The number of green light low risk states on the federal government’s coronavirus stoplight map will increase from two to three next week after the Health Ministry announced Friday that Sonora will switch on Monday.
The northern border state will join Campeche and Chiapas at the lowest risk level, while there will be 21 states at the yellow light medium risk level, an increase of one compared to the map currently in force, and eight at orange light high risk, a decrease of two. For a second consecutive fortnight there will be no red light maximum risk states.
The yellow states for the next two weeks will be Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo and Quintana Roo.
Nineteen of those states are already yellow and will remain so while Nuevo León and San Luis Potosí will switch to that color from orange on Monday.
The eight orange light states for the next two weeks will be Querétaro, México state, Mexico City, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca Tabasco and Yucatán. All of those states are orange on the current map. Health Ministry official Ricardo Cortés said that Querétaro is the state most at risk of regressing to red due to a recent increase in case numbers and hospitalizations.
Each stoplight color, determined by the Health Ministry using 10 different indicators including case numbers and hospital occupancy levels, 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.
In Sonora, which has been at the yellow light risk level for the past month, authorities have begun making preparations to reopen schools but decided they won’t do so until teachers and other staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
According to federal government guidelines, schools can reopen in green light states but neither Chiapas nor Campeche has done so despite reaching the low risk level.
Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich welcomed the news that the state will switch to green but urged residents not to drop their guard.
“To be at the green light level is an achievement for all sonorenses but it doesn’t mean we should relax the [health] measures. … It’s the first truce that this pandemic has granted us but the virus is still present. Let’s keep taking care of ourselves. #Let’sStayGreen,” she wrote on Twitter.
Sonora has recorded just over 69,000 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and more than 6,000 deaths, according to federal data. There are just over 900 active cases in the state while the occupancy rate for general care hospital beds is 11%.
The Health Ministry added 6,743 new cases to the national case tally on Friday and registered 709 additional deaths. Mexico has now recorded just over 2.15 million cases and 193,851 fatalities since the coronavirus was first detected here just over a year ago. There are an estimated 46,291 active cases across the country and the hospital occupancy rate is 26% for general care beds and 29% for those with ventilators.
The Health Ministry reported that 147,891 additional vaccine doses were administered Friday, lifting the total number of doses given to just over 4 million.
The government has pledged to vaccinate everybody who wants a shot but the national vaccination program has not yet reached people aged under 60, apart from healthcare workers and some teachers, while millions of seniors are also waiting for their first jab.