Agency to provide COVID-19 tests at offices for food workers

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials are setting aside time slots for food industry workers for COVID-19 testing at numerous New Mexico Department of Health field offices statewide.

The Department of Health says the testing time slots from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. each Monday will be for people who work at establishments such as restaurants, grocery stories, farmers markets, distribution centers and food manufacturing facilities.

The department says the effort should help identify, isolate and trace new cases.

The department’s announcement notes that many people infected with the coronavirus may not experience symptoms but still have potential to pass the virus.

The state reported an additional 147 cases Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 9,250. McKinley and San Juan counties in the northwestern corner of the state continue to account for more than half of the cases. There also are more than 600 cases among inmates being held at federal and state lockups in New Mexico.

The death toll now stands at 410, with six new deaths reported Wednesday.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

As for testing for food workers, cities where participating offices are located include Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Gallup, Farmington, Belen, Santa Fe, Espanola, Los Alamos, Santa Rosa and Raton.

Others are in Artesia, Carlsbad, Clovis, Ft. Sumner, Hobbs’, Lovington, Portales, Roswell, Ruidoso, Tucumcari, Las Cruces, Anthony, Sunland Park, Silver City, Alamogordo and Socorro.