Just about a year ago today, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham put into place New Mexico’s mask mandate, even demonstrating during a news conference how to make a “no-sew” mask using a bandana.

Today, the state modified its public health order and adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance: Fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings.

Currently, 51.7% of New Mexicans are fully vaccinated, according to the health department’s vaccine dashboard. In Santa Fe County: 56.9%. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after either a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The public health law requires anyone not meeting that criteria to continue wearing a mask in public settings.

A health department news release also reiterated the need for COVID-safe practices. “As the CDC continues to evaluate available data and develop additional guidance, it is critical that New Mexicans continue to take all precautions until they are fully vaccinated,” Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase said in a statement. ”While the science is clear that vaccinated individuals are protected, New Mexicans must continue to get vaccinated in order to guarantee that protection.” As with the CDC guidance, everyone must wear a mask when in: health care settings; correctional facilities; homeless shelters; and when on public transportation.

Moreover, local governments, tribal governments and individual businesses can still require masks and “all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, should continue to wear well-fitted masks where required” by those entities, a news release from the governor’s office stated. “The state fully supports businesses and workplaces that may continue to require masks for employees and/or customers on the premises, regardless of vaccination status.”

As for the City of Santa Fe, while its mask mandate remained in place as of right now, it was “being revised as we speak,” city Communications Director Dave Herndon told SFR Friday afternoon, and was expected to follow suit with the new state public health order. In addition, Herndon said, the City Council will be meeting in special session May 25 ″to discuss plans for returning to in-person services and meetings.” As for city workers, “the city does not have a return-to-work place date yet,” he said. “Teleworkers may continue to telework until further notice.”

In statements, both Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins reiterated their call for people to schedule vaccinations at vaccineNM.org.

“Unvaccinated individuals remain at risk of contracting and spreading the virus; over 99% percent of new COVID-19 cases nationwide are among the unvaccinated,” Collins said. “Please schedule your shot today and protect yourself and your loved ones.”

While parents can now register children ages 12 to 15 for the Pfizer vaccine following a CDC decision earlier this week, and anyone over the age of 16 is eligible, most students remain unvaccinated, according to the state. In the 16-17-year-old age group, for instance, 19.8% have been fully vaccinated. As such, the CDC’s guidance for school settings currently remains unchanged and masks will continue to be required in New Mexico schools, pending any new information from the CDC.

The state’s limits on mass gatherings and the county-level red-to-green framework also remain in place. As previously announced by the governor and state officials, New Mexico will transition from the red-to-green framework and remove most pandemic-related restrictions when 60% of eligible New Mexicans have been fully inoculated.

As reported by the New York Times, yesterday’s CDC announcement appeared to take officials off guard across the country, with uneven responses thus far. Some states, along with New Mexico, have adopted the guidance and eliminated their mask mandates for fully vaccinated people, as in the cases of Rhode Island, North Carolina and Michigan. In New York, New Jersey and California: not yet.

Meanwhile, New Mexico health officials today reported 223 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 200,650. The health department has designated 185,779 of those cases as recovered.

Bernalillo County had 75 new cases, followed by San Juan County with 36 and Santa Fe County with 17.

The state also announced one additional death: a woman in her 70s from San Juan County who had been hospitalized and had underlying conditions. There have now been 4,113 fatalities.

As of today, 112 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.*

New cases

  • 75 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 4 new cases in Chaves County
  • 4 new cases in Cibola County
  • 8 new cases in Curry County
  • 16 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 1 new case in Eddy County
  • 1 new case in Hidalgo County
  • 1 new case in Lea County
  • 3 new cases in Lincoln County
  • 1 new case in Los Alamos County
  • 5 new cases in Luna County
  • 9 new cases in McKinley County
  • 10 new cases in Otero County
  • 1 new case in Quay County
  • 4 new cases in Rio Arriba County
  • 2 new cases in Roosevelt County
  • 5 new cases in Sandoval County
  • 36 new cases in San Juan County
  • 17 new cases in Santa Fe County
  • 2 new cases in Sierra County
  • 1 new case in Socorro County
  • 2 new cases in Taos County
  • 5 new cases in Torrance County
  • 8 new cases in Valencia County
  • 2 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Processing Center

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
  • The Aristocrat Assisted Living Center in Alamogordo
  • Bear Canyon Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Belen Meadows Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Belen
  • Brookdale Santa Fe
  • Canyon Transitional Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque
  • Casa de Oro in Las Cruces
  • Desert Peaks Assisting Living and Memory Care in Las Cruces
  • Genesis Healthcare Uptown in Albuquerque
  • Genesis Rio Rancho Center
  • Genesis Silver City Care Center in Silver City
  • Good Samaritan Society – Betty Dare in Alamogordo
  • Lakeview Christian Home in Carlsbad
  • The Meadows Home at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas
  • New Mexico State Veterans Home in Truth or Consequences
  • The Rehabilitation Center of Albuquerque
  • Retirement Ranches in Clovis
  • The Rio at Las Estancias in Albuquerque
  • Sunset Vista Senior Living Center in Silver City
  • Vista Hermosa in Santa Fe
  • Welbrook Senior Living in Las Cruces

Statewide cases

According to a health department news release, previously reported numbers included one case in Bernalillo County that has been identified as a duplicate; one case in Bernalillo County that was not lab confirmed; three cases have been determined to be out-of-state residents (one in Grant County, one in McKinley County and one in Union 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: 57,848
  • Catron County: 93
  • Chaves County: 8,971
  • Cibola County: 2,880
  • Colfax County: 763
  • Curry County: 5,203
  • De Baca County: 158
  • Doña Ana County: 24,762
  • Eddy County: 6,845
  • Grant County: 1,709
  • Guadalupe County: 404
  • Harding County: 10
  • Hidalgo County: 362
  • Lea County: 8,287
  • Lincoln County: 1,705
  • Los Alamos County: 526
  • Luna County: 3,342
  • McKinley County: 12,297
  • Mora County: 170
  • Otero County: 3,918
  • Quay County: 506
  • Rio Arriba County: 3,601
  • Roosevelt County: 1,963
  • Sandoval County: 11,981
  • San Juan County: 15,070
  • San Miguel County: 1,353
  • Santa Fe County: 10,285
  • Sierra County: 767
  • Socorro County: 1,317
  • Taos County: 1,671
  • Torrance County: 774
  • Union County: 247
  • Valencia County: 6,744

Cases among people being held by federal agencies

  • Cibola County Correctional Center: 445
  • Otero County Federal Prison Facility: 444
  • Otero County Processing Center: 200
  • 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: 298
  • Guadalupe County Correctional Facility: 252
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 762
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 167
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 128
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 473
  • 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.