New Mexicans react to mask, vaccination changes

Vaccine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Masks are back. Governor Lujan Grisham announced that starting Friday, every New Mexican, regardless of their vaccination status will have to wear a mask indoors in public, once again. That’s not all, there are new vaccine requirements for people who work in certain places like nursing homes and hospitals.


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The change-up is getting mixed reactions. Some vaccinated people say they’re annoyed with the mask mandate because they said they’ve done their part and now we’re falling behind again.

Life in New Mexico is about to look like it did back in May when going to public places like the grocery store and other indoor spots required you to wear a mask. “We know that the pandemic is not over and we are in a pivotal moment in this state,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D- New Mexico).

Lujan Grisham told New Mexicans coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are up and changes must be made to slow the spread. So starting this Friday, regardless of vaccination status, everyone two years and older has to wear a mask indoors, again. Except for of course when you’re eating or drinking. “It’s not about individuality at this point, it’s about keeping everyone safe together as a group,” said local Dominick Howard.

“With the ones that aren’t vaccinated, it’s better to be safe than sorry so I agree with it,” said local Maegan Madrid.

People KRQE News 13 talked to welcomed the news. “I do support a mask mandate only because it’s been proven to keep people safe,” said local Barron Jones.

While others feel it’s annoying but necessary. “I thought it would be going forward especially we didn’t have to wear the masks because we got vaccinated and vaccinations are out and I’m like yes no mask,” said local Shauntae Nieto. “Yeah and I’m like, ugh, why?”

“I don’t see too much wrong with it,” said local Linden Harris. “I don’t see too much of a hassle with it. I don’t know it’s a bit of an inconvenience.”

But masks aren’t the only change. “We are requiring for all hospital workers and all workers in congregate care settings to be vaccinated,” said the Governor.

Unvaccinated people in those categories must get the shot in ten days starting from Tuesday, Aug. 17. If they have an exemption, they must be tested for COVID on a weekly basis. This vaccination requirement is being praised by organizations like the New Mexico Medical Society and the New Mexico Nurses Association who said our state’s healthcare workers need to lead by example.

And people who work in public, private or charter schools, must also get vaccinated or get tested weekly. The change is applauded by the state’s teacher union. “Masks and vaccines keep students and educators safe,” said the Governor. “Safe in-person learning is the gold standard.”

The mask mandate will be in effect until at least Sept. 15. Also if you plan on attending the state fair which starts Sept. 9, you’ll need to prove you’re vaccinated or show a document from a doctor stating you’re medically exempt. If you do that, you’ll need to provide proof of a negative COVID test within 48 hours of entering the fairgrounds.

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