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End of state’s mask mandate greeted with cheers; sports fans, players excited – Santa Fe New Mexican

When Alana Juarez-Acevedo walked into the wrestling room at Santa Fe High School, she was met with the best news she heard Thursday: Masks were not mandatory for practice.

A sophomore, Juarez-Acavedo, said she was not aware of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement earlier in the day that the state’s indoor mask mandate was over, effective immediately.

It was music to her ears, especially as she prepares for the State Girls Wrestling Championships on Saturday.

“It’s kinda of a relief,” Juarez-Acevedo said. “It’s going to be nice during matches to take it off, and the fresh air will be nice. It’s hard to to wrestle with masks. It restricts your breathing.”

Many New Mexicans rejoiced in the ability to breathe free Thursday. New Mexico was one of only two states still under an indoor mask mandate. The other was Hawaii.

The governor had been under increasing pressure to drop the mandate in recent weeks. On Thursday, the final day of the legislative session, she insisted politics did not play a role in the decision.

She said she “won’t waver” on the effectiveness of those masks and said she would not visit her elderly mother without wearing one.

“Not today, not tomorrow and I think likely, I may never visit her without a mask because my primary concern is her health and safety,” Lujan Grisham said.

Though the mandate was lifted, there are exceptions in many places. According to a news release from the Governor’s Office, an updated health order states masks will remain in effect for congregate settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and detention facilities. Masks in schools will be the province of school boards and other governing bodies.

Santa Fe Public Schools’ mask mandate remains in place; administrators will meet Tuesday to discuss protocols and will conduct a survey to gauge community opinion.

National Education Association New Mexico President Mary Parr-Sanchez spoke in favor of Lujan Grisham’s move in a statement released by the union Thursday afternoon.

“I know that students will be much happier without the mask mandates, and I know that their learning will be accelerated, give that they can now see the full facial expressions of educators that feel safe removing their masks,” Parr-Sanchez said.

Class is not in session Friday, to accommodate parent teacher conferences, nor Monday, in honor of Presidents Day.

“We’ve kind of been lucky with the announcement that we have a couple [of] days of students not in school,” Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez said at Thursday night’s school board meeting.

Masking rules at schools and for activities will remain in place in the meantime, Chavez said.

As of Thursday evening, the district reported 16 contagious cases on school campuses, including one that was shown to have been contracted on a campus, and seven with unclear origins that might have been contracted on a campus.

Via verbal and written comments, several parents urged the district to make masks optional during the board meeting.

“I think what we heard tonight is that lots of people feel like it’s a personal choice, and that is certainly a valid perspective,” said board member Sarah Boses, who called for a community survey on the matter. “I want the most vulnerable people to also feel comfortable and safe in schools.”

Board President Kate Noble expressed hope that the decision-making process would …….

Source: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/end-of-states-mask-mandate-greeted-with-cheers-sports-fans-players-excited/article_91501254-9043-11ec-beb3-a3f1ad4caae2.html

When Alana Juarez-Acevedo walked into the wrestling room at Santa Fe High School, she was met with the best news she heard Thursday: Masks were not mandatory for practice.

A sophomore, Juarez-Acavedo, said she was not aware of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement earlier in the day that the state’s indoor mask mandate was over, effective immediately.

It was music to her ears, especially as she prepares for the State Girls Wrestling Championships on Saturday.

“It’s kinda of a relief,” Juarez-Acevedo said. “It’s going to be nice during matches to take it off, and the fresh air will be nice. It’s hard to to wrestle with…….

When Alana Juarez-Acevedo walked into the wrestling room at Santa Fe High School, she was met with the best news she heard Thursday: Masks were not mandatory for practice.

A sophomore, Juarez-Acavedo, said she was not aware of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement earlier in the day that the state’s indoor mask mandate was over, effective immediately.

It was music to her ears, especially as she prepares for the State Girls Wrestling Championships on Saturday.

“It’s kinda of a relief,” Juarez-Acevedo said. “It’s going to be nice during matches to take it off, and the fresh air will be nice. It’s hard to to wrestle with…….

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