SANTA FE – The New Mexico New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announced on Thursday changes to the COVID-19 testing options available to residents.
At the end of last month, Curative notified the state that effective Dec. 28, Curative will conclude its COVID-19 testing services nationwide. Therefore, the state will only provide free, at-home testing going forward.
Earlier this year, Curative began downsizing operations in New Mexico, as well as other states they were serving, as demand dropped with the increasing availability of at-home antigen tests that offer results in 15 minutes.
In preparation, DOH, in coordination with county and city emergency managers, ordered 1 million free at-home tests from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Dec. 1, to be distributed statewide. Local emergency managers will distribute the tests in their communities via existing distribution plans that were implemented earlier this year.
Additionally, New Mexico residents can still receive mail-order free at-home tests through the Rockefeller Foundation’s Project ACT program at: https://accesscovidtests.org/.
If you have COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID, you can also visit a local pharmacy to purchase a test or schedule an appointment with a local testing provider for diagnostic PCR tests that are covered in most cases by insurance and Medicaid. However, if you do not have symptoms or have not been exposed to someone with COVID, PCR tests are not covered by insurance.
“At-home tests offer an easy, quick and accessible way for individuals to check their COVID status without needing to seek additional appointments in the state’s health care system, which is currently operating over capacity due to a surge in respiratory viruses,” said Acting Department of Health Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D.
After using an at-home test, people can follow up with a test from a medical provider or test site to verify results.
If you have symptoms, serial testing with an at-home test separated by 48 hours is 90 percent accurate. It is still important to stay home if you have symptoms to prevent the spread of COVID and other respiratory illnesses such as RSV and flu.
State health experts encourage all individuals at increased risk of severe disease and their caregivers to take steps to prevent COVID-19, RSV and other respiratory infections this flu season.
- Stay up to date on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Stay home if you or your child is sick.
- Wash hands thoroughly and frequently.
- Keep common, high-touch surfaces clean and regularly disinfected.
- If you have a child needing medical evaluation, call your health-care provider or visit an urgent care center. At this time, hospital emergency departments are strained.
- Only visit the hospital if you or your child shows signs of severe illness, such as significant trouble breathing.