Effective April 16, the Lovelace Health System, Presbyterian Healthcare Services the UNM Health System and Christus St. Vincent will update COVID-related policy on the mandated use of face masks in clinical settings, in accordance with guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and other public health experts.

While New Mexico’s public health order expires on March 31, the four health systems are implementing the masking update on April 16 to ensure that there is additional time to protect team members, patients and their families during the current respiratory illness season

As of April 16, these changes will go into effect:

For Patients/Visitors

  • Face masks will be optional in all settings, including hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and patient lobby areas, with some exceptions:
  • If a patient or visitor has respiratory symptoms, that individual will be asked to use a face mask.
  • Face mask requirements may be re-instituted if community transmission rates for COVID, RSV, Flu, measles or other contagious viruses significantly increases.

For Health Care Workers

  • Staff who want additional protection are supported and encouraged to continue masking.
  • Additionally, units with particularly vulnerable populations should continue universal masking.
Chieftain Staff Report