Last month, the state dipped below its testing target of 5,000 tests a day. However, in just the past couple of weeks, it appears more people are following the state’s recommendations to get tested.
“Get tested, be safe, do your part,” said Robert Baldwin, one of dozens of people in line for COVID-19 testing Monday morning at the Presbyterian site off San Mateo. “I think it’s important to be a part of the community and to know that you’re being safe with others,” Baldwin added.
In the last week, statewide testing has stayed well above 5,000 tests per day, after dipping below that target last month. The Presbyterian site in Albuquerque sees roughly 320 people per day, with closer to 370 people seeking tests on weekends.
Reasons for getting a COVID-19 test vary. “Today we wanted to make certain after we just got back from Denver that we were safe,” said Fred, a New Mexico resident in line to get tested for COVID on Monday. “We have a business up in Colorado and that took us up that direction.”
Some people are getting tested after recently traveling out-of-state, or they may have had exposure to COVID-19 in the community. Testing sites in southeast New Mexico said they’ve seen more people lately as well.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also recently addressed an increase in state rapid responses to businesses. State data shows a 90% increase in rapid responses in Lea County, a 60% increase in Eddy County, and a 50% increase in Curry County.
“It isn’t to pick on anyone or any county, it’s to point out that we can, and must do better,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham, during an October 1st news briefing. “And here is the data that shows us where we’re still having the greatest trouble.”
While state health officials say testing more people is a good thing, they hope to see spread rate and positivity rates go down. The current spread rate in New Mexico is 1.24, above the state’s target of 1.05.
The Lovelace Medical facility in Albuquerque said they usually see between 60 to 70 people per day for drive-thru testing. Monday morning, their location saw 115 people.
According to the state Department of Health data, most COVID-19 cases in the state are made up of people ages 20 to 39 years old. That age group currently accounts for more than 11,000 of New Mexico’s confirmed cases.
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