State of Colorado Major Testing Announcement

Major Testing Announcement

Today, Governor Polis announced that Colorado now has the supplies, the testing sites, and the capacity to test anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, as well as all health care workers, all senior care facility workers, all first responders, and all essential workers who directly interact with the public while working, whether or not those individuals have symptoms or not.

Any individual who fits into these categories is encouraged to get tested.

How To Get Tested

First, if you’re not a health care worker, senior care facility worker, essential worker, or first responder, determine whether or not you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Primary symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Not to be confused with a common cold, where the primary symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy/Runny Nose
  • Sore Throat

For more information on symptoms, visit covid19.colorado.gov/covid19-symptoms

Second, consult a medical provider: your primary care physician, family doctor, or a medical clinic in your area for a diagnosis. There are also options to get a diagnosis using telehealth, which is most often an online video chat with a medical provider. For more information on telehealth, visit:  Telehealth and Nurse Lines

Third, find a testing facility in your area. Your medical provider should be able to help you find a testing site. You can also find a community-based testing site in your area using this map on our The State of Colorado's COVID-19 homepage  https://covid19.colorado.gov

There are four kinds of testing facilities.

  • Private health care providers (e.g. UC Health, National Jewish, Children’s, Centura, Denver Health, Kaiser, as well as federally qualified health centers like Stride). Consult your health care provider for more information.
  • Community based testing sites, where the state works with local communities across the state to provide testing. Find one using this map.
  • Specialized testing sites at high-risk facilities like senior care facilities, other congregate care facilities, and some workplaces
  • Private sector partners outside of traditional healthcare, such as Kroger grocery stores, Walmart, and others.

Fourth, take a few minutes to fill out this quick Symptom Tracker survey to help our public health team determine how the virus is behaving in your community and adjust our response accordingly. We’ve partnered with Google and MTX on this symptom tracker, and over 1,000 Coloradans have already used this tool to help the state better respond to COVID-19.

Testing in Colorado is FREE

Whether a person is on Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance or has no health insurance at all, cost is not a barrier to testing in Colorado. Thanks to executive action taken by the Polis administration, Colorado-regulated insurance plans are prohibited from charging copays for testing, and Medicaid patients can also get tested without cost. For those without insurance, community testing sites can send samples to the state lab and the state will cover the cost.

Also, because of executive action taken by the Polis administration, Coloradans should not worry about their job status if they test positive. Most Colorado businesses are now required to provide paid leave for those who test positive, so you can worry about getting better instead of worrying about making ends meet.

It’s not just a question of basic fairness — if Coloradans can’t afford the test and can’t afford to take off work if they get sick, they might not get tested, and that will put all of us at greater risk.

Were all in this together — that means making sure everyone can get tested so that everyone can be better protected.

Importance of Testing

Expanding testing is a key factor for success in the Safer-at-Home phase, along with maintaining social distancing and wearing masks, staying at home whenever possible, and protecting our most vulnerable populations -- older Coloradans and those with underlying health conditions.

Testing is extremely important for a number of reasons. Patients need to know whether they have COVID-19 so they can seek treatment. isolate themselves for 14 days, and inform others they may have come into contact with. Expanded testing will help to prevent further spread of coronavirus, especially by individuals who may not know they have been infected. Furthermore, as we begin to relax restrictions on our economy and society, testing will provide public health experts and policymakers with crucial information about how the virus is spreading in our communities so that we can adjust our response accordingly.

The bottom line is this: the more testing we can do, the more we can suppress the spread of coronavirus in our state, and the sooner we can relax more restrictions on our economy.

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