ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico State Fair is about a week out and, this year, vaccines are required. The governor’s office announced the vaccine mandate just a couple of weeks ago and fair organizers say their plan is almost complete. The vaccine requirement was a fairly last-minute addition to the state fair’s lineup and organizers say they’re going to do the best they can.
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“It’s a lot to ask of a ticket taker, if you will when you know there’s no health care professionals or anything of that nature. I think we’re doing what’s industry standard of what’s been happening around the country,” said Dan Mourning, general manager of Expo New Mexico.
Mourning says right now they have about 30 staff members who will be doing the vaccine screening. Those employees will be getting special training about what documents are accepted like a standard vaccine card, screenshots from New Mexico Health and CDC paperwork.
There are specific religious or medical exemptions allowed but those also must be accompanied by a negative COVID-19 test taken within that lat 48 hours. Mourning says his employees will not be calling individuals rabbis or priests to verify exemptions but they expect New Mexicans to be honest.
They’ve also been putting information about the vaccine mandate online and on their billboards to make sure all fairgoers are aware. “The public health order is finite. It’s not open for me to discern. If they have their vaccine card, they’ll be let in. If they come to the fair without it, or an exemption, we’ll ask them to go back and get it and come out to the fair,” Mourning said.
Also in the public health order, is that state fair officials or employees are required to enforce the vaccine mandate so even though the order came down from the governor’s office, no members of her team or any other state agency will be on hand to help.