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Las Cruces City Council Extends Changes To Mask Rules

May 25, 2021

  The Las Cruces City Council adopted a Resolution to renew the Mayor’s Emergency Proclamation, which became effective at 5 p.m. Friday, May 21, 2021. City Council voted to extend the Emergency Proclamation during a Special City Council meeting, conducted by video conference, on Monday, May 24, 2021.

There were no comments from Councilors or City residents before the Council’s vote was taken.

The Emergency Proclamation clarifies the requirements regarding residents’ use of face masks. The proclamation stipulates:

  • The City shall continue to follow and implement the Reopening Metrics and Baseline Directives issued in a May 14, 2021 New Mexico Department of Health Public Health Order.
  • However, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a face covering unless otherwise recommended by the latest official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in which case they must follow that guidance. By federal regulations, face masks will still be required to be worn by everyone who rides on RoadRUNNER Transit buses, at bus stops, at both transit facilities:  Mesilla Valley Intermodal Transit Terminal, 300 E Lohman Ave., and the Transit facility at 1501 E Hadley, Building A, as well as at Las Cruces International Airport, 8990 Zia Boulevard.
  • Fully vaccinated people will not be required to wear face masks in City buildings. A person becomes fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People will be taken at their word when entering a City building.
  • Face masks will not be required for residents exercising outdoors alone or with members of the same household, or if residents attend a small, outdoor gathering of fully vaccinated individuals no larger than 20 people.
  • Individual Las Cruces businesses will have the option to decide if face masks will be required.
  • The City will continue to require face coverings for all outdoor City-sponsored activities or special events, in accordance with the May 14, 2021 Public Health Order.

“In this Emergency Proclamation, if you have been vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask,” Mayor Ken Miyagishima said. “In any City building we ask you to wear a mask if you haven’t been vaccinated. If you have, you don’t have to wear a mask.”

In a COVID-19 update presented to the Council on Monday, 85,989 Doña Ana County residents, 50 percent of the county’s population, has been fully vaccinated. The positivity rate of COVID-19 cases in the county has dropped to 2.3 percent.

“It’s nice to see COVID cases dropping,” Mayor Miyagishima said. “My thanks to the public for making that happen. It’s nice to see things opening up again.”

Immediately following the Special Meeting, the Council convened for a Work Session, City Council received an update regarding state funding received for capital outlay priorities adopted by the Council prior to this year’s New Mexico Legislature session. City Lobbyist Larry Horan told the Council the City’s total requests for funding during the 2021 New Mexico Legislative session was for $8,550,000. The City received $2,305,000 for state funded projects, and the Community of Hope received $1,839,000 from the Legislature.

Capital Outlay funding received by the City from the 2021 New Mexico Legislature included:

  • $527,000 for Septic system replacement in Las Cruces.
  • $464,000 for Law enforcement equipment.
  • $414,000 for East Mesa road construction.
  • $400,000 for construction at Las Cruces International Airport.
  • $400,000 for East Mesa Madrid Avenue improvements.
  • $100,000 for Branigan Cultural Center.

Mr. Horan also told the Council that legislative interim committees have begun to meet. Also, the 2022 New Mexico Legislature will meet for a 30-day session beginning at noon Jan. 18, 2022.

Additionally, the Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) provided an update to City Council. Police Chief Miguel Dominguez told the Council that robberies, aggravated assaults, non-residential burglaries, auto burglaries vehicle thefts, total violent crimes and total property crimes have increased in a year-to-date violent crime comparison from 2020 to 2021.

However, criminal homicides, sexual assaults, residential burglary, commercial burglary, incidents of breaking and entering, felony larceny or theft, and miscellaneous larceny or theft have either declined or have not increased from 2020 to 2021.

Currently, LCPD personnel includes 150 commissioned officers of 202 authorized positions; 14 Codes Enforcement officers; eight Animal Control officers; eight cadets in LCPD’s 50th Academy; and 102 civilian staff members.

Numerous LCPD initiatives and community engagement projects include: neighborhood watch meetings; National Night Out; youth leadership camp; Coffee With a Cop; safety presentations; mobile operation command events; school presentations dealing with topics on safety, anti-bullying, and drug educations; the annual Special Olympics Torch Run; Golden Shield Program; Animal Wellness Program; Ident-A-Child and bicycle rodeos; El Paseo Clean-Up; Burn Lake Clean-Up; Package Theft Project; Student Welfare Project; Storage Unit Theft Project; Urban Dweller Project; safety stations; Cesar Chavez Reading Project; food distributions; Guns to Gardens; park vandalism projects; and mask mandate patrols.