Updated: March 19, 2020 10:28 PM
Created: March 19, 2020 09:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico's COVID-19 hotlines has received thousands of calls.
Some of the employees are answering phones from the Poison Control Center. Others are students from UNM's College of Pharmacy.
Officials say the most common question they get is from people asking to get tested.
"So the test, we are in limited supply of tests right now, and we want to make sure they're reserved for who really show the symptoms or maybe not showing symptoms but had traveled to a high-risk area," said Jacqueline Kakaos, health education consultant with the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center.
Callers also want to know if it's safe to travel.
"Basically, the governor has said if you've traveled out of state, she would like you to self-quarantine for 14 days," Kakaos said. "It's highly recommended."
State officials said people who have a cough, fever or shortness of breath, should call the COVID-19 health hotline 1-855-600-3453.
Operators are standing by 24-hours a day.
They recommend that callers have a pen and paper ready to write down any number just in case they need to be transferred, and accidentally get disconnected.
The hotline is receiving about 500 calls a day, and wait times are typically around six to eight minutes, according to Kakaos.
The state is also hiring more employees and taking on volunteers to reduce wait times.
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