Face coverings likely will be required attire for most people when they’re out in public or doing business in the city of Santa Fe.

But first-time violators of what is already a state mandate are unlikely to get slapped in the face with a $50 fine.

The City Council’s Quality of Life Committee unanimously approved a proposed ordinance Wednesday that defines when face coverings must be worn. The proposal initially established a $50 penalty for each violation, but City Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth, who chairs the committee and is the lead sponsor of the legislation, said she would work on amendments that include a warning for the first violation.

Though City Councilor Michael Garcia first questioned whether a staggered approach for penalties should be considered, Romero-Wirth said she already had asked for a change, adding the city doesn’t want to be in the business of issuing citations, which should only be a last resort.

“We want people to comply because they understand that this is the right thing to do and we want to be in a place where we’re educating and not being punitive, especially as folks get used to this new standard,” she said.

After the meeting, Romero-Wirth said she would be open to a discussion on progressive penalties, but she added it’s unclear if they’re necessary.

“I would rather focus our energy on education about why face coverings are an important tool in balancing reopening with public health and the mayor’s resolution to implement the ‘Santa Fe Promise’ campaign,” she said, referring to an effort to promote “a culture of public health to stem the tide of COVID-19 outbreaks and ensure a safe return to financial prosperity.”

Other possible changes to Romero-Wirth’s proposal include the age requirement, which is now set at 10, and when the requirement to wear face coverings would expire.

The proposed ordinance will be considered by the Finance Committee on June 1 and by the full City Council during a public hearing June 10. If approved by the council, the requirement would take effect immediately.



Under the proposal, face coverings would be required to be worn inside or while waiting to enter a public building; on public or private transportation; and while interacting with other people in outdoor spaces, such as during a curbside pickup at a restaurant.

Face coverings would not be required in personal vehicles, during outside physical activity or while drinking or eating, among other situations.

Asked by Garcia whether the proposed legislation violated constitutional rights or freedom of expression, Romero-Wirth said, “I see this like a seat belt law, and we have those.”

During a virtual news conference an hour before the committee meeting, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state would soon be making thousands of face coverings available to the public.

“I need them and wear them,” said the governor, who mandated last week that everyone in New Mexico wear a cloth face covering in public, with a few exceptions.

“New Mexicans, remember that we are making thousands of masks and working diligently to get them out to you,” added Lujan Grisham, who kicks off each media briefing donning a face mask. “A first large batch of several thousand are on their way.”

Although the governor said she’s “noticed behaviors that aren’t quite there,” she also noted most New Mexicans are wearing face coverings.

“I want to give new Mexicans a shoutout,” she said. “By and large, they’re wearing them. I know that there’s some political discourse around the country. For us, it’s not about politics. This is about making sure that I keep you as safe as possible. That allows us to live in a COVID-19 world. That’s what we’re doing.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

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(23) comments

M.A. Earthheart

Suffice It To State, Face Masks Do Nothing To Prevent Viruses, and the Governor knows, this. The wearing of masks is no more of a political symbol of control and fear, dehumanizing the public's free will to choose!

No Mask, No Food, No Mask No Travel;This Governor has no compassion for New Mexico's Small Businesses Decimated and Tens of Thousands Unemployed!

All in the name of so-called “Novel “virus, akin to the seasonal influenza!

It's all about furthering agendas of

the global medical tyranny USA/Worldwide, step by step;The “Novel” Coronavirus 19, is quite

strange in itself.

It's very interesting The word “Novel” infers

Not Natural, Food for thought and reflection.

This Begs the questions

Do We Want Government To Be Our Parents?

Or Elected Officials To Work For Us ?

What Will Do About This?

Kudos To: Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage, for Challenging The Governor's Mandate! "Sheriff Mark Cage said" residents have the right to choose if they want to wear a mask in public despite a mandate made by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Sheriff Cage said the new requirement infringed on civil rights, and neither he nor his deputies would be likely to wear one.

On Argus News May 14, 2020.

Further more the Governor ‘s"Mask" mandate, will also have serious implications for Conceal Carry legal gun owners. 2nd Amendment rights will be infringed due to the fact Concealed Carry permit holders, are prohibited to conceal a weapon and masked their faces, at the same time.

2011 New Mexico Statutes

Section 30-22-3: Concealing identity

Concealing identity consists of concealing one's true name or identity, or disguising oneself with intent to obstruct the due execution of the law or with intent to intimidate, hinder or interrupt any public officer or any other person in a legal performance of his duty or the exercise of his rights under the laws of the United States or of this state.

“ Oh What A Mangled Web We Weave, At First We Venture To Deceive”

We The People Of New Mexico ,

The Truth Is Unfolding Rapidly Awake Up!

Hold on to your seats folks, it shall be a very bumpy ride, Indeed!

