NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A new survey posted by KRQE News 13 is gauging how people are feeling about masks and vaccinations as the state continues to loosen COVID-19 restrictions. Health officials have said New Mexico could fully reopen by the end of June if the state reaches a goal of 60% of eligible New Mexicans getting fully vaccinated.
Jennifer Schoenholzer, who sells paintings outside a store in Nob Hill, said she doesn’t think she’ll ever be without a mask in public again, even with COVID-safe precautions in place for her business and as the vaccine rollout ramps up.
“The importance of the mask to me- I’ve lost a couple of friends already to this terrible virus,” Schoenholzer explained.
News 13 surveyed more than 1,000 people this week, asking how they feel about masks, vaccinations, and COVID restrictions loosening up more than a year into the pandemic.
“I’m hearing that with the masks and vaccinations, you still have to wear the mask,” Masks y Mas Manager Kenneth Chavez said.
People surveyed wrote that they believe the state’s mask mandate won’t go away any time soon, and 63% said they would feel comfortable going out in public without a mask.
In fact, more respondents said they’d feel “completely comfortable” being maskless when going out to eat, shopping inside a store, or sitting in a movie theater, than those who said they would not be comfortable.
“Every time I go out in public, I wear a mask,” Skylar Michaelis of Albuquerque stated.
This, as more than half of people surveyed, said they’re fully vaccinated and 33% said they don’t plan to get the shot.
Now with New Mexico, public schools welcoming students back to the classroom full time, 32% of people said they won’t be vaccinating their kids, compared to 25% who said they will.
“It hasn’t been long enough to know what the long-term effects are,” Michaelis added.
“I am considering vaccinating my 14-year-old, but the other two, I just don’t know. I’m on the fence,” Staci Narducci of Albuquerque stated.
News 13 asked the governor’s office if the state would consider lifting the mask requirement in schools if enough kids got the vaccine. They referenced the CDC’s most recent guidance which recommends wearing masks indoors when in public, regardless of vaccination status.