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Marisa Maez
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Guidance for Employees. When to Stop Isolation and Return to Work

October 26, 2020 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus - Awareness

When an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 they must remain isolated at home until they are no longer infectious. 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. NMDOH does NOT recommend or require that employers ask employees to provide proof of a negative test before they may return to work.

Due to the extremely high number of COVID19 cases, NMDOH is not able to provide return to work or work excuse letters. We recommend that employers use the recommendations below 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 855-600-3453.

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

The following are the recommendations for when you are able to end isolation and return to work

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

Continue to wear a mask whenever you are out in public and when you are at work.  In addition to a mask, continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Guidance for Employers Regarding COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Periods

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. NMDOH does NOT recommend or require that employers ask employees to provide proof of a negative test before they may return to work.

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.