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N.M. requires employers to quickly report positive COVID-19 tests

New Mexico capitol

The New Mexico Environment Department filed an emergency amendment Wednesday to require employers to disclose positive COVID-19 cases among their employees to the state within four hours of being notified of the test results.

The amendment, which went into effect immediately, is expected to be in effect for no more than 120 days unless a permanent rule is adopted prior to the end of that period.

The Santa Fe, New Mexico-based department said it is aware of more than 280 instances in which an employer was aware that an employee had a positive COVID-19 test at least three days before the state was informed of the positive result.

By implementing the four-hour reporting mandate, the state will be able to “more rapidly respond to workplaces, providing immediate guidance and support to employers and preventing the spread of COVID-19 beyond the infected employees,” the department said in a statement.

The department said violations of the emergency rule may result in enforcement action, but no penalty was disclosed. 

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.