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COVID-19 testing to occur Thursday

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People who think they are exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19 and likely could have the disease caused by the new coronavirus strain can be tested Thursday at the Wool Bowl.

The Roswell office of the New Mexico Department of Health will provide the nasal swab tests after screening people to determine if they have the symptoms and if they are likely to have been exposed, said Jim Masters, program manager with the Health Department’s southeast region.

According to the New Mexico Health Department website, frequent symptoms are dry cough, fever and breathing difficulties. They also could include a runny nose, sore throat, headache and general feeling of being unwell.

“If they are asymptomatic,” he said, “we won’t be testing. But if you are and have any of the criterion, we want to at least get the swab, to swab them and get them (the tests) up to Santa Fe.”

The drive-up testing will occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wool Bowl, which is in the 1500 block of North Grand Avenue between East 19th Street and East College Boulevard.

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The city of Roswell, Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and the New Mexico National Guard also will assist at the testing location.

Test results can take several days to arrive.

Masters said the Thursday testing is the only one planned by the Health Department for the Roswell area at this time, although there could be additional Health Department testing in the future if warranted.

According to the latest information from the New Mexico Department of Health as of Monday evening, 21 people in the state have had positive tests, which must be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are in Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Socorro counties.

“Right now from our region that we cover in southeast New Mexico, we don’t have any presumptive (positive) cases,” Masters said.

He reminded people that the state is asking all people who think they might have COVID-19 to stay in their homes as much as possible.

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