DG Citizen

Not sure I understand,... we're opening the state on June 1, so that means we're removing our masks then, right?

Ted Farr

Molecular Biologist & Virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits, Phd. says wearing a mask will make you sick. She makes a lot of sense. This is what she says:

“The masks on walks outside and while driving in your car is mind blowing to me. Do you not know how unhealthy it is to keep inhaling your carbon dioxide and restricting proper oxygen flow? I honestly cannot believe how non-logical we have become! We as a society seem to just listen to (perceived) authority without question. I don’t see a whole lot of critical thought happening here, I’m sorry to say “Why I opt NOT to wear a mask. Well, let me break it down for you. The body requires AMPLE amounts of oxygen for optimal immune health. Especially during a so-called “pandemic”. Proper oxygenation of your cells and blood is ESSENTIAL for the body to function as it needs to in order to fight off any illness.

Masks will hamper oxygen intake. Unless you are working in a hospital setting, it is NOT necessary. “

Laurie Buffer

[thumbup]

Maxwell Vertical

What happens when restaurants start to reopen June 1 as MLG indicated?

Ted Farr

(Reposting because previous post got cut off on right, also edited).

Dr. Russell Blaylock warns that not only do face masks fail to protect the healthy from getting sick, but they also create serious health risks to the wearer. The bottom line is that if you are not sick, you should not wear a face mask. Viruses are so small that they go right through masks. Masks are difficult to breath through and reduce oxygen absorption, which impairs immune function, and can make it easier to get sick. He also says that if you are sick, and wearing a mask, some of the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain. So, if you are sick - stay home!

https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/dr-blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-healthy11

The WHO does not recommend masks for healthy people.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a March 2020 60 Minutes interview that masks are useless for prevention (43 second video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLNBw7XCM4Q&feature=youtu.be

Fauci changed his mind after a study came out saying asymptomatic carriers are contagious. It turns out that the study was quickly done by over zealous researchers looking at one woman who they thought was asymptomatic and got other people sick. They never spoke with her though, and when other researchers tried to confirm their findings, they actually talked with the woman and found out that she did have symptoms. So, the study is completely discredited. While some infections spread from asymptomatic individuals, Dr. Mercola says there is not enough evidence yet to suggest that COVID-19 does.

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/20/do-asymptomatic-carriers-spread-coronavirus.aspx?cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art2HL&cid=20200520Z1&et_cid=DM540595&et_rid=875971865

Kimberly Duran

Thank you!

Khal Spencer

Any mask law should sunset at whatever time the Governor relaxes the statewide order. Or sooner, depending on transmission.

Ted Farr

Dr. Russell Blaylock warns that not only do face masks fail to protect the healthy from getting sick, but they also create serious health risks to the wearer. The bottom line is that if you are not sick, you should not wear a face mask. Viruses are so small that they go right through masks. Masks are difficult to breath through and reduce oxygen absorption, which impairs immune function, and can make it easier to get sick. He also says that if you are sick, and wearing a mask, some of the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain. So, if you are sick - stay home!

https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/dr-blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-healthy11

The WHO does not recommend masks for healthy people.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a March 2020 60 Minutes interview that masks are useless for prevention (43 second video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLNBw7XCM4Q&feature=youtu.be

Fauci changed his mind after a study came out saying asymptomatic carriers are contagious. It turns out that the study was quickly done by over zealous researchers looking at one woman who they thought was asymptomatic and got other people sick. They never spoke with her though, and when other researchers tried to confirm their findings, they actually talked with the woman and found out that she did have symptoms. So, the study is completely discredited. There is no evidence that asymptomatic carriers are contagious!

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/20/do-asymptomatic-carriers-spread-coronavirus.aspx?cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art2HL&cid=20200520Z1&et_cid=DM540595&et_rid=875971865

David Cartwright

some of us come close to passing out when having to wear these masks. The impact of breathing carbon dioxide is something that these politicians all ignore. The eyes cloud over and you get woozy. Just because the masks are easy for some, doesn't mean they are easy for all. Politicians, stop the edicts and start thinking about other people besides yourselves

Nicoletta Munroe

The mask issue is controversial. While it may ameliorate the virus it also may cause a false sense of security. Fines are wrong in the case of those whom do not wear a mask, because some do not have access to masks, and some people do not read or view the news. Mask wearing is privilege. Masks may denote socio economic status, or the level to which one is buying in to the pandemic narrative.

Stefanie Beninato

I guess you did not read that the state is going to issue free masks. And really people who do not read or view the news in the past nine weeks? How can they ignore the people waiting on lines and stores requiring masks?

Destiny Encinias

CDC clearly said face masks are not recommended if you are healthy and show no symptoms. Wake up NEW MEXICO.

Stefanie Beninato

Actually CDC recommends masks inside bldgs where you cannot maintain a 6 ft distance (grocery stores, retail stores) and even outside in those circumstances. Get your facts straight please.

