Long lines form at newly-opened COVID testing sites | KOB 4

Long lines form at newly-opened COVID testing sites

Grace Reader
Created: November 21, 2020 10:17 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State leaders opened up five additional temporary COVID testing sites across the state Saturday to meet the growing demand. 

The locations will be open every day for a week, except on Thanksgiving. People who want to get tested must register ahead of time before heading to a testing site. 

Many people who registered beforehand said they had to wait in long lines.

“I did register and it says on my registration that I would be done between 2 and 2:10,” said Lorenzo Archuleta, who went to get tested. 

During the Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s  weekly COVID update, she said staffing shortages were creating issues for opening up more sites. 

KOB 4 reached out to the governor’s office about how they were able to pull the staffing resources together. A spokesperson said, “We are using every possible tool available to solve those challenges and ensure continued available testing for New Mexicans, including supplementing staffing with National Guard members and state employees.” 

The spokesperson for the governor’s office also said testing is critical and that the new sites are much needed. 

KOB 4 reached out to the New Mexico Department of Health and officials echoed the state in saying the National Guard and the state were helping with staffing. They also said, “Many people are working longer hours” to make this happen. 

NMDOH said non-health care workers are providing the logistic support that allows the new testing centers to run. They did not specifically answer questions about where health care workers were coming from. 

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