This page is designed to help you access basic information and updates on COVID-19. For the most current information, please check the Centers for Disease Control website, CDC.gov.
We recommend subscribing to the CDC’s newsletter to get the most up-to-date COVID-19 news. To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit New Mexico Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Registration site.
Positive COVID-19 cases have been identified in communities across New Mexico. State health officials continue to test, process, monitor and track instances of the virus — and the state of New Mexico has taken proactive, aggressive public health actions to mitigate the spread of the disease. Visit the State of New Mexico and the New Mexico Department of Health Coronavirus website for COVID-19 information most relevant to New Mexico.
Coronavirus disease is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, but you should seek medical care to help relieve your symptoms. If you are sick and not sure whether you should seek medical attention, you can use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker tool.
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. You can track and learn more about COVID-19 variants from the CDC.
The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19. It might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated people.
- Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including this variant.
- Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, including against this variant.
- Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from this variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period.
- Get vaccinated and wear masks indoors in public spaces to reduce the spread of this variant.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Fever or chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Congestion or runny nose
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as they learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Other symptoms are signs of serious illness. If someone has trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, or difficulty staying awake, get medical care immediately.
HOW TO GET TESTED
- Visit NMDOH’s COVID-19 Testing page for the most up-to-date information on testing in New Mexico.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and choose to not get tested, it is important to stay home. Find out what to do if you are sick.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK
- Stay home except to get medical care. If you need medical attention, call ahead.
- Isolate yourself from other members of your family to prevent spread to them and the people that they may have contact with, like grandparents.
- Even if you don’t feel sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others.
- Get care immediately if you are having emergency warning signs, like trouble breathing, pain or pressure in chest.
WAYS TO SLOW THE SPREAD
- Stay at home if you are sick, except to get medical care. If you need medical attention, call ahead.
- Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Practice social distancing – stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don’t live with you.
- Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.
- If you go out, avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid public transportation and ridesharing. If you must use these forms of transportation, follow CDC guidelines on using transportation.
- Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION
Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended in the United States to prevent COVID-19:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine* (for people aged 12 years and older)
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (for people aged 18 years and older)
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (for people aged 18 years and older)
Everyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 just after vaccination. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Even after vaccination, you must still take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
*On August 23, 2021, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
BENEFITS of COVID-19 Vaccines
- Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19.
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccination are an important tool to help stop the pandemic and get us back to normal.
- Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
FACTS about COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
- COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests
- People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
- Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
- Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
- Read more about COVID-19 vaccine facts.
Additional Vaccine Dose for People Who Are Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised
The CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses. This additional dose intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series is not the same as a booster dose, given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned over time. The CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.
The goal is for people to start receiving a COVID-19 booster shot beginning in the fall, with individuals being eligible starting 8 months after they received their second dose of an mRNA vaccine (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). This is subject to authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendation by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). FDA is conducting an independent evaluation to determine the safety and effectiveness of a booster dose of the mRNA vaccines. ACIP will decide whether to issue a booster dose recommendation based on a thorough review of the evidence.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit CDC’s page outlining the key things to know about COVID-19 Vaccines.
KNOW YOUR RISK FOR SEVERE ILLNESS
Everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more severe illness.
Most people with disabilities are not inherently at higher risk for becoming infected with or having severe illness from COVID-19. However, some people with disabilities might be at a higher risk of infection or severe illness because of underlying medical conditions. All people seem to be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 if they have serious underlying chronic medical conditions like chronic lung disease, a serious heart condition, or a weakened immune system. According to the CDC, adults with disabilities are three times more likely than adults without disabilities to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer than adults without disabilities.
DISABILITY GROUPS & RISK
If you have one of the disability types listed below, you might be at increased risk of becoming infected. You should discuss your risk of illness with your healthcare provider.
- People who have limited mobility or who cannot avoid coming into close contact with others who may be infected, such as direct support providers and family members.
- People who have trouble understanding information or practicing preventive measures, such as hand washing and social distancing.
- People who may not be able to communicate symptoms of illness.
For more information, refer to CDC’s information on COVID-19 and people with disabilities.
If you or someone you care for are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, take steps to prevent getting sick (as outlined above in “Ways to Slow the Spread”). In addition to practicing everyday preventive actions, people with disabilities who have direct support providers can help protect themselves from respiratory illness in the following ways:
- Wash their hands when they enter your home and before and after touching you (e.g., personal care activities, food prep, etc.), or when changing linens or doing laundry.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, bedside tables), and equipment such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, oxygen tanks and tubing, communication boards and other assistive devices.
Refer to CDC’s recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfections Your Home.
There are some additional things people with disabilities can do to prepare during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Plan what you will do if you or your direct support provider gets sick. Create a contact list of family, friends, neighbors and local service agencies that can provide support in case you or your direct support provider becomes ill or unavailable.
- Plan at least two ways of communicating from home and work that can be used rapidly in an emergency (e.g., landline phone, cell phone, text-messaging, email). Write down this information and keep it with you.
- Have enough household items and groceries so that you will be comfortable staying home for a few weeks and at least a 30-day supply of over the counter and prescription medicines and any medical equipment or supplies that you might need. Some health plans allow for a 90-day refill on prescription medications. Consider discussing this option with your healthcare provider. Make a photocopy of prescriptions, as this may help in obtaining medications in an emergency situation.
WEARING A MASK
Masks are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventative actions and practicing social distancing in public settings.
Who Should Wear a Mask?
- People, including children older than 2, who are not fully vaccinated
- Fully vaccinated people with weakened immune systems
- To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, fully vaccinated people should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission
REMEMBER: Masks should NOT be worn by children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove their mask without assistance.
DO NOT use masks meant for healthcare workers. Surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
Georgia Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation has put together a webinar on Face Masks and People with Disabilities that offers some information on ADA and face masks, as well as modifications and adaptations for making masks more accessible.
ALTERNATE FORMS OF COVID-19 INFORMATION
- Plain Language Information on COVID-19 from the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center designed by and for people with developmental disabilities (available in 11 languages). English PDF / Spanish PDF
- ASL Video Series on COVID-19
- Georgia Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation: COVID-19 Accessible Resources
- Braille Resources
- Accessible Word Docs & PDFs
- American Sign Language
- Easy To Read Information
- Advocacy Denver – COVID-19 Information by and for People with Disabilities
This information is constantly evolving. Please check back for updates periodically. If you have found additional COVID-19 resources that you find helpful, please contact us.