Health and Safety Information

With the ending of the Emergency COVID-19 Public Health Order on March 31 2023, the ECECD COVID Health and Safety Toolkit is being converted to a Health and Safety Toolkit that includes basic health and safety information for child care, early intervention, and FIT personnel.

Wave pattern

COVID-Specific Guidance

Updated Feb. 14, 2024

Most COVID-specific guidance and restrictions have been lifted; however, ECECD recognizes that some early childhood programs may wish to continue more restrictive health and safety precautions based on their unique circumstances. Child care providers are encouraged to discuss the new health and safety requirements with the families they serve and create their own COVID-19 mitigation strategies that are appropriate to the current conditions and communities they serve.  

Required Practices

  • Licensed providers may operate at group sizes and ratios according to their licensed Star level
  • Training on health and safety practices is required for all staff, including cooks and transportation staff.
  • Good hygiene practices are required, including frequent handwashing/sanitizing
  • Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned often throughout the day and disinfected at the end of each day

COVID-19 Guidance for all Early Childhood Providers 

The following guidance is best practice: 

For anyone who tests positive for COVID regardless of vaccination status:
  • Stay home and isolate for 5 days. Day 0 is the day of symptom onset, or the day the positive test was taken (for asymptomatic persons).
  • If symptoms have resolved isolation is no longer recommended from days 6-10 but a mask should be worn, Alternatively, two negative COVID tests 48 hours apart can eliminate the masking requirement.
  • You DO NOT need to get an additional PCR test if you have had a positive at-home rapid test. Any positive test is considered positive.
  • Children under two are the exception to masking guidance and should not mask.
  • If you have a fever, or other persistent symptoms, continue to stay home in isolation until your fever is gone for 24 hours and other symptoms are resolving.
  • 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 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 on a rapid test but still have symptoms, continue to stay at home and get a PCR test OR a second at-home rapid test in 1-2 days.
    • If you test positive on the PCR or second at-home rapid test, follow guidelines for a COVID-positive test.
    Antigen Test Guidance:
    1. If test is positive, follow CDC guidance for people with COVID-19 (isolation)
    2. If you have COVID symptoms and test is negative, test again in 48 hours. If still negative, test again after another 48 hours or get a lab-based tests.
    3. If you do not have COVID symptoms but believe you have been exposed and test is negative, test again in 48 hours, and then again 48 hours after the second test for a total of 3 tests.
    4. If test is positive on any repeat test, follow CDC guidance for people with COVID.

    Report a Positive Case of COVID-19

    Updated Feb. 14, 2024

    To report a positive case of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease in child care, please call the ECECD Intake Hotline at 1-888-351-0037 or email us at

    Use of ECECD’s Rapid Response Protocol is no longer required. 

    COVID-19 Testing

    Knowing if you have COVID-19 can help you seek proper treatment and prevent you from spreading the virus to your family and community. Tests require a quick swab inside each nostril, and results can be read in just minutes.

    How to get COVID-19 testing, vaccine, and treatment in New Mexico

    July 5, 2022

    • Finding Vaccine and Treatment with Private Insurance or Medicaid: English ┃Spanish
    • Finding Vaccine and Treatment with No Insurance: English Spanish 


    COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control in New Mexico. The risk of infection, hospitalization, and death are all much lower for people who are vaccinated, compared to unvaccinated people. Boosting your immunity keeps you and your family protected.

    The most recent COVID vaccine that came out in fall 2023 is all that is needed for adults and children over 5 to be up to date. Information on how to find vaccines in your area can be found at COVID-19 Vaccine | NMDOH.

    Health and Wellness Webinars

    ECECD hosts a quarterly webinar series where health and wellness matters relating to the PN-3 population are discussed.