NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The governor is expected to continue extending the state’s mask mandate but at what point will they no longer be required? New Mexico Department of Health Acting Secretary Dr. David Scrase says based on past gating criteria, he estimates when the state gets back down to about 200 new cases per day, they will consider lifting the mask mandate.

Story continues below:

However, over the last month, the state has consistently seen more than 500 cases per day. Dr. Scrase also points to increases in hospitalizations and overworked hospital staff. “When we’ve got hospital workers doing double shifts and triple shifts sometimes, and very sick New Mexicans, I know we all want to pitch in and do everything we can,” Dr. Scrase said.

As the holidays approach, KRQE News 13 asked if the state will impose restrictions like last year. Dr. Scrase said they would only provide guidance for family gatherings. The New Mexico Department of Health reported 1,309 new COVID-related cases and 12 additional deaths on Thursday.