SANTA FE, New Mexico -- A day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidance on wearing facemasks during the pandemic, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a new state public health order aligning with the CDC.
Under the order, which was taking effect immediately on Friday, those in the state that had been fully vaccinated would no longer be required to wear masks at most indoor and outdoor settings in New Mexico.
"All individuals who are un-vaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated are still required, per the public health order and CDC guidance, to wear a mask in public settings. 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," said a statement issued by the governor's office.
The state Department of Health noted, however, that while masks are no longer required of vaccinated people in many public settings, businesses and workplaces may still make face coverings a requirement for all regardless. Schools will also continue to require masks at all times except when eating or drinking.
Friday's new public health order brings masks in New Mexico full circle as the state announced its mask mandate almost one year ago Friday.
As of Friday, the state said 50% of New Mexicans 16 and over were fully vaccinated. A broad reopening in New Mexico has been linked to the goal of a 60% statewide vaccination rate.
As of 5 p.m. on Friday, the town of Mesilla and the city of Las Cruces still had mask mandates. However, the fire chief in Mesilla indicated that his town policy could soon change.
“We really are turning a corner here," Chief Kevin Hoban told ABC-7. "It’s been a long road and parts of it were very scary. Especially before people could get vaccinated."
Business owners must now decide what rules to enforce in their shops.
“I will keep mine on," said Star Van Der Leelie, who owns a boutique in the Mesilla Plaza. "I will not require people to wear them when they come in. It’s a good process that we’re going through. I do look forward to not wearing a mask.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)