SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announced on Thursday that there will be changes to COVID-19 testing options for residents.

According to a DOH press release, the state will now only offer at-home Covid 19 testing after Curative notified the state that on Dec. 28 it will no longer offer nationwide Covid-19 testing services.

Earlier this year, Curative began downsizing its operations in New Mexico, as well as other states they were servicing as demand dropped and which increased the availability of at-home antigen tests.  

According to the release, The DOH along with local county and city emergency managers ordered 1 million free at-home tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on December 1, to distribute statewide.

Officials said that residents can still receive mail-order free at-home tests through the Rockefeller Foundation’s Project Act program.

Officials added that If you have COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID, residents are encouraged to also visit a local pharmacy to purchase a test or schedule an appointment with a local testing provider for diagnostic PCR tests that are covered in most cases by insurance and also covered by Medicaid. However, the DOH said if you do not have symptoms or have not been exposed to someone with COVID, PCR tests are not covered by insurance. 

“At-home tests offer an easy, quick, and accessible way for individuals to check their COVID status without needing to seek additional appointments in the state’s health care system, which is currently operating over capacity due to a surge in respiratory viruses,” said Acting Department of Health Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D.  

The DOH details that the at-home antigen tests take 15 minutes to complete, offering users a convenient way to check whether they are infected with COVID-19. Users can follow up with a test from a medical provider or test site to verify the results. If you have symptoms, serial testing with an at-home test separated by 48 hours is 90% accurate. Officials said It is still important to stay home if you have symptoms to prevent the spread of COVID and other respiratory illnesses such as RSV and flu.  

Officials also detail State health experts to encourage all individuals at increased risk of severe disease (and their caregivers) to take steps to prevent COVID-19, RSV, and other respiratory infections this flu season.  

  • Stay up to date on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.  
  • Stay home if you or your child is sick.  
  • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently.  
  • Keep common, high-touch surface areas clean and regularly disinfected.  
  • If you have a child needing medical evaluation, call your healthcare provider or visit an urgent care center. At this time, hospital emergency departments are strained.  
  • Only visit the hospital if your child shows signs of severe illness, such as significant trouble breathing.