Sandoval Regional Medical Center timelapsed lobby

COVID Policy Changes

UNM Health System’s Policy on Masks and COVID-19 Testing Changing, Effective April 16

If you have an appointment at a UNM Health facility, you’ll notice some important changes when it comes to face masks and COVID pre-procedural testing.

New Mexico’s public health order ended March 31 and the federal public health emergency regarding COVID will expire May 11. Following guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New Mexico Department of Health and other public health experts, the UNM Health System will be no longer mandate face masks in clinical settings, beginning April 16, 2023.

For Patients/Visitors

  • Face Masks: Face masks will be optional in all settings, including hospitals, clinics, laboratories and patient lobby areas, with some exceptions:
    • If a patient or visitor has respiratory symptoms, that individual will be asked to use a face mask.
    • Face masks requirements may be re-instituted if community transmission rates for COVID, RSV, influenza, measles or other contagious viruses significantly increases.
  • Patient COVID-19 Testing 
    • COVID tests will continue to be required for all behavioral health admissions.
    • All other admission and pre-procedural testing will be up to the discretion of the clinician.

For Health Care Workers

  • Face Masks: Face masks will be optional for health care workers; however, patients will be able to ask clinicians and staff to wear a mask.
    • Staff who want additional protection are supported and encouraged to continue masking.  
    • Additionally, units with particularly vulnerable populations should continue universal masking.
  • COVID-19 Testing
    • Currently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires health care workers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.  UNM Health will continue to follow all OSHA guidelines.

UNM Health and Health Sciences leaders will continue to closely monitor to determine whether additional policy changes need to be made.

The UNM Health System comprises UNM Hospital, UNM Children’s Hospital, Carrie Tingley Hospital, UNM Adult Psychiatric Center, UNM Children’s Psychiatric Center, UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, UNM Medical Group, Inc., and various outpatient clinics throughout New Mexico.   


Categories: COVID-19, Health, News You Can Use, Top Stories