán Peninsula state currently has 125 active cases, according to federal data, and 5% of both general care hospital beds and beds with ventilators are currently occupied by coronavirus patients.
Cortés said that Campeche lost its green light status by just “one or two points,” adding that authorities in the state are working to ensure the lowest levels of risk are maintained. “The public must support the state’s health team in order to go back to green,” he said.
The Health Ministry uses 10 different indicators to determine the stoplight color allocated to each state including the Covid-19 effective reproduction rate (how many people each infected person infects), the weekly positivity rate (the percentage of Covid-19 tests that come back positive) and hospital occupancy levels.
Thirteen of Mexico’s 32 states will be maximum risk red as of Monday and 17 will be high risk orange.
The red states for the next two weeks will be Mexico City, México state, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Guerrero, Nayarit and Colima.
The first 12 states are already red – the maximum risk level in San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Guerrero and Nayarit was confirmed by the Health Ministry after state authorities decreed the switch to red this week – while Colima will regress to that color from yellow.
The 17 high risk orange states as of Monday will be Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora, Durango, Zacatecas, Tamaulipas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Veracruz, Yucatán, Tlaxcala, Coahuila and Chihuahua.
The first 14 states are already orange and will remain that color for the next two weeks. Tlaxcala and Coahuila will switch to orange from red on Monday while Chihuahua will regress to orange from medium risk yellow.
Each stoplight color is accompanied by recommended restrictions to slow the spread of the virus but it is ultimately up to state governments to decide on their own restrictions.
The updated stoplight map reflects the difficult coronavirus situation Mexico is facing almost a year after the first cases of the virus were detected. The accumulated case tally rose to 1.84 million on Friday with 16,374 new cases reported while the official Covid-19 death toll increased to 156,579 with 1,434 additional fatalities registered.
An analysis of death certificates conducted by the national statistics agency Inegi and excess mortality date suggest that the real death toll from the infectious disease is much higher.
The greater metropolitan area of Mexico City, where population density is higher than anywhere else in the country, remains the area of most concern. The capital and neighboring México state have a combined accumulated case tally of just over 664,000, meaning that more than one in three cases identified in Mexico since the start of the pandemic were detected in those two entities.
Their combined Covid-19 death toll is above 46,000, a figure that accounts for about 30% of all Covid-19 deaths in Mexico.
There are currently just under 10,000 coronavirus patients in hospitals in the Valley of México metropolitan area, which includes the 16 boroughs of Mexico City and many México state municipalities, but hospitalizations have decreased slightly during the past week. Hospital occupancy for general care beds is 89% in Mexico City and 84% in México state, according to federal data, while the rate for beds with ventilators is 80% and 76%, respectively.
Both states have been red on the stoplight map since December 19 but have slightly eased restrictions this month, allowing restaurants to reopen to in-house diners on January 18 provided they have outdoor space to seat them.
Mexico City official Eduardo Clark said Friday that nonessential businesses can reopen on Monday but must attend to their customers outside the commercial establishment in the “fresh air.”
Enclosed shopping centers and department stores in the capital will not be permitted to reopen until February 8.
In México state, outdoor recreational activities and sports will be permitted as of Monday and restaurants, department stores and shopping centers can reopen, Governor Alfredo del Mazo said Friday.
Restaurants will be permitted to operate Monday to Friday at 30% capacity in indoor areas and 40% for alfresco dining. They must close at 8:00 p.m. and are limited to takeout and delivery service on weekends.
“We’re allowing the opening of some activities due to the need to support families’ finances,” del Mazo said.
“It’s about finding a scheme that allows the partial operation of businesses in order to help families’ finances and at the same time continue looking after everyone’s health. It’s the responsibility of everyone to avoid crowds and follow the health measures,” he said.