New Mexico Governor Mandates Workplace Masks
Retailers, Businesses shall Require Employees to Wear Face Coverings
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday urged business owners to begin preparing for the first phase of reopening New Mexico while the state continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s executive order authorizing the extension of the public health orders is also attached.
- Public Health Order – Clarifying that Current Guidance Documents, Advisories, and Emergency Public Health Orders Remain in Effect 05-05-2020
Department of Health Secretary Kathleen Kunkel has amended the state public health emergency order clarifying some of the steps businesses must take in order to operate.
- Beginning Wednesday, May 6, all large grocery and large retail spaces (those greater than 50,000 square feet in size) and all restaurants currently operating curbside and delivery service will be required to ensure that all employees have at least cloth face coverings.
- All employees must wear their face coverings in the workplace at all times when in the presence of others.
- Beginning Monday, May 11, all essential businesses of any size currently operating under the public health order must also comply with the face-covering requirement.
- All employers are strongly encouraged to acquire the face coverings for all employees over the next week, in preparation for a potential Phase One reopening in mid-May. Otherwise, they may not be able to operate in compliance with state requirements.
- Retailers will not be required to provide face coverings for customers but are encouraged to post signage strongly encouraging customers to wear their own masks. Retailers at their own discretion may require customers to wear masks.
The administration last week issued a set of COVID-safe practices for all employers and an additional set for all retailers (COVID Safe Practices). Other COVID-safe requirements and best practices specific to other industries are under development.
The governor last week extended her stay-at home order to May 15, with modifications allowing some limited, additional retail and recreational opportunities. Further reopening will depend on businesses and individuals doing their part to keep their neighbors safe in order to meet gating criteria.
“If New Mexicans don’t behave safely, we won’t be able to reopen more than we have. Every single one of us has to do their part,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
Cloth face coverings should—
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
Sew and No Sew Instructions
Sewn Cloth Face Covering
- Two 10”x6” rectangles of cotton fabric
- Two 6” pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips, or hair ties)
- Needle and thread (or bobby pin)
- Sewing machine
1. Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight.
Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.
Quick Cut T-shirt Face Covering (no sew method)
Bandana Face Covering (no-sew method)
- Bandana (or square cotton cloth approximately 20”x20”)
- Rubber bands (or hair ties)
- Scissors (if you are cutting your own cloth)