NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Environment Department is clarifying its COVID-19 rules in the workplace following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the federal vaccination mandate. The justices ruled OSHA cannot impose that requirement. The agency now says it is encouraging businesses to implement their own vaccinations and testing programs. The federal mandate would have applied to employers with 100 or more workers.

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“So many New Mexico businesses are helping to keep their employees safe from effects of COVID-19,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary, James Kenney, in a news release. “Now is not the time for employers, employees or customers to let down their guard.”

The department says that reporting requirements and COVID-safe practices like masks and social distancing are still in effect. Meanwhile, the City of Albuquerque halted their implementation of a vaccine mandate last week but says they will continue to follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines and strongly encourage workers to get vaccinated but will not make it a requirement.