On Tuesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she is reinstating her previous mandate forcing New Mexicans to wear masks indoors, this time regardless of vaccination status.
According to a press release from Gov. Lujan Grisham’s office, she will “announce that the state of New Mexico will temporarily re-implement a statewide requirement that facemasks be worn in all public indoor spaces, with only limited exceptions, and regardless of vaccination status, to stem the state’s rising tide of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.”
The reasoning given by the Governor is as follows:
The spread of COVID-19 in New Mexico has increased dramatically in recent weeks, driven by the highly infectious “Delta” variant and primarily unvaccinated populations. State modeling projects that New Mexico will reach 1,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 by the end of August, and as many as 1,000 new daily cases in southeastern New Mexico alone in the weeks after that.
Dan Boyd of the Albuquerque Journal wrote, “New vaccination requirement for workers in hospitals and congregate care settings also on tap.” The Governor’s press release noted,“Under a separate public health order issued by Secretary Scrase, all workers in New Mexico hospitals and congregate care facilities are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with only limited exceptions.” Few exceptions are allowed. Read more about those here.
According to a release from the Governor’s office:
Under a public health order issued by Acting Health Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D., the re-implemented mask requirement applies to all individuals aged 2 and older in all indoor public settings — except when eating or drinking.
Masks will be required to everyone in school buildings regardless of vaccination status, which aligns with the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Public Education Department has been in the process of updating its toolkit for schools and district personnel.
The indoor mask requirement will be effective Friday, Aug. 20. It will remain in effect until at least September 15. The governor, acting upon the counsel and analysis of the state Medical Advisory Team and state health officials, may decide to extend or lift the requirement as necessary.
Businesses, houses of worship and other entities may enact stricter requirements at their discretion.