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Free at-home Covid-19 tests now available for New Mexico residents

covid-19 saliva testing

SANTA FE, New Mexico — New Mexico health officials said Tuesday they are hoping to boost the number of people getting tested for Covid-19 through a new program that will provide free, at-home test kits to anyone who requests one.

Through a partnership with Vault Medical Services, the saliva tests can be ordered online. All that's needed is an internet connection, an email address and photo identification. To order a test or for more information, click here.

State officials acknowledged the lack of broadband access around New Mexico and said the new at-home option expands what they described as one of the most wide-reaching testing programs in the nation. The state Health Department has been operating in-person testing locations in every county since early in the pandemic, including in spots that have connectivity issues.

The state is now averaging more than 14,000 tests a day and that's expected to grow with the new program. In all, more than 1.8 million tests have been done since the beginning of the pandemic.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said that expanded testing will help drive down positivity rates since health officials can better understand the scope and spread of the virus. The positivity rate is among the benchmarks the state considers when determining whether the risk level is decreasing and counties can begin to relax public health restrictions.

“We need more New Mexicans to get tested,” Lujan Grisham said. “We’ve worked hard every single day this year to make testing fast, easy and accessible to everyone."

An early glitch on the Vault website asked for credit card information and charged over $100 for the tests, but officials said the problem was corrected.

Any New Mexican with access to online video-conferencing can get a test at home. They can mail the sample back for processing after self-administering the test with a virtual testing supervisor. Results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours of being received by the lab. People will be asked for basic information such as their name, date of birth, a phone number and insurance information if they have it.

The test is available to anyone regardless if you’re symptomatic and asymptomatic. To order a test or for more information, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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