Will New Mexico health officials follow today’s updated federal guidance eliminating outdoor mask requirements for the fully vaccinated?

Stay tuned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updates, issued earlier today says fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outdoors “except in certain crowded settings and venues.” Unvaccinated people don’t need to wear masks if they participate in those activities with another household member. The CDC still recommends masks for both groups at crowded outdoor events.


The updates also say:

  • Fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic.
  • Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure.
  • Fully vaccinated asymptomatic people without an exposure may be exempted from routine screening testing, if feasible.

During a White House Press Briefing this afternoon, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in response to a media question of whether states with outdoor mask mandates should update their guidelines seemed to indicate they should: “States that have mask requirements outdoors — if people are vaccinated, we no longer feel that the vaccinated people require masks outdoors. So to the extent that those are consistent,” Walensky said.

SFR inquired to DOH today whether the state would be updating its public health order in response to the CDC’s new guidance. Health Communications Director Matt Bieber said via email “We’ll likely have an update on that” at tomorrow’s 1 pm COVID-19 news update with DOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins and Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase will provide a COVID-19 update at 1 pm tomorrow.

The news conference will stream live on the DOH Facebook page, and be available with Spanish language interpreter on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s YouTube page.

New Mexico health officials today reported 181 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 196,997. The health department has designated 177,930 of those cases as recovered.

Bernalillo County had 78 new cases, followed by San Juan County with 31. Both Sandoval and Santa Fe counties had eight cases. The health department’s weekly epidemiology update on geographical trends show case rates per 100,000 across the state between April 12-18 ranging from zero cases in Hidalgo County to 25.6 in San Juan County.


The state also announced 12 additional deaths; there have now been 4,039 fatalities.

As of today, 130 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 (a 16% increase from yesterday).*

Currently, 57.2% of New Mexicans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 41.1% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 67.5% have had at least one dose and 46.2% are fully inoculated.

New cases

  • 78 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 2 new cases in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 5 new cases in Curry County
  • 7 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 6 new cases in Eddy County
  • 2 new cases in Grant County
  • 1 new case in Guadalupe County
  • 3 new cases in Lea County
  • 1 new case in Luna County
  • 2 new cases in McKinley County
  • 5 new cases in Otero County
  • 3 new cases in Quay County
  • 3 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 8 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 31 new cases in San Juan County
  • 1 new case in San Miguel County
  • 8 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 4 new cases in Sierra County
  • 2 new cases in Socorro County
  • 1 new case in Taos County
  • 2 new cases in Torrance County
  • 5 new cases in Valencia County

New fatalities

  • A female in her 50s from Curry County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A female in her 60s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 60s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized
  • A second male in his 70s from Doña Ana County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 70s from Doña Ana County
  • A female in her 90s from Doña Ana County
  • A female in her 80s from Lea County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 80s from Lea County who had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 80s from Lea County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 60s from Luna County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions
  • A male in his 60s from Roosevelt County who was hospitalized
  • A male in his 50s from San Juan County who was hospitalized

Congregate facilities

The Department of Health has identified at least one positive COVID-19 case in residents and/or staff in the past 28 days at the following facilities:

  • Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
  • Bear Canyon Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Belen Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Belen
  • Brookdale Santa Fe
  • Brookdale Valencia in Albuquerque
  • Genesis Healthcare Uptown in Albuquerque
  • Genesis Silver City Care Center in Silver City
  • Good Samaritan Society – Betty Dare in Alamogordo
  • Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • Princeton Place in Albuquerque
  • Welbrook Senior Living in Las Cruces
  • White Sands Healthcare in Hobbs

Statewide cases

According to a health department news release, previously reported numbers included 28 cases that have been identified as duplicates (eight in Bernalillo County, three in Chaves County, three in Curry County, seven in Doña Ana County, five in Sandoval County, one at the Roswell Correctional Center and one at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County)—these have now been corrected. County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.

  • Bernalillo County: 56,626
  • Catron County: 90
  • Chaves County: 8,885
  • Cibola County: 2,863
  • Colfax County: 746
  • Curry County: 5,100
  • De Baca County: 139
  • Doña Ana County: 24,514
  • Eddy County: 6,788
  • Grant County: 1,688
  • Guadalupe County: 377
  • Harding County: 10
  • Hidalgo County: 359
  • Lea County: 8,267
  • Lincoln County: 1,644
  • Los Alamos County: 516
  • Luna County: 3,298
  • McKinley County: 12,218
  • Mora County: 169
  • Otero County: 3,769
  • Quay County: 445
  • Rio Arriba County: 3,569
  • Roosevelt County: 1,886
  • Sandoval County: 11,814
  • San Juan County: 14,400
  • San Miguel County: 1,342
  • Santa Fe County: 10,083
  • Sierra County: 744
  • Socorro County: 1,307
  • Taos County: 1,654
  • Torrance County: 711
  • Union County: 250
  • Valencia County: 6,614

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 446
  • Otero County Federal Prison Facility: 444
  • Otero County Processing Center: 198
  • Torrance County Detention Facility: 47

Cases among people being held by the New Mexico Department of Corrections

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 296
  • Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 251
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 762
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 167
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 127
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 472
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 218
  • Roswell Correctional Center: 229
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 229
  • Springer Correctional Center in Colfax County: 151
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 75

*Per the health department, hospitalization figures include people who were tested elsewhere but are hospitalized in New Mexico, but don’t include people who were tested here but are hospitalized out of state.