Lawmaker pushes for all New Mexicans to get at-home COVID testing kits

Politics - Government

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – With COVID-19 spreading like crazy right now, and at-home tests in short supply, one lawmaker wants the state to buy millions of them and send them to every home.

Martin Nieto is no stranger to at-home testing kits. “We’ve purchased close to ten to use, and distribute through the family,” Nieto said. However, recently they’ve become very difficult to find. “There’s signs at the store that say they’re sold out.”

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Earlier this week, pharmacy employees said they can’t keep the kits on their shelves. Now, state Senator Jeff Steinborn a Las Cruces Democrat wants to make sure every New Mexican has access to at-home tests. “To protect what will ultimately be hundreds of lives, and keeping our hospitals from being absolutely pushed over the edge,” said Steinborn.

During the upcoming legislative session, Steinborn is hoping to set aside $50-million, from the general fund, to pay for tests. The New Mexico Department of Health would then distribute them. Steinborn estimates they’d be able to get at least two boxes to each New Mexico resident.

Steinborn says we can’t get complacent in fighting the virus, and this is an important investment. It’s important for people to have more than one antigen test. Health officials suggest using them for two or three days straight to make sure you don’t have the virus or you’re no longer contagious.

Steinborn is also introducing a bill that if approved, would set aside another $10-million to provide N95 masks to every New Mexican. The legislative session starts on January 18.

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