NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The announcement caught most New Mexicans off guard. After six months of extending state requirements to wear a face mask while indoors, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham suddenly ended the mandate Thursday during a news conference about the legislative session.

Just a week earlier, the state’s top doctor cited a continued high level of COVID hospitalizations and a lack of hospital beds as a reason for continuing the mandate in New Mexico. “I think when things cool down in the hospital, we’re planning on rescinding the mask order,” said Acting New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase on February 9, 2022.

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What changed over the last week for the state to now rescind the mask order? How much of a role did politics play in the decision? What are schools supposed to do? Hosts Chris McKee and Gabrielle Burkhart took those questions to NMDOH’s Dr. Scrase for this week’s episode. Listen in for their complete interview that took place roughly an hour after the announcement.

Also this week, Chris and Gabby recap some of the main outcomes from the legislative session. What happened to the New Mexico Voting Rights Act? And did lawmakers “do enough” to address crime in the eyes of some key decision-makers who are calling for change?

Download new episodes of the New Mexico News Podcast every Tuesday. Episodes are available on the most popular platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcherand Podbean among others.

To find the show on your favorite podcast player, type “KRQE News” or “New Mexico News Podcast” into the search feature. Use the links above to find the podcast on each respective service, or listen to the audio player below.

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the podcast, let us know! Email the hosts at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com.