State launches free at-home COVID-19 tests
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced New Mexicans may now order free, at-home, self-administered COVID-19 saliva tests, with accurate laboratory-confirmed results returned within 24-48 hours of receipt of the sample.
The free tests are available to New Mexico residents regardless of exposure risk– whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, and whether they have come into close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual or not.
Any New Mexican with access to online video-conferencing through Zoom can receive a test at home, self-administer the test with a virtual testing supervisor through a secure Zoom, and mail the sample back for laboratory processing, all free of charge.
The breakthrough in testing convenience for New Mexicans is a result of a public-private partnership between the state and Vault Health.
To order a test, and for more information, visit learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/.
“We need more New Mexicans to get tested,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We’ve worked hard every single day this year to make testing fast, easy and accessible to everyone. We ensured, from the very start, that cost would not be an obstacle for New Mexicans needing a COVID-19 test. And right now testing is one of the best ways to get New Mexico from ‘red’ to ‘green.’ We can drive down county positivity rates, help more businesses and workers get safely back on their feet, and keep more New Mexicans healthy. But it all starts with you, and it starts with getting a test. This is a very, very promising development.”
“Testing is an absolutely essential tool in our fight against the virus,” said Health Secretary-designate Tracie C. Collins, M.D. “When we know who’s positive, we can isolate the virus and cut down on transmission. New Mexicans should have every confidence in the testing our state makes available. We will get through this crisis together, and testing is one of our best strategies for managing the pandemic.”
“When more New Mexicans get tested, we can understand better the scope of viral spread in our state,” said Human Services Secretary David Scrase, M.D. “We can fight the virus more effectively when we know where we stand in every community across New Mexico. I hope New Mexicans take advantage of this simple and accessible means of testing – and continue to undertake all COVID-safe behaviors in their day-to-day lives.”
Only a photo identification, email address and an internet connection – in order to connect via online video-conferencing with a testing supervisor while self-administering the test – are required to request an at-home test.
Individuals requesting a test will be required to share basic identifying information, like a date of birth, phone number and name. Individuals will be asked for insurance information, as well, but the testing will not cost you; the test will be sent free of charge even if a requester does not have insurance.
The test will be sent via expedited shipping. Once the test is received, the individual must log onto the Vault virtual waiting room, via Zoom, to connect with a testing supervisor while self-administering the saliva sample.
The test will then be sent for laboratory verification via a prepaid UPS package. Within 24 to 48 hours of arrival at the lab, results will be available to the patient. Please note that test pick-ups and deliveries may be affected by UPS holiday hours.
The state of New Mexico continues to make free in-person testing available at dozens of sites statewide each day. To find a testing location near you, visit togethernm.org.
For more information on the free at-home test kits, visit learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/.