New Mexico shifts away from some COVID protocols

[anvplayer video=”5170332″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As April approaches, the state of New Mexico is shifting away from two COVID-era protocols.

On Thursday, the state Supreme Court dropped its masks and physical distancing requirement after March 31. This applies to anyone inside a state’s courtrooms or a jury assembly area.

“As we move forward and resume normal operations, courts can fully use all available space in courtrooms and jury assembly areas to conduct more trials and hearings,” Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon said.

Jurors will also no longer need to do a health screening before entering the courthouse. Masks will be available but aren’t required.

Remote court proceedings will continue with the courts’ updated audio and video technology.

“Courts learned to use digital tools to operate more efficiently and improve access to justice. That remains one of the helpful lessons for courts brought on by the pandemic,” Justice David K. Thomson said.

These moves come as the state’s public health emergency ends March 31. The governor announced this earlier this month.

Earlier this month, the USDA also announced the end of COVID-era emergency SNAP benefits.

The emergency order and emergency benefits began in March 2020.

The court’s distancing and masking requirements first began in May 2020.