SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) encourages residents to download the NM Notify app and to report positive COVID-19 home tests on the app. Approximately 760,000 New Mexicans are already using the app to be notified if they’ve likely been exposed, allowing them to reduce the risk for their loved ones, seek timely medical attention, and stay home.
The app uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with other phones that have activated the app. Then, if one of the users verifies an infection of COVID-19, all users that have been in contact with the infected person within a 14-day period will receive a notification of possible exposure. The app then directs users on next steps to prevent additional spread of COVID-19.
The NM Notify app is completely safe and anonymous, and fully protects users’ privacy. No personal data is collected through the app. The app is in wide use in many states and around the globe. According to Google and Apple data, every two downloads of the app can prevent one infection.
“DOH does strongly encourage all New Mexicans to use the NM Notify app on their mobile device to report any positive home test. When activated on a smartphone, the app alerts individuals when they have been exposed to someone who has verified that they are infected with COVID-19,” said David R. Scrase, M.D., Acting Secretary of Health. “This application automatically creates contact tracing. The state plans to continue the use of the NM Notify app going forward as we believe it has great potential for managing the spread of COVID-19 as well as any future outbreaks.”
New Mexico will continue to evaluate COVID-19 throughout the state by monitoring trends such as: geographic and demographic trends, wastewater surveillance, hospitalization reports, ventilation usage, and mortality rates, which are more effective benchmarks at this phase of the pandemic, particularly due to increased use of at-home testing rendering the daily case count and positivity rates incomplete.
In addition, effective this week, DOH will no longer be using the online self-reporting tool for COVID-19 rapid home tests on its website. The self-reported data represents what we believe to be an exceedingly small fraction of the total positive COVID-19 home tests in the state. Self-reported cases do not meet the CDC definition of a confirmed case and as such, DOH has not been able to submit these to the CDC. Therefore, we are unable to include these cases in our epidemiologic weekly reports found here: https://cv.nmhealth.org/epidemiology-reports/.
Continue to follow CDC guidelines
If you test positive for COVID-19 it’s still important to follow the self-isolation instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precautions if you are at high risk of illness. Please stay home if you have symptoms or an exposure to the virus.
DOH strongly recommends getting vaccinated for both the flu and staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. It is safe to receive both the flu vaccine and the Omicron booster at the same time. Public Health Offices and pharmacies will be offering the vaccines free of charge.
You can find a flu or COVID-19 vaccine in your area at: vaccines.gov/find-vaccines. For more information about flu in New Mexico, visit the flu vaccination page. Additional information about COVID-19 and vaccines can be found at https://cv.nmhealth.org/
You can check the spread of COVID-19 in the United States as well as in each county in New Mexico by visiting COVID.gov. Let’s all do our part to keep our communities as healthy as possible in New Mexico.