FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2022
Department of Health amends emergency public health order
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health amended the state’s emergency public health order rescinding all previous orders and streamlined it to adapt to the evolving nature of the virus and the effective tools we have today along with shifting management to the federal government and reducing state regulations. Only the directives in the new order shall remain in effect until it is amended or rescinded. The new order effective today will be in effect until August 26, 2022.
“It’s clear by the CDC’s recommendation yesterday which moves away from restrictive measures that we’re in a different place in this pandemic than we were two years ago,” said Acting Department of Health Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D. “Over the past eight months we have excelled in implementing the tools to minimize the spread of COVID-19 such as: vaccines, boosters, home testing and oral treatments that have helped reduce hospitalizations and deaths.”
The new order aligns the reporting requirements for all facilities licensed or certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directly to CMS.
Link to the new public health order here.
Effective today August 12, 2022, the following changes, among others, will be implemented:
1. All facilities licensed or certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including all hospital types, long-term care facilities, hospice facilities, and rehabilitation facilities are instructed to adhere to all COVID-related requirements prescribed by CMS, including, but not limited to, masking and patient/staff vaccination.
1. Facilities reporting staff vaccination status in the federal CMS reporting system are not required to concurrently report such data to the state reporting system.
2. NMDOH no longer requires weekly testing for healthcare workers whose vaccine status is not up to date.
2. Employees and volunteers working in state correctional facilities are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they qualify for an exemption.
3. All facilities are advised to evaluate CDC community transmission levels in their locality and adopt more stringent precautions, if needed. CDC community transmission levels are available here:https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view?list_select_state=New+Mexico&data-type=Risk&null=Risk
4. All New Mexicans should remain aware of the importance of protecting our most vulnerable population groups, including those who are older, immune compromised, or have other pre-existing conditions that place them at high risk for serious COVID illness. More information from the CDC is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html
5. All New Mexicans should be aware that there are now tools that can be used to direct both isolation for those who have acquired COVID and quarantine for those who have been exposed to COVID are strongly encourages to use the CDC Quarantine and Isolation Calculator that is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.
Over 85% of New Mexicans are vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose. Throughout the pandemic, New Mexicans have proactively embraced critical tools to support living in a COVID-19 world, including reducing viral spread with the use of at-home tests and self-reporting on NM Notify, accessing convenient oral treatments to reduce hospitalizations, and getting boosted as soon as possible. New Mexicans can schedule their booster by visiting VaccineNM.org.