ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Tens of thousands of people across New Mexico received negative coronavirus test results Monday. It turns out, they were all a mistake. The erroneous text messages originated from the number 505-985-5697. The erroneous emails originated from the account “Super User email@example.com.” The correct account is “NMDOH firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The erroneous messages were sent out to 30,000 people statewide. Jen Stillions of Santa Fe was one of them. “I am just really concerned because I wonder how many people might be positive and tested recently and gotten this email/text and gone out and exposed other people,” Stillions said.
Stillions said she took a test Monday and got an email hours later saying her result was negative. She thought it was too soon for her results to come back. It turns out, that message was part of a technical glitch. Stillions said she is concerned that people like her, who recently tested, received the incorrect message and now are under the impression they are negative.
The Department of Health said the erroneous messages went out to people who have previously tested negative in the past. Some report that they received the message after last testing months ago. A spokesperson for DOH said it was not a scam or malicious attack, but a technical hiccup, and that it won’t happen again.
“Our software provider was updating the provider portal on our COVID website last night,” Communication Director Marisa Maez said. “As a result, there was a technical glitch so the texts were basically repeats of those prior notifications. We are doing everything we can to make sure everything is checked and double-checked.”
DOH said all 30,000 people were contacted, notified of the error, and received an apology. They said this has no effect on the daily cases reported to the public.
Some people have reported receiving the notification without ever testing before. DOH said that may be due to someone else, like their spouse, using their phone number or email in the past while testing.
DOH said test results usually take three to four days to get back.