Health officials still encourage people to wear masks despite ease on public health restrictions | KOB 4

Health officials still encourage people to wear masks despite ease on public health restrictions

Megan Abundis
Created: May 04, 2020 10:33 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham begins to ease her stay-at-home order restrictions, KOB 4 wanted to know if New Mexicans were still following guidance on face masks. 

"These masks are probably going to be something that is going to be a necessary fashion accessory for many months to come," said David Morgan with New Mexico State Health Department. 

Morgan said masks are critical to slow the spread of COVID-19, and while they won’t protect someone from getting sick, it could prevent someone from making other people ill. 

"There are so many people out there that are asymptomatic but are COVID-19 positive," he said. "They are unknowingly passing on the virus to other people.” 

A KOB 4 crew went to Walmart, Target, and Costco in different parts of Albuquerque.

The line at Walmart wrapped around the building as employees in masks tried to tend to the line. 

Some customers had a face covering, while others decided to go without—walking around the lot and store without a mask. 

It was also unclear if there were six feet of distance between people because large families were seen in line together.

Costco enacted a new rule that started Monday that everyone must wear a mask to enter, even kids.

However, the state has not made it a requirement for people to wear masks out in public.

"It's not a demand, it's not an order," Morgan said. "But it is certainly a strong suggestion, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You don't have to wear these 24/7, you can take them off, when you're in your car, when you get home, etc.”

Morgan said it's in people’s best interest to wear a mask when they go out in order to protect others with compromised immune systems, which might be more people than one thinks.

Morgan said people with compromised immune systems include people who are obese, have asthma, diabetes, cancer, and HIV.

"The fact of the matter is, it's not going to just go away with this wave," he said.

"There's probably going to be a second wave, there may be a third wave, there's no way of being able to predict how long this is going to go. But we do know that this mask-wearing thing is not over for New Mexico, or the nation or the world.”

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