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Department of Health lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated in State

New Mexicans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not have to wear masks in either indoor or outdoor settings, per a new health order from the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH).

DOH followed the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.

Thursday, CDC issued an update that stated, “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” the CDC website indicated.

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Per the CDC, all individuals who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated are still required, per the public health order and CDC guidance, to wear a mask in public settings, read a news release from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office.

“Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Individuals who do not meet those requirements must continue to wear a mask in public settings,” the release cited.

A sign at Artesia General Hospital reminds people to fight COVID-19 on May 14, 2021 the State of New Mexico followed CDC guidelines allowing people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 not to wear masks for indoor and outdoor public settings.

Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway welcomed the news from DOH. 

“We’re excited to be moving forward with this very welcome phase of COVID-19 recovery. We encourage those who are still interested in obtaining a vaccine to do so, so that we can completely move past this pandemic,” he said.

Despite the orders from CDC and DO, State Rep. Randall Pettigrew (R-61) said both agencies were engaged in “gamesmanship.”