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The original item was published from 4/20/2020 1:45:00 PM to 5/21/2020 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: April 20, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Clarification on Social Distancing/Use of Facemasks

Woman wearing a medical face Mask

The City of Las Cruces reminds residents, guests and business owners of Las Cruces that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the New Mexico Public Health Emergency Order as declared by Kathyleen Kunkel, Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on March 23, prohibits mass gatherings. The Order has been extended until April 30, 2020. 

The Public Health Order designated all New Mexico businesses closed unless identified as “essential businesses.” Essential businesses have been allowed to operate under minimized operations and staff have been informed to adhere to the social distancing rules of maintaining a six-foot separation from other individuals. 

The City is asking businesses to voluntarily maintain compliance with the State’s order which gives the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, and all other state departments and agencies the primary authority to enforce.  

If City staff witness a violation, compliance is first sought through education then enforcement. The same occurs if a concerned resident identifies and reports a violation. Codes Enforcement, a division of the City’s Police Department, has been educating businesses of the Public Health Order, and to date, no citations have been issued. Any enforcement action for a violation of the order requires it to be committed in the presence of an officer. A new plan has been implemented which incorporates the revocation of business licenses for non-compliant businesses with documented repeated violations of the Public Health Order. 

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control recommends the use of face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This recommendation is not included in the Public Health Order and therefore is not enforceable in the same way as mass gatherings and social distancing.  However, residents, guests, and businesses are advised to follow this precaution in their day to day activities.

Here are a few links the City has compiled that may be of use to answer questions about the Public Health Order, the latest information and resources from the State, The Mayor’s Emergency Declaration, or the role of Codes Enforcement. 

  1. List of essential businesses in the State’s public health order 
  2. COVID-19 Alert Center on the City’s website which has current information from a variety of sources 
  3. Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation: 
  4. Codes Enforcement

For more information contact Codes Enforcement at (575) 528-4100.

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