County: Facemasks Optional In County-Owned Buildings


Los Alamos County Manager Steven Lynne announced that beginning Wednesday, Feb. 23, facemasks in County-owned facilities are welcome but not required, with some exceptions, as follows: 

  1. Atomic City Transit (ACT): Due to Federal funding and mandates, masks are required to be worn on all buses and in ACT facilities.
  2. Municipal Court: Following the guidance from the Supreme Court of New Mexico, masks are required in the courthouse.
  3. Senior Centers: Per the New Mexico Aging and Long-term Services Department, Senior Center staff must wear facemasks. 
  4. Public Safety: County public safety personnel will wear masks for all medical calls and in facilities outlined in the Feb. 17, 2022, New Mexico Public Health Order.

Lynne issued the facemask requirement in August 2021 in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Los Alamos County due to the Delta variant and the subsequent Omicron variant. However, after Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham lifted the state-wide mask mandate for indoor spaces last week, County officials met to consider whether to follow the State’s lead. 

After examining the county-specific data, staff recommended modifying the County facemask mandate to be optional. Daily reported COVID-19 cases have declined significantly from the recent surge, and while still slightly higher in February 2022 than when compared to February 2021, hospitalizations and deaths remain low.

Los Alamos County officials remind community members that COVID-19 is still highly transmissible and some members of the public continue to be vulnerable. Therefore, testing for COVID-19, isolating if positive or symptomatic, getting vaccinated and boosted, and respecting others’ mask-wearing choices should be everyone’s focus to keep Los Alamos County and New Mexico safe.