FARMINGTON – After its first set of drive-thru COVID-19 assessment days, San Juan Regional Medical Center announced additional testing periods.
The hospital emphasized the drive-thru assessment is for only those exhibiting flu- and cold-like symptoms – fever, cough, body aches, sore throat and runny nose. In a news release, hospital officials added: “It is critical that everyone know that those without symptoms of COVID-19 infection ... do not need testing for COVID-19.”
The additional times are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. An earlier assessment period was held Monday. The assessment sites are located at one of the medical center’s parking lots on West Piñon Street across from the hospital. Anyone showing up will need to bring insurance information and an ID, and signs will be posted in the parking lot to guide cars to the appropriate locations.
“The goal is to meet our community needs and assess those patients with minor symptoms to prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” the hospital’s news statement said.
Health officials urge people experiencing flu- and cold-like symptoms to visit the drive-thru assessment area to be evaluated and treated if necessary, instead of visiting the hospital’s emergency department or health care clinic. During the assessment, individuals will be considered for COVID-19 testing based on symptoms.
A few days after the hospital announced additional assessment days, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered COVID-19 testing sites to be established in all 33 counties in the state, including those with fewer than 700 residents. The state said there are 20 screening sites in 14 cities.
As of Monday afternoon, the state of New Mexico was reporting 65 positive cases of the virus with San Juan County reporting its first COVID-19 case on Saturday. A firefighter with the city of Farmington was the first to test positive and was tested last week at one of the hospital’s external drive-thru assessment sites. The city’s news release said the employee was not at work during the period of contagion.
On Friday, Durango also established its own drive-thru coronavirus testing site at the La Plata County Fairgrounds to begin testing select people. La Plata County announced its first presumptive positive case Monday morning. The adult resident of La Plata County drove to Cortez for a drive-thru test last week at Southwest Memorial Hospital.
Anyone with additional questions about COVID-19 prevention and exposure can call New Mexico’s 24/7 hotline at (855) 600-3453.