At a special meeting today, the Las Cruces City Council voted to extend the emergency proclamation issued by Mayor Ken Miyagishima on Friday, May 15, that requires all members of the public, with some exceptions, to wear a face covering when inside, in line to enter, or utilizing a City building, property or facility, including City parks. The proclamation, set to expire today, May 18, is now in effect through May 31.
Under the City’s Emergency Proclamation Ordinance approved by the City Council on March 27, emergency proclamations are in effect for 72 hours and may be extended by City Council for 14 days. The current extension runs concurrent with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Executive Order 2020-030 and will automatically extend until the state’s public health order is rescinded.
The emergency proclamation allows for increased public education of the importance of face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will provide the City more enforcement control on the local level. Violations would constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail. The City prefers voluntary compliance over enforcement and does not want the effort to be punitive.
Face covering means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. A face covering may be factory-made, or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials.