SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health’s (NMDOH) Bureau of Health Emergency Management will be activating the Department Operations Center (DOC) at level 3 beginning Monday, March 9th in support of on-going pandemic-readiness activities related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“To be clear, while we have zero cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico, we have long-standing protocols for preparing for any outbreak of pandemic disease, and we are following those protocols,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “We are doing our part to assure New Mexico is ready for any emergency.”

Every day, the Department Operations Center operates at a level 4 and level 4 is normal, standard operations. Level 3 is a slightly higher alert status and will ensure smooth logistics for activities being performed in anticipation of a possible outbreak.

The activation will enable Department of Health leadership to make informed decisions on expanding the scope of operations and ensure the highest level of situational awareness and communication within the department.

Depending on the virus, different groups of people are affected more than others. COVID-19 is no exception – and it affects the elderly more. As a result, the NMDOH is preparing increased surveillance of the state’s 267 nursing homes with regards to infection prevention and has expanded availability of COVID-19 testing to all persons with respiratory symptoms (such as fever and cough/shortness of breath) who test negative for flu regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases.

The Department of Health’s novel coronavirus webpage is updated regularly and now includes a tracker of how many people are being tested for COVID-19 and the results of those tests. You can find it online at


Media Contact: David Morgan,
Media & Social Media Manager, NMDOH
Mobile: (575) 649-0754 Email:

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