Albuquerque, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County officials are working to make COVID testing more accessible to New Mexicans living in rural areas. The county has been working with the state to prioritize those areas with high need and low access.

Story continues below

“We will be looking at distributing these kits where people might not have good internet access, might not have a mailing address. Also working with senior centers, people who aren’t used to getting on the internet,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner, Charlene Pyskoty.

The state has bought 50,000 rapid test kits with COVID relief funds and is expecting an additional 60,000. Those do not include kits coming from the federal government which are also on the way.

The rapid COVID test kits will most likely be distributed around New Mexico through county emergency managers. While the wheels are in motion, it could take up to two weeks before state leaders come up with a plan to properly and effectively distribute them. Once that decision is finalized, the tests could be distributed after the new year.

Commissioner Pyskoty, who represents the East Mountains area, says with more New Mexicans having access to these tests, it could really have an impact on lowering the state’s case count.” It’s important to be able to test early and having a kit in your own home where you get results in 15 minutes that really helps people to know when they have contracted the virus and to stay home,” said Pyskoty.

Pyskoty explains by working with the state and federal government, they hope the tests won’t cost the county any money. Bernalillo County is also planning mobile vaccination clinics at community centers which are expected to begin the first week of January.