NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The state’s top doctors are urging people to take advantage of at-home COVID-19 tests. However, as of right now, there is no way for people to report the results to the state. At-home rapid tests are being billed as an easier, faster way to get tested.
“With this incredible spike we’re seeing now, it’s a great opportunity to basically deputize everyone in New Mexico to be our laboratory assistants,” said Acting Health Secretary for the Department of Health, Dr. David Scrase.
As of right now, there is not even a way to report an at-home test result to the state. “We have a portal for doing it… it’s through “NM Notify” and, unfortunately, there is a bug in it right now,” Dr. Scrase said. He says they’re working on a fix for the NM Notify website and app.
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Even when the portal is up and running, Dr. Scrase announced Wednesday, reporting positive test results will not be a requirement saying all they can do is ask people to do so. “As COVID evolves, fingers crossed, it will become more like influenza and nobody here is reporting their cases of influenza,” Dr. Scrase said.
He says the state will continue keeping track of the positive COVID test results they do get but says the state has never had a perfectly clear picture of how many COVID cases there actually are. “There’s kind of a national discussion, right now, about whether cases are what we should be focusing on or whether hospitalizations cause it’s hard to get a good case count. It’s much easier to get hospitalizations,” said Dr. Scrase.
He added this transition to at-home testing and optional self-reporting is all part of learning to live with COVID. “Part of learning to live with COVID is learning to live with it, not being told how to live with it. So I’m not thinking we’re seeing a requirement come down the pike,” Dr. Scrase said.
He says if you are symptomatic, you should seek out a PCR test adding at-home tests are best for asymptomatic people.