By Meredith Hughes
Whether Yellow, Green or Turquoise —no Red, please— counties across New Mexico are opening up, Green Sandoval County among them. “Sandoval is Green!” Mayor Jo Anne Roake exclaimed. “Corrales businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity indoors. Even better, if 60 percent of our population is vaccinated by June 30, we can fully re-open. If you really care about that, please go get both shots, get vaccinated, and encourage the vaccine-hesitant.

“That’s absolutely the real way to support our businesses and our community.”

As of April 30, 24 New Mexico counties were at the Turquoise level and six at the Green level, under which there are fewer restrictions on commercial and day-to-day activities amid decreased virus risk. Thirty of 33 New Mexico counties were at the least restrictive levels. Three counties were at the Yellow level as of April 30, with no counties at the Red level, signifying highest risk.

Hence, Corrales is beginning to re-open. The Parks and Recreation Department says the Corrales pool will be open this summer, with capacities based on the color framework set out by the State. Swim lessons, open swim and pool parties will resume this year. Registration for swim lessons and pool parties began May 7. The pool opens June 5, and closes on August 8 this season.

Thus far, open swim is going to run for two-hour intervals with 30-minutes for cleaning at the end. So swim from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m; from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and then a final session from 4 to 5:30 pm. Daily, seven days a week. Pool parties will still go from 6 to 8 p.m.  on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Those are currently limited to 60 people.

Parks and Rec director Lynn Siverts says “We want to remind everyone that admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please continue to wear a mask while waiting in lines, or not swimming in the pool.” If you have any questions, call 899-8900 or email Siverts at lsiverts@corrales-nm.org. As of April 28, the following Parks and Rec venues were open: La Entrada Park; TopForm Arena; Liam Knight Pond; the east and west athletic fields; the skate park; tennis courts; outdoor basketball courts; and outdoor pickleball court. The gymnasium and play structures at La Entrada remain closed.

Corrales Community Library continues its curbside services, but now also is open by appointment for those who want to say “hi” to the fish, explore new acquisitions or just gaze at stacks of books. Tuesday, 4 to 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. Book a time at http://www.picktime.com/corralescommunitylibrary. The Corrales Senior Center’s Tammy Meyer says it continues to provide over 100 lunches daily, some of them for house-bound people, others via drive-thru Monday through Friday, 11:30 to 12:30. Before COVID, she was doing between 50 and 55 lunches.

Once Sandoval County achieves the desired New Mexico “Turquoise” hue, Meyer says plans worked on by centers in Sandoval County along with Aging and Longterm Services will roll out. The center will welcome 25 people back in the dining room, and those will continue to social distance six to ten feet. Also, the fitness room will reopen and PowerUp classes for those with Parkinson’s or other muscular and balance issues will resume.

Village Clerk Aaron Gjullin reports that thus far Village Council and similar gatherings will remain on Zoom. “We are waiting to get direction from the State and the Attorney General’s office. Obviously we want to get back to ‘in person,’ but based on the size of council and staff, that limits the number of the public joining in person. We also want to do it in the safest way possible. So, hopefully soon, but no changes yet.”

State officials announced April 28 that “New Mexico will loosen the key health metrics used to assign risk levels to counties under the Red-Yellow-Green COVID-19 framework, as the state’s nation-leading vaccine distribution effort is, over time, likely to reduce the number of asymptomatic people seeking out and receiving tests for COVID-19.”

The announcement set out a new State target: “When 60 percent of eligible New Mexicans have been fully vaccinated, which State modeling projects may occur as early as the end of June, the state will graduate out of the color-coded county risk system and remove most pandemic-related restrictions on commercial activities. Although a mask requirement while around others will remain in place, and certain COVID-Safe Practices will be required for specific activities, this target —made possible by New Mexico’s nation-leading vaccination effort— will represent the most significant removal of restrictions since the onset of the pandemic.”

To view the N.M. Department of Health (NMDOH) Public Dashboard, which includes the color-coded map, go here: https://cvprovider.nmhealth.org/ public-dashboard.html. Many Corrales eateries are welcoming more customers, including Corrales Bistro, open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. ExNovo continues to be open noon to 9 p.m. every day. C3’s Bistro is open Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday Brunch typically runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., But this Mother’s Day, May 9, brunch goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Perea’s Restaurant is now open regular hours for lunch Wednesday through Saturday. Call 898-2442.

Village Pizza continues Sunday-Thursday, 11a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11a.m. to 9 p.m. And it recently welcomed a flower truck, not a food truck, onto the premises, under the name “JenniFLEURS.” The truck does indeed sell fresh flowers, and Jenni of Fleurs hopes it might soon appear elsewhere around the village.

Hannah and Nate’s is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and Indigo Crow operates for lunch, Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday Brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Casa Vieja is mixing live music with its own brews, as well as food truckery, Thursday through Sunday, 3 to 8 p.m. Shops in Mercado de Maya now have mostly returned to regular hours. Corrales Bosque Gallery is open 12-4 p.m. daily, and Ambiente lists weekly hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday 11-5. And Corrales Fine Arts is now consistently open from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday.

Farther north along Corrales Road, Casa Perea Artspace and Pachamama are open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 .m. or by appointment.

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