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New Mexico Air Guard assisting with coronavirus testing

By Senior Airman Ian Beckley | 150th Special Operations Wing | May 19, 2020

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The 150th Medical Group, part of the New Mexico National Guard Joint Task Force, is assisting the state’s COVID-19 response by conducting coronavirus testing site at the Wellesley Health Center.

While agencies around the state continue to work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, members of the 150th Medical Group are expanding their roles where appropriate.

Capt. Adrian Mateos Chavarria, Tech. Sgt. Jose Caban, and Senior Airman Damian Uribe – along with a civilian team – completed 82 COVID-19 nasal swabs in less than 55 minutes. This testing fulfilled 100 percent of the demand and increased the testing speed rate by 30 percent.

“The military personnel received academic orientation and hands-on training on-site, accomplished one hour prior to mission execution,” said Mateos Chavarria. “Tech. Sgt. Caban and Senior Airman Uribe exceeded standards while supporting the short-notice tasking. Their high level of professionalism was acknowledged by Wellesley Health Center COVID-19 Response Head Nurse Ruth Ann.”

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said her goal is to test every citizen of the state for COVID-19. She said via Twitter: “44% of COVID-19 cases are contracted from someone showing no symptoms. More testing enables more people who are COVID-positive to self-isolate, reducing the spread of the virus and saving lives across the state.”

Mateos Chavarria’s team and the rest of the 150th Medical Group are working to help complete COVID-19 testing more quickly and efficiently to protect public health in New Mexico.