Not all New Mexicans ready to ditch masks after updated state mandate

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is following the CDC’s lead with vaccinations and masks. On Friday, the governor updated the state’s mask mandate, no longer requiring fully vaccinated people to wear masks in most indoor situations. But with localities, businesses, and organizations able to still require masks, don’t throw out the masks just yet.

Isotopes Park is expected to be busy on Saturday for New Mexico United‘s home opener. Despite the updated mandate, guests and coaches will still be required to wear masks.

“Mask wearing will be required for everybody in attendance at all times unless you’re actively eating and drinking, or drinking while seated,” said David Carl, Director of Communications and Fan Experience for New Mexico United. In a tweet, the team said it will review the updated policies moving forward. Carl also said the organization will talk with the Albuquerque Isotopes about mask policy since they share a facility.

The updated guidance does still require fully vaccinated folks to wear masks at places like hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, and on public transportation. But again, businesses and organizations can decide to keep masks.

La Salita Restaurant in Albuquerque’s northeast heights said masks may stick around if it’s what the staff wants.

“We’d need to talk to our staff first and foremost. We need to find out if our staff is comfortable with it or if they’re not comfortable with it. We need to sit down and really listen to them because we need to protect them and our customers. So, if our staff says they want to continue wearing the masks and prefer that our customers do the same, then our customers would happily do that,” said Sarah Turner, General Manager at La Salita Restaurant.

One Albuquerque resident said he’s happy about the changes but may still wear masks in places like grocery stores, hospitals, and gas stations.

“About time. We’ve been faithful to the COVID protocols since March of last year,” Wilfred Carrasco said. “As the numbers come down I think I can ease up but in the meantime, I’m just going to assume everyone has the virus.”

People who are unvaccinated are still required to wear masks in public settings. A person is considered ‘fully vaccinated’ two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine or after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

State officials stated how the new order really underlines the importance of New Mexicans getting vaccinated. As of Friday, 51% of the state was fully vaccinated. The governor said the state can open up entirely when at least 60% of the state is vaccinated.

The new state mandate does not apply to New Mexico public schools. Educators, school staff, and students are still required to wear masks while at school.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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