My fellow New Mexican,
I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe in the new year. The last 10 months have been an immense challenge for all of us. But there is hope. I firmly believe 2021 will be a better year than 2020. And we can all help make it so.
I wanted to reach out to you today to ask you to consider doing two things to help our state, and your community, as we navigate this challenging new phase of the pandemic.
The first is to get tested for COVID-19. My administration has made getting tested easier than ever before. You and your family now have the choice of ordering a saliva test, which can be shipped straight to your door, and mailed back to the lab for accurate results within a day or two -- all completely free of charge to you. You can also, of course, visit any one of the dozens of COVID testing sites we have established throughout the state. All of this information -- and more about how testing is safe, free and easy in the state of New Mexico -- is available at togethernm.org.
Why is it so important to get tested? For one thing it helps us slow the spread of COVID. When we know who is carrying the virus, we can be sure those people are isolated, help them get the proper health guidance, and stop them from unknowingly spreading the virus to more people. This helps us drive down the prevalence of the virus in our communities and in our state, which prevents illnesses and even deaths. Getting tested is also very helpful to businesses and workers in your community. When more New Mexicans get tested, it gives us a better chance to drive down test positivity rates (the number that shows how many COVID tests are positive in a given community). As you may know, when test positivity rates go down, communities and businesses are able to safely conduct more in-person activities. We all want to get back to normal. But we can only move in that direction when it’s safe to do so. A COVID-19 test is an essential tool in that effort.
The second request I have for you is to register for the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage your friends and family to do the same. The New Mexico Department of Health recently launched an app, available through cvvaccine.nmhealth.org, that enables you to enter your health and employment information, along with other key data. When vaccine is available to you, we’ll send you a notification enabling you to schedule a vaccination appointment. So far, nearly 300,000 New Mexicans have registered.
If you have questions or would like support with the registration process - including New Mexicans who do not have internet access - please dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support. The hours of the hotline are Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. Users who have other vaccine-related questions please select option 0 for vaccine questions.
Why is it so important to register for the vaccine? Right now, as you may know, supply of the vaccine from the federal government is limited. That means states all across the U.S., including ours, have been prioritizing the highest-risk individuals and workers, like front-line nurses and doctors and other health care providers. When more vaccine becomes available to our state, more groups of individuals will be able to receive their shots. Our priority is to get this vaccine to everyone as efficiently and safely as possible. When you register for the vaccine, it helps the state of New Mexico ensure that happens. It’s quick, it’s simple, and your personal information will be protected.
Thank you for helping us keep the virus under control. We all have a role to play in protecting our state. Be well, stay safe, and may God bless you.