DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NEWS
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and its testing partners want to collaboratively assure the public that COVID-19 testing remains widely available to those who need it in the state of New Mexico, and that people who need to get tested are still able to do so. Individuals who are unsure about whether they should be tested are encouraged to call the New Mexico Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453.
To date, more than 600,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed statewide thanks to consistent cooperation and proactive planning work between the Department of Health and private-sector partners. As a result, New Mexico has consistently ranked as one of the top five states nationally for per-capita testing.
“Testing is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19,” said Kathy Kunkel, Secretary of Health. “Identifying positive cases quickly ensures that individuals who may have been exposed to the virus are notified, tested and directed to quarantine, preventing further spread.”
As New Mexico’s case counts have risen, we have kept our commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents, ensuring broad access to testing in New Mexico. That commitment remains, and the Department of Health and New Mexico hospital systems strongly encourage the following groups to get tested for COVID-19:
- Symptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of taste or smell.
- People without symptoms who are close contacts or household members of people in their infectious period who have already tested positive for the coronavirus; and
- Patients who are scheduled for surgery and whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure.
Broad based return-to-work testing for individuals without known exposure to COVID-19 or other risk factors is not a priority for testing. However, the hospital systems and NMDOH will work with individuals seeking work-related testing to ensure that their needs are met. In addition, the state has a comprehensive plan to ensure that vulnerable populations, such as those working and living in congregate settings and other high-risk groups, have enhanced access to testing.
In order to ensure the best possible care, the hospital systems urge individuals with symptoms and patients scheduled for surgery whose provider has advised them to get tested before the procedure to obtain a test through a private health care provider. Options in Albuquerque include:
- Lovelace Health System is testing at their downtown location Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00AM-10:00AM.
- Presbyterian Healthcare Services is testing at Balloon Fiesta Park, 7:00AM-3:00PM every weekday and 7:00AM-1:00PM on the weekends.
- UNM Hospital is testing at their Respiratory Care Center Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00AM-11:00AM.
In Albuquerque, NMDOH is offering COVID-19 testing at Expo NM Monday-through-Saturday mornings. Individuals who would like to be tested at this location are asked to pre-register at https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/Default.aspx.
Outside of Albuquerque, there are other private testing providers and NMDOH Public Health Offices are open statewide for COVID-19 testing, with some testing events held on weekends. Making an appointment is recommended but not required, and testing is open to anyone concerned about their health. All testing locations can be found on the NMDOH website at https://cvprovider.nmhealth.org/directory.html.
The Department of Health and New Mexico hospital systems urge all New Mexicans to continue to assist the state in the fight against COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and maintaining good hygiene.