City of Albuquerque Coronavirus FAQs

The City of Albuquerque is undertaking interdepartmental planning and coordinating with health agencies, hospitals and others to monitor and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19 Information

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NM Department of Health Website

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Information for Seniors & High Risk Individuals

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Re-Opening Checklist for Food Establishments

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Cleaning & Disinfecting Guides

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Steps to Take After Notification of a Positive Employee

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Employer Reporting Requirements & FFCRA

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CDC: Stop the Spread of Germs

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COVID-19 Information in Multiple Languages

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About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus strain spreading from person-to-person. While most cases of illness are mild, health experts are concerned because this virus is fast spreading and has the potential to cause severe illness and death in some people. There will be several variants of this virus, some of which may be more transmissible and severe than others.

What Should You Do

Call the NM Department of Health at (855) 600-3453 right away if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Seek immediate emergency medical care if you or a loved one are experiencing the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent chest pain or pressure
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Blueish lips or face

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The Federal Government has approved three COVID-19 vaccines for distribution. Getting vaccinated is an important step to help keep you and your family safe and end the pandemic.

Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. The State of New Mexico encourages everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent boosters. Remaining up to date on vaccinations and boosters has shown to lessen the severity of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Find more information on the COVID-19 vaccine here.

Non-Health & Social Services Related Information

For questions regarding the coronavirus that are non-health related and information on family support services, please call (833) 551-0518.

Mental Health Support

The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line is here to support individuals and communities during this time. Counselors are available and here to hear you 24/7 at (855) 662-7474. Learn more.

What are the symptoms?

People with COVID-19 report a wide range of symptoms including, fever, cough, loss of taste and/or smell, trouble breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

How severe is coronavirus?

Most cases of coronavirus illness are mild and do not require hospital care. A small percentage of people get severely ill with lung and breathing problems, like pneumonia. Older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions are at highest risk. Taking the prescribed precautionary efforts (mask use and remaining up to date on vaccines) will lessen the severity of the symptoms in most cases.

How does it spread?

Currently, the virus is thought to spread:

  • Through respiratory droplets when an ill person coughs or sneezes
  • Touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching you mouth, nose, or eyes
  • Close contact with ill persons (within about 6 feet)

What can I do to keep from getting sick?

Everyone has a role to play in preventing the spread of illness, especially to protect people who are most at risk. Taking these steps will also prevent the spread of flu and the common cold:

  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and subsequent boosters
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Although not required, you might consider wearing a good quality mask in certain settings especially indoors and in large gatherings.
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces or objects (for example, counters, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, bed side tables) using regular household cleaning spray or wipes

If you are traveling, follow the CDC’s guidance.

Should I wear a mask?

Masks are not required in many settings but can still be worn for added protection. Masks continue to be required on all public transportation (airplanes, buses, trains) and transportation stations, hospitals and doctors’ offices, and congregate care settings such as nursing homes and shelters. Some establishments may continue to require mask usage.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

Testing sites and locations can be found here.

Be sure to double check testing criteria, required information for testing, and result turnaround times as these may vary by testing site.

At-home saliva based COVID-19 tests are also available at no cost. Anyone can register for an at-home test regardless of their exposure history, current symptoms, or insurance status.

In order to receive this test, you will need a:

  • photo ID (can be government issued or from your work or school)
  • valid email address
  • internet connection for a Zoom call with a Vault testing supervisor when administering the test

To order an at-home test, and for more information and instructions, visit

What should I do while I'm waiting for COVID-19 test results?

While waiting for test results, it’s really important to remain home and self-quarantine/isolate until you receive your test results. This will prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 in our community. Make sure to follow all instructions and advice from your health care provider or public health professional.

What is considered a close contact?

The New Mexico Department of Health defines a close contact as spending a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period, within 6 feet of someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 when that person was in their infectious period. Wearing a mask or cloth-face covering does not affect the definition for close contact. For additional questions, please contact the NM Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453 (health related) or 1-833-551-0518 (non-health related questions).

I'm a close contact to someone who tested positive from COVID-19. What should I do?

If you are unvaccinated or have partially received the COVID-19 vaccine, and you had a close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and the contact occurred during that person’s infectious period, then quarantine is required. A negative test result does not end the quarantine period. Infection can occur at any point during the quarantine period and the full quarantine period should be completed.

If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, and had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and the contact occurred during that person’s infectious period, then quarantine is not required if the following criteria are met:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥ 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥ 2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

If you do not meet both of the above criteria, then quarantine is required. If you are fully vaccinated and become symptomatic, you should get a laboratory-based PCR test and isolate until receiving the result.

If you live with or are caring for someone with COVID-19, then your 14 day self-quarantine starts after they’ve completed their infectious period.

For additional questions, please contact the NM Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453 (health related) or 1-833-551-0518 (non-health related questions).

Where can I report non-compliance with the Public Health Order?

To report a violation of the state’s emergency public health order, visit the reporting portal on or email [email protected]. You can also report by calling 311 or 242-COPS.

I recently traveled to an area experiencing a large outbreak of coronavirus and now have cough, fever, or shortness of breath. What should I do?

Search for a COVID-19 testing location and take the following precautions until you are confirmed negative for the virus:

  • Other than seeking medical care, stay home and avoid contact with other people.
  • Avoid further travel until your illness resolves.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Current information on coronavirus cases in the US is available at the CDC’s COVID-19 webpage.

Learn more about the CDC's travel recommendations.

Is the City sanitizing buses?

Yes! The City’s Transit Department routinely cleans and sanitizes our City buses. They are adding extra cleaning procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Is the City sanitizing public facilities?

Yes! All public facilities are also adding extra cleaning measures to their daily cleaning schedules. In the coming weeks, you may notice signs placed on facility doors. We strongly encourage any citizen to reconsider the use of a public facility if:

  • You have symptoms of cough or fever
  • If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

Public facility access may not be allowed if you have traveled outside of NM in the last 14 days. Check current travel restrictions.

Following these steps will ensure that we are protecting our seniors and vulnerable community members during this outbreak.

What is the best way to talk to young kids about coronavirus?

Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand. Keep it simple and appropriate for each child’s age.

  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is okay if they feel upset.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Stay connected with friends and family members via telephone or video.
  • Encourage kids to wash their hands often. Make up a silly song to sing or post signs in the bathroom to remind them to wash their hands.

Learn more about helping children cope with emergencies.

Discrimination & Stigma

Discrimination is against the law and can be reported to the City of Albuquerque Office of Civil Rights. Stigma, xenophobia, and misinformation will drive suspected cases underground and make it harder to keep everyone healthy. Coronavirus (COVID-19) does not discriminate, and neither should we. It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are not at greater risk of spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19) than other Americans. Wearing a mask does not mean a person is ill. Speak up if you hear, see, or read misinformation or harassment. Show compassion and support for those impacted by stigma.

Report Discrimination

The City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico accept reports of discrimination through the organizations listed below.

City of Albuquerque Office Civil Rights

The Office of Civil Rights protects the community by prohibiting discrimination in areas of housing, public accommodation, and employment, providing a mechanism for recourse, and providing education to the community. The Office of Civil Rights provides for resolution of discrimination complaints, community outreach, technical assistance, and a broad range of other human rights related activities.

The New Mexico Human Rights Bureau

The Human Rights Bureau is a neutral agency created to enforce the New Mexico Human Rights Act. The Bureau accepts and investigates claims of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, sex, age, physical and mental handicap, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, and gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, credit or public accommodation.

Stay Informed

The New Mexico Department of Health is the lead agency for the statewide Coronavirus response. Community members are encouraged to visit and follow the NM DOH on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the latest information.