Serving the High Plains

State's indoor mask mandate lifted immediately

New Mexico's governor announced shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday she is ending the indoor mask mandate, effective immediately.

According to several media outlets, including the Associated Press, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made the announcement during a news conference near the conclusion of the New Mexico Legislature's 30-day session.

Flanked by Lt. Gov. Howie Morales and other Democratic leaders, she and many others removed their masks during the announcement.

“For those wondering, this does include schools,” the state Public Education Department told the Albuquerque Journal. “Mask wearing will be determined at the local level.”

The indoor mask mandate remains in effect for congregate settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities and detention facilities, according to a news release later from the governor's office.

The number of COVID-19 cases in New Mexico had dropped sharply in the last three weeks.

Also, at least a dozen other states announced they had or would lift their mask mandates and other restrictions due to a decline in infections.

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