Testing Positive for COVID-19 or Close Contact Guidance

  1. Home
  2. Testing Positive for COVID-19 or Close Contact Guidance

If you are experiencing severe difficulty breathing or other symptoms that make it difficult to care for yourself at home, call 911 right away.

Have you tested positive for COVID-19?

For information and guidance for next steps click here.

Have you been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

For information and guidance for next steps click here.

Do you have COVID-19 Symptoms?

For information and guidance for next steps click here.

For anyone who TESTS POSITIVE for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status (Isolation):

What should you do?

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • You DO NOT need to get an additional PCR test if you have had a positive at-home rapid test.
  • If you have no symptoms after 5 DAYS, you can leave your house but wear a mask for 5 more days.
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever is gone for 24 hours.
  • To prevent the spread of COVID, tell anyone you have recently had close contact with and encourage them to get tested, monitor for symptoms, and reduce exposure to other people.

Further information and frequently asked questions can be found here on the CDC website: What we know about quarantine and isolation.

For anyone who has been in CLOSE CONTACT with someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine):

 

These guidelines differ depending on your vaccination status:

If you are up to date on all COVID-19 vaccines that you are eligible for:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on Day 5 if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms at any time, get tested if possible and stay at home until you get your results.
  • If you can’t get a test, but still have symptoms, assume you are positive and follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test.

If you are unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated or without a booster (not up to date on all vaccinations you are eligible for):

  • Stay at home for 5 days.
  • Then wear a mask around others for 5 MORE DAYS.
  • Test on Day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms at any time, get tested if possible and stay at home until you get your results.
  • If you can’t get a test, but still have symptoms, assume you are positive and stay home and follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test.

Further information and frequently asked questions can be found here on the CDC website: What we know about quarantine and isolation.

For anyone who HAS SYMPTOMS of COVID-19 regardless of your vaccination status:

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, chills, repeated shaking with chills, gastrointestinal illness and new loss of taste or smell.

  • Get either an at-home rapid test or PCR test if possible and stay at home until you know your test result.
  • If you test positive, follow the guidelines for a positive test result.
    If you test negative but still have symptoms, continue to stay at home.
    • If possible, get a PCR test OR an at-home rapid test in 1-2 days.
    • If you test positive on the PCR or at-home rapid test, follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test.
    • If you test negative, no other test is needed at this time.
  • If you can’t get a test, but still have symptoms, assume you are positive and follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test. 

Further information and frequently asked questions can be found here on the CDC website: What we know about quarantine and isolation.

Vaccinations are still the best tool for preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

Vaccinations remain the best way for New Mexicans to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. The vaccines are safe, highly effective, and free. Booster shots will also help protect against the new omicron variant, and DOH encourages everyone 12 and older to get a booster shot as soon as possible. Children over the age of five who have not yet been vaccinated should start their two-shot series immediately. 

 

To find vaccine locations near you, visit vaccinenm.org,  vaccines.gov, or call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453, available every day from 8 AM to 8 PM. Language assistance is available.

    Get Tested to Help Fight COVID-19.

    Individuals should take a COVID-19 test if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed or potentially exposed to an individual with COVID-19.

    At-home tests (For more information click here):

    • Results in minutes
    • If your home test is positive, NO FURTHER TESTING IS NEEDED. You have COVID-19.

    For more information about self testing visit the CDC’s page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/self-testing.html.

    For a COVID-19 test, visit: FindATestNM.org

    Back to Work Guidance

    DOH does not recommend that employers require employees to provide proof of a negative test before they return to work because people can continue to test positive even though they are no longer able to infect others. Learn more here: https://cv.nmhealth.org/covid-19-testing/

    Additional Isolation and Quarantine:

    To read more information on isolation and quarantine:  COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation | CDC

    After you have gone through these steps and picked the situation that best fits you, if you still have questions, you can call the hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

    Copyright New Mexico Department of Health | Powered by Real Time Solutions