State officials have vigorously encouraged all to practice social distancing procedures: stay home, particularly if you are sick. Every person must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19 by staying isolated.
March 23, 2020 the Governor announced that effective tomorrow at 8 AM, New Mexico will be under a statewide stay-at-home instruction. All New Mexicans are instructed to stay at home except for outings essential to health, safety, and welfare.
It is urgently important that New Mexicans understand: You must stay home. Don’t panic – but it’s no time for business as usual. This is life-and-death, and the most important thing the average New Mexican can do to help, right now, is stay at home. All businesses except those deemed essential to public health, safety and well-being will be ordered closed. Our society must continue to operate – but in an extremely limited way. This is the only way to slow the spread of COVID-19. More information here: https://bit.ly/2QHgSwD
Essential services include health care services, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, utilities, child care for essential workers, banks & credit unions, shelters, emergency services, & infrastructure operations. See the full list of essential services and find more information here: https://bit.ly/39cCwPN
Yes, however we are only testing through the emergency department, our clinic and through the Department of Health if a patient has been sent to the Emergency Department or Clinic for testing after they have been thoroughly screened.
If you are less symptomatic, we encourage you to go to our Clinic – Cibola Family Health Center to be screened in order for those with emergencies and immediate warning signs of COVID-19 to use our emergency services.
We encourage symptomatic concerned patients to call the COVID-19 state hotline for guidance on where and when to report to either the clinic or the ED. Patients presenting to Cibola Family Health Center (1423 E. Roosevelt) will be screened; any patients with any infectious process are then referred to our offsite clinic (1208 Bonita), where they are evaluated by a provider who determines whether testing is needed.
We do not have drive-thru testing.
As of 3/27 we are rescheduling our screening procedures such as mammography, bone density, and lung cancer screening, per the directive of the governor. We will ONLY be performing necessary diagnostics and surgical procedures to care for our community.
Our COVID-19 specimens are sent to TriCore to process. They run into challenges with the capacity of the laboratory testing. There is a delay statewide for people to get the results, initially we were to receive results within 12-24hrs but over the past days it has increased to a week.
As of March 30th, Tricore has decreased their turnaround time and we are getting results back faster than when we started testing.
Our hospital is calling and checking daily for updates from Tricore.
Testing kits have been distributed across the state, but are limited to accommodate each county in the state. While CGH has ordered testing supplies, we received a limited supply and are working on getting more. With these limited resources, CDC and DOH have issued guidelines for testing based on risk level.
If more testing kits become available, we will be able to test more people in the future.
Those who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as an uncontrolled fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or those who are concerned that they may have been exposed to someone with a positive COVID-19 test, should call the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).
People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. This is allergy season, and allergy symptoms such as sneezing or itchy eyes, nose or throat do not indicate a need for testing. While the state is gratified that COVID-19 testing is increasingly available, we need to prioritize testing for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
According to Tricore, they do not recommend testing persons without symptoms of a respiratory infection. In order to be good stewards of our testing capacity and supplies, testing should be limited and prioritized to persons with symptoms. Test results may not be accurate for persons without symptoms.
Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Here is some information that might help in making decisions about seeking care or testing.
Most people have mild illness (mild symptoms are considered low grade fever and mild cough) and are able to recover at home.
- There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus
- Symptomatic care is suggested, for example, fever reducing medication (like Tylenol, if you have questions contact your medical provider), plenty of fluids, rest, self-quarantine, and frequent disinfection of your home environment.
- Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who you come in contact with.
CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.