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State releases revised COVID-19 testing criteria

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More New Mexico residents are now eligible for state COVID-19 testing after the New Mexico Department of Health released new testing criteria.

The news release issued Wednesday by the New Mexico Department of Health follows the statements made by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at a Tuesday news conference, which included the announcement that more testing sites in the state had been established.

Previously only people who exhibited symptoms such as a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing or who had recently traveled out of the state or country were allowed to be tested at state health sites. Now the testing criteria also includes asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who already tested positive for the coronavirus; asymptomatic residents in nursing homes; and asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes and detention centers.

Local Department of Health offices in several southeast New Mexico communities are offering regular testing, if people are referred by a medical provider or if people call first to be screened to determine if testing is warranted.

In Roswell, the site is at 200 E. Chisum St. and testing occurs Mondays, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The phone number is 575-624-6050. Other sites in southeast New Mexico are shown on an interactive map on the Department of Health website, cv.nmhealth.org.

New Mexican residents with health-related questions also can call the Department of Health coronavirus hotline at 855-600-3453. For non-health-related questions or concerns, call 833-551-0518.