N.M. indoor mask requirement extended


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Oct. 15 that the statewide requirement to wear face masks in all indoor public spaces that expired today, would be extended. That means that face masks must be worn with only limited exceptions, and regardless of vaccination status.

Executive Order 2021-058 renews the State of Public Health Emergency initially declared in Executive Order 2020-004. It took effect Oct. 15 and will remain in effect until Nov. 12. unless it is renewed, modified or rescinded.

Health officials, including those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to recommend tight-fitting face masks be worn in indoor spaces as they are effective in limiting the spread of the Delta variant.

New Mexico reported 20 new COVID-19 fatalities Oct. 14. There were 879 new cases reported on that date and more than 4,900 New Mexicans have lost their lives to the virus.

The separate public health order requiring health care workers to be vaccinated and the vaccinate-or-test requirements for school workers remain in place.

Dr. David Scrase emphasized the need for more staffed hospital beds which remain in short supply.

"Many of us just assume that if we develop a serious illness, there will be an Intensive Care Unit bed available for us," Scrase said. "That has not been the case for every New Mexican over the past six weeks.

"Our hospital and health care partners remain incredibly concerned about the serious illness they are dealing with, and the pressure placed upon their institutions and personnel by these continuing infections," he said.