New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham again has extended New Mexico’s statewide mask mandate.
The governor’s office said hospital beds remain in “dangerously short supply,” adding the vast majority of those in need of medical help are unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Grisham said Friday the state’s mask mandate is now scheduled to end Nov. 15.
“The governor, acting upon the counsel and analysis of the state Medical Advisory Team and state health officials, may decide to extend or lift the mask requirement as necessary,” Grisham’s news release said.
New Mexico Department of Health acting Secretary David Scrase stressed tight-fitting masks make a difference in COVID-19 transmission.
“Many of us just assume that if we develop a serious illness, there will be an ICU bed available for us,” Scrase said. “That has not been the case for every New Mexican over the past six weeks. It is not time to abandon basic precautions. Our hospital and health care partners remain incredibly, incredibly concerned about the serious illnesses they are dealing with, and the pressure placed upon their institutions and personnel by these continuing infections.”
Friday’s news came as the state announced Monday it would be activating crisis standards of care in its hospital systems.
The DOH reported Monday that 300 individuals were hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19.
“New Mexico hospitals and health care facilities have carried an unmanageable burden, Scrase said Monday. “Today, the state is offering clarity and support as providers seek to make difficult choices about how to allocate scarce – and precious – health care resources.”