New Mexico health secretary talks on at-home COVID-19 tests

Coronavirus New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The first and fully at-home COVID-19 test will be available to the public soon. The FDA granted emergency approval for the test Tuesday and New Mexico leaders are already working on getting it here. A big week in the fight against COVID-19, more doses of the Pfizer vaccine are getting to the state every day but state leaders say continuing to do testing is still important.

An easy way to continue and potentially expand testing is with the do-it-yourself at home COVID-19 test. “Plans are underway and moving forward to use, to actually have the at-home test available to New Mexico residents, so we are now in the planning phase of that and moving forward for sure,” said New Mexico Department of Health Secretary-designate Dr. Tracie Collins.

Australia based company Ellume is the first to get its at-home COVID test authorized. Anyone two or older can use the test. The kit includes a nasal swab, chemical solution, and testing strip; The test connects to your smartphone and results will pop up within 20 minutes. Just like the vaccine, the supply for the test will be limited. “So we are balancing, making sure we continue with testing, looking at options that are efficient like the at-home test but also then revving up for vaccinations,” said Dr. Collins.

Dr. Collins says there is no timeline for these at-home tests to arrive in New Mexico but she says it will be soon. The tests will be about $30 and people will be able to buy them at pharmacies or online. Recently, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Secretary for the Human Services Department Dr. David Scrase said fewer New Mexicans are getting tested. They want to see those numbers go back up and have opened more testing sites across the state.

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