SANTA FE – Masks and physical distancing will no longer be required after March 31 for any person inside a New Mexico courtroom or jury assembly area, the state Supreme Court announced today.

Additionally, jurors will no longer need to answer health screening questions to enter a courthouse. Courts will continue to make masks available to any juror who chooses to wear one, but they are not required.

The Judiciary is lifting its remaining health related COVID-19 protocols in recognition of changes in the pandemic and the March 31 expiration of New Mexico’s declaration of a public health emergency.

“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,” said Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon.

Courts will continue to conduct many proceedings remotely, the Chief Justice said, with audio and video technology upgraded during the pandemic to lessen the need for people to visit a courthouse for judicial services.

“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,” said Justice David K. Thomson, who leads the Supreme Court’s Emergency Response Team for pandemic-related matters.

“Our courts adapted, innovated and remained open to serve the public despite many hardships during the past three years of the pandemic,” said Chief Justice Bacon. “This was possible because of many dedicated New Mexicans, particularly jurors, judicial employees, judges, hearing officers, attorneys, law enforcement and others who adhered to the COVID-safe policies of courts to preserve the availability of justice services.” 

For the past year, physical distancing of 3-feet has been enforced inside courthouses and masks were required for anyone inside a courtroom or jury assembly area. Court employees, judges and hearing officers wore masks while interacting with the public in all areas of a courthouse, but that masking requirement ends after March 31.

Starting in May 2020, any person entering a court building was required to wear a protective face covering and courts enforced six-foot physical distancing to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The Supreme Court changed those masking and distancing requirements last March.

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a simpler option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.