New Mexico relaxes visitation policy for long-term care facilities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Long-term care facilities in New Mexico can now relax their visitation policies.

The state’s new visitation guidelines include parameters surrounding outdoor visitation (preferred), indoor visitation, close contact, communal dinning and activities, and reiterate best practices for visitors, what to do when there is a positive case, and ongoing testing expectations.

  • Outdoor visitation remains the preferred method of visiting, even for those who are fully vaccinated, as the environment poses a lower risk for transmission.
  • Indoor visits are also allowed under the new guidance, with requirements surrounding the size of the room and number of occupants.
  • If a resident is fully vaccinated, they may choose to have close contact with their visitor, this could include hugging, holding hands, etc., while wearing their mask and washing/sanitizing their hands afterwards.
  • Communal dining and social activities are also now allowed, so long as social distancing requirements continue to be followed.
  • All testing, infection control measures, and public health instructions (like mask wearing and social distancing- 6ft for those wearing masks and 12ft for residents who are unable to be masked) remain in place and must be followed.
  • If there is an outbreak, the facility must pause visitation until all requirements in the guidance have been met.

All of the new activity options are still linked to county positivity rates and not permitted in facilities experiencing an outbreak, until they have followed the necessary criteria.

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