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Home News NMDOH aligns with CDC’s efforts in simplifying COVID-19 and respiratory guidance

NMDOH aligns with CDC’s efforts in simplifying COVID-19 and respiratory guidance

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) stands with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations in simplifying COVID-19 and respiratory guidance recommendations for aligning common respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. 

The updated guidance, aimed at simplifying and unifying preventive measures, reflects the evolving understanding of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. CDC's decision to streamline recommendations is a response to the significant reduction in hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 and the availability of enhanced tools to combat respiratory illnesses. 

"We support the CDC's efforts to provide clear and unified recommendations to address the risks associated with respiratory viruses. As more tools like the latest vaccine boosters for seniors become available, they allow us to modify other protections that are less targeted," said Sec. Patrick Allen, for NMDOH. 

Key recommendations from the CDC's guidance include staying up to date with vaccinations, practicing good hygiene, and taking steps for cleaner air to protect against infection and severe illness. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and influenza are advised to stay home and away from others, with treatment options available to alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of severe illness. The recommendations suggest returning to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication. 

The guidance emphasizes the importance of resuming normal activities only when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving, and any fever has subsided without the use of fever-reducing medication. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to adopt enhanced preventive measures for the next five days, including maintaining cleaner air, practicing heightened hygiene, wearing well-fitting masks, keeping a safe distance from others. 

NMDOH recognizes the significance of protecting individuals at higher risk, including those over 65 and individuals with weakened immune systems. The guidance acknowledges the changing circumstances around COVID-19, emphasizing that while it remains a threat, the likelihood of severe illness has decreased due to widespread immunity and improved prevention and treatment tools. Adults aged 65 and older and people who are immune compromised are eligible to receive an additional 2023-2024 updated COVID vaccine to restore protection that has waned since receiving the fall dose, providing increased protection for individuals at higher risk. 

CDC has not changed COVID-19 guidance for healthcare settings. CDC offers separate, specific guidance for healthcare settings (COVID-19, flu, and general infection prevention and control). 

"We urge the residents of New Mexico to get vaccinated, stay home when sick and follow CDC guidance for returning to normal activities.  By getting vaccinated and following CDC recommendations, we can limit the spread of respiratory viruses and protect our communities," said Dr. Miranda Durham chief medical officer for NMDOH. 

COVID-19, flu and RSV vaccines are readily available at healthcare providers and pharmacies throughout the state. If you need assistance with scheduling or have questions, contact the NMDOH Help Line at 1-833-796-8773 (1-833-SWNURSE), which is available M-F 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Jodi McGinnis Porter at (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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NMDOH se une a los esfuerzos de los CDC en la simplificación de COVID-19 y la orientación respiratoria