New Mexico launches COVID testing, contact tracing agreement for essential businesses | KOB 4

New Mexico launches COVID testing, contact tracing agreement for essential businesses

New Mexico launches COVID testing, contact tracing agreement for essential businesses

Christina Rodriguez
Updated: November 24, 2020 11:21 AM
Created: November 24, 2020 11:00 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Health and Department of Environment are working together for a new voluntary surveillance testing and contact tracing agreement. Essential businesses following the agreement will "not be considered for closure." 

The agreement requires regular COVID-19 testing among all employees, as well as contact tracing. If someone tests positive, under this agreement, the state's rapid response will not count toward the usual 14-day closure requirement in the public health order. 

“We’re empowering businesses to stay open by contributing to critical public health efforts,” Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said. “By incentivizing businesses to participate in a regular surveillance testing program, we are keeping New Mexicans safe, slowing the spread of COVID-19, and preventing additional closures of essential businesses.”

To join the program, a business must submit a plan to both departments about how surveillance testing and contact tracing efforts will be conducted. Officials said a plan must be submitted for each business location. 

“Proactive testing is an essential tool in combating the spread of this virus,” Department of Health Acting Secretary Billy Jimenez said. “Partners in the private sector through these agreements will make a significant and positive impact in curbing COVID-19 in New Mexico.”

If a business is already under a 14-day closure, the agreement could also allow them to reopen early. 

To see the current COVID-19 watchlist, click here. To read the agreement in its entirety, click here.


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