COVID-19 testing expands in San Juan County as number of positive cases increases for August

There is a large increase of positive COVID-19 tests in August than in July

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • There were 333 positive COVID-19 cases from July 1 to Aug. 2 and 858 cases between Aug. 3 and Aug. 27, according to state health department data.
  • Five county public schools were listed on the New Mexico Rapid Response list for its Aug. 27 update.
  • New Mexico residents can request free, at-home COVID-19 testing from https://learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/.

FARMINGTON — The state health department has expanded COVID-19 testing across San Juan County as students and staff return to schools across the state for the start of the Fall semester.

It comes as the county sees a large increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases so far in August compared to July, and five area schools are on the state rapid response list.

The New Mexico Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard for San Juan County shows about two and a half times the number of COVID-19 cases counted so far in August compared to all of July.

There were 333 positive COVID-19 cases from July 1 to Aug. 2 and 858 cases between Aug. 3 and Aug. 27, according to state health department data.

Five county public schools were listed on the New Mexico Rapid Response list's Aug. 27 update.

COVID-19 tracker:San Juan County, Navajo Nation case updates for August 2021

Aztec High School, C.V Koogler Middle School in Aztec, Hermosa Middle School in Farmington, Kirtland Middle School and Piedra Vista High School in Farmington were five of the nine total rapid responses in San Juan County

The schools have had two or more positive COVID-19 results in the last two weeks.

The state health department is operating three different sites in the area to meet the demand of the surveillance testing for staff and students at K-12 public schools.

An employee from the San Juan County Public Health Office collects information during the free testing site for COVID-19 sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health and the National Guard on May 5 at Shiprock High School in Shiprock.

School districts are required to conduct surveillance testing on unvaccinated students who voluntarily participate, and recent changes require unvaccinated staff to be tested once a week.

The increase in testing for unvaccinated staff took place this month as COVID-19 cases statewide started to climb again due in part to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

San Juan County COVID-19 vaccine tracker:: 49% of people fully vaccinated

Curative is conducting COVID-19 testing at McGee Park Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Department officials also set up “pop-up” testing sites in Aztec and Farmington for district staff and students, but they are also open to the public.

The site at the Farmington Municipal Schools district office at 3401 E. 30th St. in Farmington takes place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Fred Cook Memorial Stadium at 455 N. Light Plant Road in Aztec is also open as a testing site from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The state health department recommends getting tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms, were in close contact with someone who tested positive (regardless of having symptoms and vaccination status) and if they work or live in a high risk setting like a correctional facility and long-term care facilities. 

New Mexico residents can request free, at-home COVID-19 testing from https://learn.vaulthealth.com/nm/.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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