SANTA FE, New Mexico -- New Mexico will mandate that all state government employees get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly Covid-19 testing, moving in sync with federal authorities to shore up rates of immunization.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday at a news conference that New Mexico will join the federal government, California and New York City in requiring immunization or regular testing for their public employees.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated will also be required to wear a facemask when indoors.
The changes for New Mexico take effect Aug. 2 under a newly signed executive order. Employees who flout the rules can be disciplined, including job termination.
In a statement unveiling the order, Lujan Grisham emphasized inconveniences that await state employees who are eligible for vaccination but unwilling.
“Right now, it’s very simple: Get a vaccine, or else you will be tested. There will be no quarter for this virus within state government offices. I will not tolerate any unnecessary risk within the workforce under my authority. And I strongly encourage other New Mexico government agencies and private sector employers to consider doing the same.
“I have absolutely zero appetite for another unnecessary surge of infections, hospitalizations and death. This isn’t a debate. The vaccines are safe, and they work. Misinformation to the contrary will lead to illness and death – not to mention full hospitals and economic disruption.
“If you are eligible to be vaccinated and choosing not to, you are giving the virus an opportunity to mutate and spread. Please do not jeopardize anyone’s life, anyone’s livelihood or our state’s economic recovery. Get vaccinated.”