Los Alamos County Council Vice Chair Randall Ryti
BY RANDALL RYTI
Los Alamos County Council Vice Chair
The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) is conducting testing for COVID-19 on Thursday April 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Overlook Park in White Rock. This event is supported with logistical support by Los Alamos County (e.g., venue, traffic control, volunteers).
Los Alamos County has other efforts underway to address this pubic health crisis. Foremost among these efforts are making sure that basic essential services continue and the County does its part to use remote work as an option for other services. County Manager Burgess will have more information on the County response to COVID-19 at the beginning of our County Council meeting on March 31 at 6 p.m.
This testing opportunity would not have been possible without the assistance of our State Rep. Christine Chandler and DOH Sec. Kathy Kunkel. There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you decide if you need a COVID-19 test.
In order to assure we have enough kits for anyone who is a likely candidate, at this time testing is focused only on those people with symptoms (fever with cough or shortness of breath/trouble breathing). DOH has set up a web site so that you help determine if you should get tested (https://cv.nmhealth.org/should-i-get-tested/). Remember the best thing to do if you have symptoms is to call the DOH (1-855-600-3453) or your doctor. They can provide the best medical advice for you.
Another thing to know is that there is a testing location in Española at the Presbyterian Española Hospital. This location, like most in New Mexico requires a referral. If you qualify for a test and want to use the drive up testing center at Overlook Park, you can do that on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As we have witnessed since Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the initial public health emergency declaration on March 11, things have continued to evolve. We can expect to see testing continue to rapidly evolve. As noted by Council Chair Sara Scott in her March 28 letter, New Mexico has one of the highest rates of statewide testing in the nation. On Thursday Los Alamos County will be directly included in that testing effort.
There is no doubt on what you can do to help in this public health emergency, as highlighted in the DOH press release:
The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.
Thank you Los Alamos for everything you have done so far and for everything we still need to do.