Governor Jared Polis set the goal at the end of last month, April 29, to test all symptomatic Coloradans by mid-May. Now, it’s mid-May and the goal has been reached because Colorado now has the supplies and capacity to test any Coloradan with COVID-19 symptoms. Governor Polis says, “Getting tested is crucial part of our response to this virus, and I’m proud to say that any Coloradan who is showing symptoms, can and should get tested.”
At that time, Colorado was only able to test some people showing symptoms, but that’s changed, and the three main symptoms including: cough, shortness of breath, and fever have been expanded. Doctor Jeff Kuhr, the Director of Mesa County Public Health says, “Basically, it’s any symptom of any illness because over time people have realized that there are more symptoms to COVID-19 than just those initial three.”
There are four ways Coloradans can get tested for COVID-19:
-Health Care Providers
-Local community-based testing sites
-Specialized testing sites
-Private sector partners
Getting tested is crucial to stopping the spread and now there are plenty of tests for everyone meeting the standards, including the governor. “As a government worker who interfaces with the public, I meet the criteria, as do grocery store workers, as do first line responders, as do people who work in medical care,” says Governor Polis.
Colorado can now test:
-Any person who has COVID-19 symptoms
-Anyone employed as a health care worker, nursing home employee, or first responder
-Anybody who works with the general public
The state can test anyone with symptoms, anyone in healthcare, or anyone working with the public, and if you fit any of the criteria, Mesa County Public Health is ready to test you. “We set a goal for ourselves for the month of may to do 1,500 tests. That’s nearly as many tests as we’ve done this entire time. You know, we’ve just done 2,000 so far,” says Kuhr.
Kuhr also says Mesa County Public Health is seeing about 30 tests a day, but they can easily ramp that up to 100 a day. “We’ve only had 8 people hospitalized from Mesa County for the duration of this illness. However, I wanna see what’s going on in the community, and if anybody’s got any symptoms at all, or if you’re dealing with the public, come on in and let’s get you tested.
Thanks to expanded testing capacity in Colorado, it’s now easier than ever to get screened for COVID-19, and you do it through a drive-thru process, but you don’t drive up to Mesa County Public Health, you call, but in either case, it’s free. “It’s very quick. I think it takes no more than five to ten minutes. People don’t have to have a provider, they can call us at the health department. It’s 683-2300, and we’ll work with them, we’ll schedule them for an appointment,” says Kuhr.
Governor Polis said in his speech to Colorado on Monday, May 18, the state can test 10,000 Coloradans a day with the biggest day currently at 4,500 people. “We now, are encouraging people to get tested, and I do expect that people will respond to that. It’s now easier, it’s now simple, they now know it’s free,” says Governor Polis.
Coloradans can get tested at no cost even if you have insurance or not. Also, Coloradans can’t lose their jobs if they test positive for COVID-19 because Colorado businesses are now required to provide paid leave for those who test positive. Finally, there are two types of tests available: Viral (swab based) testing and Antibody (serology) testing. Viral tests determine if you have the virus, and anitbody tests look for the body’s response to the virus, to find out where the virus has spread and the extent of that spread.
For more information on testing in Mesa County call Mesa County Health at 970 683-2300 or click here.
For more information on statewide testing sites, click here.