New Mexico is extending health orders related to COVID-19 one final time through the end of the month.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made the announcement Friday that she is renewing an executive order but will let it expire after March 31.
‘While we’re still seeing COVID cases, our preparedness and collaborative work have helped turn a once-in-a-century public health emergency into a manageable situation,’ Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
She also urged people, especially the elderly and immuno-compromised, to get vaccinated.
The New Mexico Department of Health had maintained measures such as a mask mandate for public indoor spaces and a requirement for health care workers and certain other employees to be current on vaccinations.
The public health orders were last extended in January, as the omicron variant was driving up the case count. New Mexico’s hospitals were operating under standards of care that prioritize immediate medical emergencies.
New Mexico was one of five other states — including Texas and Illinois — that still have such declarations.
California’s coronavirus emergency officially ended Feb. 28, nearly three years after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order.
The lapsing of the orders signals an end to the expanded legal powers of governors to suspend laws in response to the once mysterious disease.
President Joe Biden announced in January that the federal government will end its own version May 11.