The most asked questions about Coronavirus in Albuquerque

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).

About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus strain spreading from person-to-person. The virus originated in China but is currently spreading in the United States and other countries. While most cases of illness are mild, health experts are concerned because this virus has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.

What Should You Do

Call the NM Department of Health at (855) 600-3453 right away if:

  • You have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and in the 14 days before your symptoms started, you visited mainland China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, or Japan or were in contact with a person known to have COVID-19
  • You do not have fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but you did travel to mainland China, South Korea, Iran, or Italy in the last 14 days or were in contact with a person known to have COVID-19

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. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or trouble breathing. 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.

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:

  • 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
  • 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?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that people wear masks at this time. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have been exposed to COVID-19, and who have symptoms. This is to protect other people from the risk of getting infected. Masks are also crucial for healthcare workers and other people who are taking care of someone who has COVID-19 at home or in a healthcare facility.

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?

Do NOT go to the ER, but seek medical care right away. Call your provider and tell them about your symptoms and recent travel. They may instruct you to stay home, monitor your temperature and report back. If they advise you to come in, they will alert their medical team who can prepare for your arrival and have a mask ready for you.

  • 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.

The NM Department of Health has specific travel and self-isolation recommendations

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

Are City events cancelled?

View up to date information on City events, offices, programs, and services.

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
  • If you have traveled outside of NM in the last 14 days

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

Is there assistance for seniors and disabled individuals who can’t get groceries?

If you are a senior or disabled adult and cannot access groceries, please call the NM Aging and Long Term Services at (800) 432-2080 for assistance. You will be asked to leave your name, telephone, and City of residence. An operator will return your call within 2 hours or less.

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.

Can I mandate that my employees get tested for COVID-19 before reporting to work?

Workplaces should not mandate that employees get tested for COVID-19 UNLESS employees are displaying symptoms: fever, cough or shortness of breath.

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 FacebookInstagram, or Twitter for the latest information.