NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As COVID-19 cases spike, testing is jumping just as quickly. This is causing a slow down in New Mexicans getting results. The New Mexico Department of Health is looking at ways to speed up the process. The amount of tests being done is way up compared to last year and even month to month. Mandatory COVID testing for employees and a surge in cases has people waiting days to get their results.
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“When my son had to get tested because he came into contact with somebody and that took forever. It was about five days to wait for him to get it. and I was like pacing, like please hurry you know I don’t want him to have anything but luckily we were good,” said Evita Sinclaire.
NMDOH says they are working on expanding testing services at the public health offices. The department is trying to balance getting people vaccinated and getting people tested.
In the last two weeks, more than 172,000 tests were done in New Mexico. That compared to less than 80,000 over the same two-week period in 2020. In the last 30 days, the state conducted more than 312,000 tests. That is 175,000 more than the previous 30 days.
In some cases tests are sent out of state, slowing down the ability for people to get their tests quicker. According to NMDOH, other in-state lab services are ramping up their testing turnaround again.
“We do need to be patient and recognize with so many people testing you know we can only work so fast collectively in the health world to be able to get those test results back, you know expect to wait a few days,” says David Morgan, a spokesperson with NMDOH.
If you are required to get weekly COVID tests for work the health department is recommending people use Vault testing. This allows people to have COVID tests delivered to your home every week.
The other concern is Balloon Fiesta starting the first weekend in October. The department says there are efforts underway to determine a temporary alternate site away from Balloon Fiesta Park for COVID testing.