ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Are fewer people getting COVID tests in New Mexico? It depends on where in the state you’re looking. Albuquerque hospitals and COVID-19 testing sites, like the one at Balloon Fiesta Park, say testing was down in January. “It’s been a little slower lately overall, it’s not as crazy as it was over the past summer, and past months and stuff like that,” said Sgt. Gallegos, a non-commissioned officer at the Balloon Fiesta Park testing site.
Curative, the company that runs the testing site at Balloon Fiesta Park says the drop comes after a big testing surge during the holidays. In mid-January, the state saw a dip in the number of tests they were conducting everyday. It went as low as a little more than 9,000.
According to a graph on the New Mexico Department of Health website, that number is climbing back up at about 15% each day. The University of New Mexico Hospital says they’re also seeing about a 10% to 15% drop in the number of COVID-19 tests being administered.
However, Presbyterian Hospital says they’re averaging about 650 to 750 tests per day, at one testing site at San Mateo and McCloud, which they say was about normal before the holidays.
During Wednesday afternoon’s press conference, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. David Scrase says this is good news. “Is the reason cases are going down because we’re doing less testing? I’d say no. I think less people are showing up to get tested because they’re not exposed to as many people with coronavirus,” said Dr. Scrase.
Even with the drop, Curative says they’re conducting more than 5,000 tests statewide every day. The state is still encouraging people to go get tested. State data shows while Albuquerque may be seeing a drop in testing, other parts of the state are seeing increases.