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Mayor: Las Cruces remains in public health emergency

July 16, 2021 GMT

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of Las Cruces has issued an emergency proclamation, saying the southern New Mexico city remains in a public health emergency.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima’s proclamation takes effect Saturday at noon and will last for 72 hours. The City Council could choose to extend it when they meet Monday.

Under the order, the city will continue to implement and follow the guidelines of the state’s latest public health order that was issued in June. That means people who have not been vaccinated, or are unable to provide proof of vaccination, must wear face masks while attending City Council meetings and keep distance between one another. The rules also apply to other public areas of city hall.

The proclamation comes as New Mexico — like other states — sees an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

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Top state health officials said during a briefing earlier this week that the increase hasn’t been as large as other states. They said that is likely due to the higher vaccination rate in New Mexico, where state data shows nearly two-thirds of residents over 18 have been inoculated.

More than 207,000 cases have been confirmed in New Mexico since the pandemic began last year, including 155 new cases on Thursday. Despite the increase, officials said the weekly rolling average is about as low as it was in March 2020.