Return to Work

For employees who have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19:

If a person has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, there is a 14-day period during which they might become infected. That is sometimes called the “incubation period” for the disease. The 14 days runs from the last date they had a close contact with the person with COVID-19.  People who have had an exposure must quarantine at home for 14 days.

Further information is available here: Policies for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in New Mexico

For employees who have tested positive for COVID-19:

When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 they must remain isolated at home until they are no longer infectious. Some people with COVID-19 have symptoms while others do not. The best approach to determining when isolation can be discontinued is based on when symptoms begin or, for those who don’t have symptoms, the time since the positive COVID-19 test was collected. Requiring a negative test to allow someone to return to work can be problematic because people may intermittently shed non-viable virus for a while after they are no longer infectious. NMDOH does NOT recommend that employers require employees to provide proof of a negative test before they may return to work.

Further information is available here: Policies for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in New Mexico

For persons with confirmed COVID-19 who had symptoms

Maintain isolation at home until all 3 of the following are met:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; AND,
  • At least 1 day (24 hours) has passed with no fever without the use of fever reducing medication; AND,
  • Symptoms have improved

For persons with confirmed COVID-19 who did not have any symptoms

Maintain isolation at home until:

  • At least 10 days since the positive test

Due to the extremely high number of COVID-19 cases, NMDOH is not able to provide return to work or work excuse letters. We recommend that employers use the recommendations above in conjunction with an employee’s test results to determine when it is safe for them to resume regular activities, including work. If an employer needs assistance making this determination, they may call the NMDOH COVID19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

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