New Mexico to boost COVID-19 testing with saliva samples | KOB 4

New Mexico to boost COVID-19 testing with saliva samples

The Associated Press, Christina Rodriguez
Updated: November 23, 2020 05:16 PM
Created: November 23, 2020 11:11 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Health Department hopes to expand testing capacity by offering saliva testing.

Officials said the FDA-approved test will be offered starting Monday at the Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque. The method involves swabbing the mouth to collect a saliva sample.

State officials say saliva samples have been shown to be at least as accurate as nasal swabs. The tests will be self-collected, but trained personnel will be present when and where these tests are available to ensure samples are properly collected.

New Mexico has seen cases skyrocket in recent weeks and officials have been looking for ways to expand testing options.

“We continue to look for better and more innovative ways to serve New Mexicans amid this pandemic,” said Acting Department of Health Secretary Billy Jimenez. “We are excited to provide faster, more convenient methods of COVID-19 testing to the public. The saliva test is less invasive to clients, reduces exposure to healthcare workers, alleviates some of the strain on our labs and will hopefully reduce the burden of PPE usage in our state.”

New Mexicans who want to get tested must pre-register. Tests are free. 

(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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