State Adopts Revised CDC COVID-19 Isolation And Quarantine Guidelines

NMED CORRECTION/RETRACTION: A previous version of this press release was sent prematurely and contains small inaccuracies.


The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announced on Wednesday that it is implementing revised federal guidance surrounding isolation and quarantine for COVID-19, effective on Thursday, January 6, 2022.


On December 27th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reduced its recommended COVID guidelines for isolation (when you are sick or infected with COVID) and quarantine (following exposure) from ten days to five days, along with providing other critical guidance including the importance of mask wearing to prevent further transmission of the virus.

Who this guidance is for:

This guidance is intended for the general population, including workplaces. Please note: the shorter isolation/quarantine recommendation does not apply to K-12, homeless shelters, or correctional institutions.

Additionally, children younger than two years of age or other individuals who cannot wear a mask, people who have moderate or severe illness, and people who are immunocompromised must also continue 10-day isolation and quarantine. Further information and frequently asked questions can be found here on the CDC website: What we know about quarantine and isolation.

5-Day Quarantine and Isolation Guidance

For anyone who tests positive for COVID regardless of vaccination status (Isolation):

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • You DO NOT need to get an additional PCR test if you have had a positive at-home rapid test.
  • If you have no symptoms after 5 DAYS, you can leave your house but wear a mask for 5 more days.
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever is gone for 24 hours.
  • To prevent the spread of COVID, tell anyone you have recently had close contact with and encourage them to get tested, monitor for symptoms, and reduce exposure to other people.

For anyone who has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine):

These guidelines differ depending on your vaccination status

If you are up to dateon all COVID-19 vaccines that you are eligible for: 

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on Day 5 if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms at any time, get tested if possible and stay at home until you get your results.
  • If you can’t get a test, but still have symptoms, assume you are positive and follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test.

If you are unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated or without a booster (not up to date on all vaccinations you are eligible for): 

  • Stay at home for 5 days.
  • Then wear a mask around others for 5 MORE DAYS.
  • Test on Day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms at any time, get tested if possible and stay at home until you get your results.
  • If you can’t get a test, but still have symptoms, assume you are positive and stay home and follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test.

For anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of your vaccination status: 

  • Get either an at-home rapid test or PCR test if possible, and stay at home until you know your test result. 
  • If you test positive, follow the guidelines for a positive test result.
  • If you test negative but still have symptoms, continue to stay at home.
  • If possible, get a PCR test OR an at-home rapid test in 1-2 days.
  • If you test positive on the PCR or at-home rapid test, follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test.
  • If you test negative, no other test is needed at this time.
  • If you can’t get a test, but still have symptoms, assume you are positive and follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test. 

For more information on what it means to be up to date on the COVID vaccine, please visit this site:

If you have any questions on home tests and quarantine or isolation, please visit or call the Coronavirus Hotline: 1-855-600-3453.

For more information on DOH guidance, please visit

Vaccinations are still the best tool for preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

Vaccinations remain the best way for New Mexicans to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. The vaccines are safe, highly effective, and free. Booster shots will also help protect against the new omicron variant, and DOH encourages everyone 12 and older to get a booster shot as soon as possible. Children over the age of five who have not yet been vaccinated should start their two-shot series immediately. 

To find vaccine locations near you, visit,, or call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453, available every day from 8 AM to 8 PM. Language assistance is available.

Testing and COVID-19:

Currently, we are experiencing a nation-wide and state-wide shortage of testing. New Mexicans who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to a COVID-positive person should get tested if possible. Please see above for instructions on what to do following a test.

Testing sites are listed at; New Mexicans can also order free at-home tests through Vault, though test supplies are limited at this time.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, chills, repeated shaking with chills, gastrointestinal illness and new loss of taste or smell. 

DOH continues to recommend limited travel and exposure to large crowds. Additionally, masking is required for all individuals when indoors.