Updated public health order in effect; New Mexico adopts CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals

Written by Amanda Castillo

May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health on Friday announced the state’s adoption of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance on facemasks for those who are fully vaccinated. An updated Department of Health public health order, effective Friday, May 14, can be found here.

Per the CDC, in most circumstances, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask in either indoor or outdoor settings. All individuals who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated are still required, per the public health order and CDC guidance, to wear a mask in public settings. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Individuals who do not meet those requirements must continue to wear a mask in public settings.

New Mexicans are encouraged to continue adhering to COVID-safe practices. All individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, should continue to wear well-fitted masks where required by localities, tribal entities, and individual businesses. The state fully supports businesses and workplaces that may continue to require masks for employees and/or customers on the premises, regardless of vaccination status.

“Getting vaccinated is the ticket to a safe and healthy COVID-free future,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “We are close and getting closer. But that all depends on New Mexicans continuing to protect themselves and their community by getting vaccinated – please find vaccines near you at vaccineNM.org and get your shot!”

Per CDC guidance, masks continue to be required to be worn by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in the following settings:

  • Health care settings, including but not limited to hospitals, long-term care facilities, and doctors’ offices
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Public transportation, including but not limited to buses, trains, and planes and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations

As the majority of students remain unvaccinated, the CDC’s guidance for school settings currently remains unchanged. Pending additional guidance from the CDC, masks continue to be required in schools for all students and school staff regardless of vaccination status.

“Unvaccinated individuals remain at risk of contracting and spreading the virus; over 99% percent of new COVID-19 cases nationwide are among the unvaccinated,” said Department of Health Secretary Tracie Collins, M.D. “Please schedule your shot today at vaccineNM.org and protect yourself and your loved ones.”

“As the CDC continues to evaluate available data and develop additional guidance, it is critical that New Mexicans continue to take all precautions until they are fully vaccinated,” said Human Services Department Secretary David Scrase, M.D. “While the science is clear that vaccinated individuals are protected, New Mexicans must continue to get vaccinated in order to guarantee that protection. Vaccines are safe, effective, and widely available to New Mexicans – please get vaccinated.”

Mass gathering limits and the statewide framework remain in place. As previously announced by the governor and state officials, New Mexico will graduate from the color-coded county risk system and remove most pandemic-related restrictions on commercial activities when 60% of eligible New Mexicans have been fully vaccinated. As of May 13, 51% of eligible New Mexicans have been fully vaccinated.

All New Mexicans age 16+ are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and are strongly encouraged to schedule their vaccine appointment today at vaccineNM.org or by calling 1-855-600-3453. Parents of New Mexicans age 12-15 are encouraged to register their child for the approved Pfizer vaccine at vaccineNM.org.

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