Public health advisory: Testing and travel guidelines for New Mexico

March 18, 2020 Carlos Arreola

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Health are sharing the below information for the public concerning travel and COVID-19 testing. Please share this information widely.

COVID-19 TESTING

  • ​​It is essential that New Mexico maintains sufficient amounts of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment for health care staff and COVID-19 test kit materials.
  • It is critical that all New Mexicans know that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection – those symptoms being fever, cough, or shortness of breath and/or muscle cramping – do not need testing for COVID-19. We are currently in allergy season, and having allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat is not an indication for testing.
  • As we work to increase the state’s capacity for COVID-19 testing, the test needs to be prioritized for those with symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough or shortness of breath. Please trust New Mexico’s valued medical professionals who are working so hard to protect and treat the New Mexico public and only get tested if you are currently exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
  • ​Workplaces should not mandate that employees get tested for COVID-19 UNLESS employees are displaying symptoms: fever, cough or shortness of breath.

ENTERING MEDICAL FACILITIES

  • ​It is critical that those who DO have symptoms of COVID-19 do NOT enter medical facilities without first contacting them, especially emergency departments. 
  • ​There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 and most cases will resolve on their own. In fact, 80% of cases are mild. Unless you have serious, emergent symptoms, you should not enter emergency departments. Entering medical facilities unnecessarily puts others at risk, increasing the potential to both infect others in the facility who would be more susceptible and reduce the facility’s ability to care for other patients.
  • ​Reasons to seek emergency attention with COVID-19 are no different than reasons for going to an emergency department for other medical conditions: if you are having trouble breathing or significant shortness of breath, please seek medical attention.

TRAVELERS: SELF-ISOLATE FOR 14 DAYS

  • ​In order to mitigate the widespread community transmission of COVID-19, the New Mexico Department of Health asks all persons traveling into New Mexico from outside the state to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for any symptoms. If the individual has or develops any respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) or fever, they need to call 855-600-3453 and press option 2.

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