EDITOR'S NOTE: Clarifies to first 100 people in line.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is sending testing resources to specific communities that have not yet had testing that will yield vital information about how the disease is spreading. CDPHE is also strongly advising the public: If you have symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath), don’t wait for a test to self-isolate.
The state is expanding testing to include a temporary drive-through site at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds at 10165 CR 120 in Salida Saturday, March 21. The Colorado National Guard and Chaffee County Public Health are supporting these efforts. Chaffee County residents who are symptomatic and have a doctor’s order can show up between noon and 4 p.m. for the test.
People who come to be tested should know and do the following:
Testing is free. Proof of insurance is not required.
Bring a written or electronic copy of the doctor’s order. Individuals should not go to their doctor’s office but should call to get an emailed or faxed copy of the order. Bring a form of photo ID (driver’s license, school ID, work badge, etc.) that matches the name on the doctor’s order.
If there are multiple people in one vehicle, each person to be tested must have their own doctor’s order.
The first 100 people in the queue will have access to the drive-up testing; all other vehicles that arrive after that will be encouraged to seek testing from a private provider. Always call ahead and speak with the health care facility in advance before going there for testing or treatment.
Individuals will drive through a secured area and will remain in their vehicles throughout the entire testing process.
Be prepared for long wait times. No restrooms will be available. Bring water and other items to be comfortable while waiting.
Telephonic interpretation will be available for speakers of other languages.
CDPHE also plans to send testing resources to other locations next week. CDPHE is prioritizing testing in areas that have not been highly tested to better understand where the disease is occurring and respond. These sites will serve high-risk patients who have been pre-selected by area health care providers. They will not accept walk-up or drive-up patients.
The state health department is also strongly advising that if you have mild symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others.
Call your health care provider only if your illness becomes more severe, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher your symptoms. People who are not at high risk of severe illness may not need to be evaluated in person or tested for COVID-19. Not everyone with symptoms will be tested right away.
If you have mild symptoms, suspect you were exposed, and are either unable to get tested or waiting on test results:
Please stay home and isolate yourself until:
You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
Anyone in your household you have had close contact with (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.
Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.