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 COVID-19: NEED TO KNOW

During the current spike of COVID-19 infections resulting from the highly contagious Omicron variant, the City of Santa Fe advises the following information and measures to mitigate spread and ill effects of the virus.  

Up-to-date vaccinations (including booster shots) provide a high degree of protection against severe illness from COVID infection. Consult the Department of Health calendar for up-to-date locations, times, requirements: vaccinenm.org/public-calendar.

City Hosting Vaccinations: Moderna vaccinations for those 18 and older are available on Thursdays at the Midtown Public Safety Building (Building #2, adjacent to the Garson Theater). Those who received their initial vaccinations with the other vaccines can take a Moderna booster.

  • It is recommended that clients register on the DOH website, but walk-ups may receive shots.
  • Bring vaccination card if you have one and photo ID.
  • Bring insurance card.
  • The events take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursdays.
  • Directions: Enter the Midtown Site off St. Michael’s Dr., turn right at the T intersection, follow Campus Drive to the second drive on the left; enter the Garson Theater parking lot. The Public Safety Building (#2) is directly adjacent the Garson Theater.
  • Masks required.

Testing and early detection can help limit the consequences and spread of the virus. Residents and visitors should get tested regularly for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status and symptoms, and when and if they have symptoms or know they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Find testing here: COVID-19 Screening & Testing Sites - New Mexico Department of Health (nmhealth.org).

It helps to know what type of test to get. According to Harvard Health Publishing: “PCR tests detect viral RNA. Antigen tests, also called rapid diagnostic tests, detect specific proteins on the surface of the coronavirus. Antigen test results may come back in as little as 15 to 45 minutes; you may wait several days for PCR test results.”

  • Symptomatic persons should isolate and obtain a “PCR” test at one of many local testing sites, searchable on the NMDOH website (nmhealth.org/directory.html).
  • Asymptomatic persons should obtain an antigen test such as a self-administered saliva test, available at vaulthealth.com/nm/, at local pharmacies, or through a home-delivered COVID test.
  • Households can order four free at-home test kits through usps.com/covidtest.

City Hosting Rapid PCR Testing: Curative will begin to offer Rapid PCR Testing (results in two hours) at Midtown Public Safety Building beginning Friday, February 4, and continuing four days per week until further notice.

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Directions: Same location as above for vaccinations on Thursdays.
  • Appointments are preferred and can be made using the DOH website, however walk-ins are accepted based on availability. Bring insurance card if you have one; there is no co-pay.

Further recommendations:

Use quality masks. N95 and KN95 are more effective than surgical masks, which are better than cloth face coverings. Avoid indoor gatherings to the extent possible.

Insurance companies are required to reimburse the cost of 8 at-home/over-the-counter tests per month. Find details here.

Isolate after a positive test.

Antiviral medicines can mitigate the effects — including severe illness and death — of infection. The key is to take them within 5 days of a COVID diagnosis, which makes prompt testing all the more important.

 

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