Ted Farr

It is the WHO that does not recommend masks for healthy people.

Stefanie Beninato

This prohibition will apply to newspaper vendors too--interaction outside without 6 ft. Here is the New Mexican reporting on these restrictions but never complying with the governor's orders. And I have asked Romero Wirth about smokers. There is no smoking on the plaza-NEVER enforced. And today when I went to the PO I saw smokers walking around or sitting down--none of them even appeared to have a mask. So is it OK for secondary smoke with possible COVID19 droplets to be wafted around in public spaces while the rest of us saps wear masks? It is the inconsistency and hypocrisy that gets my Irish up.

Dr. Michael Johnson

And since this is all about politics and compliance, not safety or science, the kind of mask you wear is immaterial. Even though expecting a cloth mask to protect you against a virus is like thinking a chain link fence will protect you against mosquitoes....

Lisa Rodgers

And here I thought masks were material

Jim Klukkert

Dr. Michael Johnson- Given that we are discussing a health issue, might it not be prudent to identify yourself as Michael Johnson, Ph.D, rather than to risk readers taking your comment as coming from a physician?

Perhaps an abundance of caution, but in my later years, I put away some of my childish things, like impulsive fearlessness.

Thanks

Robert Bartlett

Just say no to face diapers in New Mexico. This "rule" cannot stand.

Jim Klukkert

Public Health Orders are both lawful and enforceable. Take it to court if you wish, but until a higher legal authority rules otherwise, it is the law.

The basis for the Lawful Authority for the Governor's Public Authority includes the following:

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Constitutional Case Law

Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824)

The police powers of a state “form a portion of that immense mass of legislation which embraces everything within the territory of a state, not surrendered to the general government: all of which can advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, and health laws of every description . . . are component parts of this mass.”

Holmes v. Jennison, 39 U.S. 540 (1840)

“Every state has acknowledged power to pass, and enforce quarantine, health, and inspection laws, to prevent the introduction of disease, pestilence, or unwholesome provisions; such laws interfere with no powers of Congress or treaty stipulations; they relate to internal police, and are subjects of domestic regulation within each state, over which no authority can be exercised by any power under the Constitution, save by requiring the consent of Congress to the imposition of duties on exports and imports, and their payment into the treasury of the United States.” 39 U.S. at 616.

Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)

Police powers of the State are not unlimited but mandatory smallpox vaccination

ordinance upheld.

“The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good.”

State Non-Emergency Public Health Powers

Public Health Act, Sections 24-1-1, et seq., NMSA 1978 (Laws 1973, Chapter 359, as amended). Administered and enforced by the NM Department of Health.

• Section 24-1-3.C., NMSA 1978 – Authority to investigate, control and abate causes of disease, especially, epidemics, sources of mortality and other conditions of public health.

• Section 24-1-3.D., NMSA 1978 – Authority to establish, maintain and enforce isolation and quarantine.

• Section 24-1-3.E., NMSA 1978 – Authority to close any public place and forbid gatherings of people when necessary for the protection of public health.

The above three sections of the Public Health Act were first enacted by Laws 1919, Chapter 85, Section 10. This law also established the first state NM Department of Health during the world-wide outbreak of the 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza.

State Emergency Public Health Control Measures

Public Health Emergency Response Act (PHERA), Sections 12-10A-1, et seq., NMSA 1978 (Laws 2003, Chapter 218).

• Governor must declare a state of “Public Health Emergency” (PHE) by issuing an Executive Order after consultation with the Secretary of Health and in coordination with the Secretary of Public Safety and the Director of the NM Office of Homeland Security. (Section 12-10A-5, NMSA 1978)

• “PHE” is defined as “the occurrence or imminent threat of exposure to an extremely dangerous conditions or a highly infectious or toxic agent, including a threatening communicable disease, that poses an imminent threat of substantial harm to the population of the state of New Mexico or any portion thereof;” (Section 12-10A-3.L., NMSA 1978).

Lee DiFiore

Did I miss it or does this proposed ordinance have a sunset provision? Are we doomed to required wearing of masks 6 months from now? A year or two from now?

Stefanie Beninato

Well now we have backpedaling by Romero Wirth. She is a lawyer and if she wanted the public to be educated first on the benefits of wearing masks why did she not include it in the first draft. And yes city police are not in the business of issuing citations for misdemeanors or petty misdemeanors nor is the city in the business of enforcing its own rules--think zoning code enforcement which has its roots in public health and safety. I asked Romero Wirth why bus drivers were not wearing masks on Monday--response--the mayor issued a directive that all city employees must wear masks. When did that happen? Yesterday? Sounds like Trump--too little but doesn't it play well to the uninformed public. And remember this is being shoved through when you can watch but not participate in these meetings.

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