Governor: Retailers, Businesses Shall Require Employees To Wear Face Coverings … Employers, Public Must Prepare

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during a press conference this afternoon urging everyone to wear face masks and business owners to begin preparing for the first phase of reopening New Mexico. Screenshot/LADPGov.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham presented this chart during a press conference this afternoon directing businesses to ensure employees wear face masks. Screenshot/LADP

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham presented this chart during a press conference this afternoon explaining the goal is to begin opening up in mid-May depending on public behavior. Screenshot/LADP

STATE News:

SANTA FE— Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during a press conference this afternoon urged business owners to begin preparing for the first phase of reopening New Mexico while the state continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department of Health Secretary Kathyleen 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 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 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 For All Employers

1. Limit operations to remote work to the greatest extent possible

2. Arrange workplace to provide for 6 feet of distance between individuals wherever possible

3. Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate wherever possible, or modify them to minimize contact

4. Provide for all meetings to take place remotely whenever possible

5. Provide all employees with face coverings and require their use in the workplace

6. Train all employees on daily cleaning and disinfecting protocol, hygiene, and respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs)

7. Make handwashing, sanitizer, and other hygiene support available to employees

8. Screen employees before they enter the workplace each day (verbally or with a written form or text/app). Send employees home who are experiencing the following COVID-19 symptoms related to COVID-19 and direct them to obtain free testing through DOH • fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and/or loss of taste or smell

9. Prohibit employees with known close contact to a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 to return to work until the end of the 14-day self-isolation period

10. Minimize non-essential travel. Adhere to CDC guidelines and state orders regarding isolation following out-of-state travel

11. Adhere to all CDC and OSHA guidelines

Additional CSPs For retailers Required

1. Adhere to COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers

2. Adhere to maximum occupancy limits per the State’s Public Health Order

3. Utilize signs, stanchions and/or floor decals to support 6-foot social distancing, including one-way aisle traffic and separate entry/exit wherever possible

4. Utilize signage to communicate occupancy limits and encourage customers to wear face coverings

5. Maintain a schedule of stringent daily cleaning and sanitizing

6. Once every two hours (or more frequently), clean and disinfect high-touch items such as doors, fitting rooms and credit card terminals

7. Establish safety protocols to allow for contactless curbside pickup and home delivery wherever possible

Best Practices

1. Install large plexiglass sneeze guards at cash registers wherever possible

2. Arrange for contactless payment and receipt options to the greatest extent possible

3. Screen employees and customers with a no-contact thermometer; individuals with a temperature reading above 100.4°F should be denied entry

4. Offer face coverings, handwashing, and hand sanitation to customers

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,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham presented this chart during a press conference this afternoon detailing total numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalization, deaths and tests to date. Screenshot/LADP

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham presented this chart during a press conference this afternoon urging continued social distancing. Screenshot/LADP

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham presented this chart during a press conference this afternoon detailing financial boosts for childcare workers. Screenshot/LADP

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham introduces Major General Kenneth Nava of the New Mexico National Guard during a press conference this afternoon. Screenshot/LADP

Major General Kenneth Nava of the New Mexico National Guard discusses the National Guard response to the COVID-19 pandemic this afternoon during a press conference. Screenshot/LADP

New Mexico National Guard personnel delivering much needed products to the Pueblo of Laguna. Screenshot/LADP