Mask order extended


New Mexico must continue to mask up following the release of a Sept. 15 public health order issued by acting Secretary David Scrase, M. D.

Scrase has directed that everyone two years and above should wear a mask or multi-layer cloth face covering indoors, except when eating or drinking until Oct. 15.

Businesses, non profits, houses of worship and other establishments are permitted to put stricter requirements in place.

Businesses, non profits and establishments other than healthcare operations, utilities or indigent care services . must report any occurrence of a rapid response to the New Mexico Environment Department and are required to monitor when such an establishment has four or more rapid responses within a 14-day period. While these entities will not be required to close, they must make the public aware of positive cases through these reports.

All businesses, non profits and establishments must adhere to COVID-Safe practices.

Private educational institutions, including home­schools serving children from outside the household will also be required to adhere to face covering and Covid-Safe practices for in-person instruction contained in the New Mexico Public Education department’s “Reentry Guidance” and the “COVID-19 Response Toolkit for New Mexico’s Public Schools.”

In his order, Scrase reminded New Mexicans that state departments and agencies are authorized to take all appropriate steps to comply with the order, and that state officials may enforce the order by issuing a citation of violation which could result in civil administrative penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation under NMSA 1978, Section 12-10A-19.