COVID-19 mouth swabs now offered at Balloon Fiesta Park

Coronavirus New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state is using a new coronavirus test that’s less invasive and the results should come back faster. The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) will begin administering an FDA-approved COVID test that involves swabbing the mouth to collect samples. According to NMDOH, the department will begin offering the test at Balloon Fiesta Park Monday.

“It requires a cough then a simple swab all around the mouth for 20 seconds then its put into a tube, put into a bag and then put into a sample collection bin and then sent off to our lab for testing,” said VP of Marketing for Curative, Miranda Gottlieb.

NMDOH say they are collaborating with Curative, a research company in California that has created the first oral fluid test in the United States. The mouth swab samples have been demonstrated to be at least as accurate as of the more traditional nasopharyngeal test swab for both asymptomatic and symptomatic people. The tests will be self-collected, meaning they do not require a trained health care worker to administer, but trained personnel will be present when and where these tests are made available to ensure samples are correctly collected.

“One of the benefits is it’s yet one more place where people can go and get tested and yes it is less invasive and so that may be a really good option for kids,” said NMDOH spokesperson, Marisa Maez.

The state hopes the turnaround for results will be under 48 hours. They’ll be able to do 2,000 tests a day. As with all COVID-19 tests in New Mexico, these tests will be administered for free; clients must pre-register at

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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