ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The state Department of Health announced it is now offering an FDA-approved COVID test that involves swabbing the mouth to collect a saliva sample, available at Balloon Fiesta Park beginning today.
These tests will be administered for free but clients must pre-register at curative.com.
“We continue to look for better and more innovative ways to serve New Mexicans amid this pandemic,” said acting Department of Health Secretary Billy Jimenez in a statement.
“We are excited to provide faster, more convenient methods of COVID-19 testing to the public. The saliva test is less invasive to clients, reduces exposure to healthcare workers, alleviates some of the strain on our labs and will hopefully reduce the burden of PPE usage in our state.”
The department is working with Curative, a California-based research company that created the first oral fluid test in the U.S.
The saliva samples — considered least as accurate as the more traditional nasopharyngeal test swab — will be self-collected, meaning no trained health care workers are needed to administer it.
Trained personnel will be on hand to make sure samples are properly collected, according to a news release.