Covid-19

New Mexico DOH to give out thousands of free, at-home COVID-19 tests – KOAT New Mexico

The Department of Health said distribution will start on Thursday, but right now this is only for certain zip codes.
The Department of Health said distribution will start on Thursday, but right now this is only for certain zip codes.
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The Department of Health said distribution will start on Thursday, but right now this is only for certain zip codes.
The state wants to increase testing, so starting Thursday, the state will start giving out thousands of at-home COVID-19 tests for free.
“We will be seeing a rise in cases, we’re very confident in the next two to four weeks,” said Dr. David Scrase, NM Human Services secretary.
In response, the state is starting an at-home, free-testing program. Starting Thursday, the Department of Health will hand out 35,000 tests. This is for zip codes where there are higher levels of social vulnerability and places with high case rates.

“We are I think as a state ramping up as the whole United States as a nation trying to ramp up, but not quite catching up to omicron just yet,” said Dr. Laura Parajon, deputy secretary for the Department of Health.
RELATED: Omicron variant not in New Mexico yet, but state health officials are preparing for its arrival
You should take that home test if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Here’s what Parajon recommends:

If you get a positive result, stay at home for five days, per the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, whether you’re vaccinated or not. She also said you don’t need an additional PCR test if you’re positive.

“Sometimes people are like, ‘oh I got my rapid home test, it’s positive, let me go look for a PCR test,’” Parajon said. “You don’t need to get that. If you’re positive, you’re positive.”
You can leave your house after five days if you don’t have symptoms, but wear a mask for five more days. If you test negative, but still have symptoms, test again. If you’re negative and don’t have symptoms, no other test is needed

RELATED: Here’s how the omicron surge is different than previous surges in the US
Scrase said they do hear from people if it’s positive, but not if their at-home test is negative and that may impact data.

“I think somewhere down the line we’re going to revise our criteria as home testing becomes ubiquitous,” Scrase said. “I think we’re going to have to come up with a different criteria for test positive or even drop it as anything other than a leading indicator for a potential bump in cases.”
The DOH said it only takes minutes to get results from an at-home test. And, the state is in the process of getting a million more of them.
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