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New Mexico extends COVID-19 public health orders

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Health has extended COVID-related orders that include a mask mandate for public indoor spaces. The orders also require health care workers and certain other employees to be up to date on their vaccinations. The extension comes as the omicron variant drives up the case count. Many of the recent positive cases from the highly transmissible variant have been mild infections that haven't required hospitalization. Still, New Mexico's hospitals are operating under standards that prioritize immediate medical emergencies. The state also confirmed that New Mexico is following federal guidelines that lessen the isolation and quarantine timeline.