Dr. Scrase: New Mexico children need more virus testing

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — School-aged children in New Mexico represent an increasing share of COVID-19 cases but are rarely tested for the disease.

That means case rates among children are likely an undercount.

Dr. David Scrase, cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department, says it also means more testing is needed for officials to confidently monitor outbreaks in schools.

Children account for around 20% of cases, but the number is likely higher because 10% of those who get a test are positive.

The rate is half that among adults, who are tested more frequently, including when they don’t have symptoms.

Volunteer testing programs in schools have little buy-in, with less than 1% of students tested weekly.