State health officials to distribute free at-home COVID tests
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – At-home COVID kits are coming. Now state health leaders are trying to step it up a notch to make the at-home kits easier to access.
Health officials said they hope to buy and distribute around a million to New Mexicans in the new year.
“We are currently going to give those out for free in areas of high social vulnerability index, which are higher poverty areas zips codes and also places with a high case count,” said Department of Health Secretary Dr. Laura Parajon.
In the next couple of weeks, Parajon said they are starting with a pilot of 20,000 at-home tests that they plan to distribute to areas that need it the most. But there’s much more to come.
“Our governor has asked us to try to be able to purchase one million of these so that we can spread it out throughout the state.”
But there’s work to do before getting all of those tests out there. The Department of Health is working on a website, an educational sheet and ramping up their hot line capacity to answer questions. Like how to do one of the tests and what to do if you’re positive.
First step, consider yourself positive and isolate.
“It’s also helpful to inform your healthcare provider. You can also call our hotline for help, it’s good for you to contact people who you’ve had contact with,” Parajon said.
More details are still to come, like how positive tests will be factored in to statewide totals and when wide-spread distribution will happen.
“That’s the two pieces we’re working on, getting the tests out and education,” said Parajon.
For information on how to order an at-home COVID-19 saliva test, visit, nmhealth.org/covid-testing/. Or call NMDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 1-855-600-3453.