“The reason we implemented the mask mandate in the first place was to try to protect and conserve hospital resources, which was the critical lack of resources, and when we, uh, saw it pretty much fall off a cliff with cases and hospitalizations, and hospitals confirmed with their own self-evaluation, we decided it was time to remove the mandate, “Scrase said.
The data show that over the last few weeks there has been a sharp drop in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. New admissions have dropped by about half in the past two weeks. Right now there is 350 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state.
While most new Mexicans may choose not to wear a mask, not everyone can become maskless yet. For example, masks are still required in hospitals and nursing homes.
So is this the right choice when it comes to protecting our neighbors with weakened immune systems?
“I think the most important thing that can help immunosuppressed people in New Mexico is not a public health order that requires us all to be masked forever,” Scrase said. “It’s actually what will help them the most is kindness, compassion, awareness, acceptance that some of us will have to continue to take all the same old precautions that we did during the pandemic, you know during that worst pandemic, and even before the pandemic. “
The State Department of Health also recommends that people with weakened immune systems receive a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine. They also said that an antibody treatment called Evusheld will help reduce their COVID-19 risk.
In October last year, the state adopted crisis standards for the care of local hospitals. They have not been repealed yet, but KOB 4 was told that the current plan is just to let the crisis standards for the care order expire next month.
Scrase said more beds are opening up – with 35 ICU beds and more than 90 standard medical beds available throughout New Mexico.