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New Mexico extending masking order for indoor public places

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is extending its latest mandate for masking in indoor public settings for at least another month amid the current surge in COVID-19 cases, state officials said.

The mandate re-imposed on Aug. 20 as part of a public health order by acting state Health Secretary David Scrase will be extended without significant changes, Tripp Stelnicki, a spokesman for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Tuesday.

The masking mandate had been set to expire Wednesday.

The extended mask requirement is now effective through at least October 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 mask requirement as necessary.

A separate public health order requiring that hospital employees, corrections officers and other workers in group home settings get the COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing their jobs does not have a set expiration date.

New Mexico in May 2020 was among the first states to require that face coverings be worn in public settings. That order was lifted in May of this year for fully vaccinated people.

Under the current public health order, the mask requirement applies to all people age 2 and older in all indoor public settings, except when eating or drinking. Businesses, houses of worship and other entities may enact stricter requirements at their discretion.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 15, hospitals must report to the Department of Health the number of:

  • Workers subject to the public health order,
  • Fully vaccinated workers,
  • Partially vaccinated workers,
  • Unvaccinated workers, and
  • Unvaccinated workers who have been granted a vaccine requirement exemption.

In addition, congregate care facilities must provide records regarding a worker’s vaccination or exemption status upon request by the Department of Health.

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