Free coronavirus testing now available to all Coloradans with symptoms, governor says |

Free coronavirus testing now available to all Coloradans with symptoms, governor says

Alex Burness, The Denver Post
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis gets tested for COVID-19 by nurse Stephanie Campbell after a news conference outside of STRIDE Community Health Center in Wheat Ridge on Monday, May 18, 2020. Polis provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 testing capabilities.
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Ten weeks after the coronavirus’s presence first was confirmed in the state, any Coloradan with COVID-19 symptoms can now get tested, for free, whether or not they have health insurance, Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday.

That’s a major change. In the initial months of the pandemic, testing was limited largely to front-line health workers and people who already were hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, or who had severe enough symptoms they could secure a doctor’s order.

Since mid-March, Polis has said the state needed to be testing up to 10,000 people every day in order to execute an appropriate response — but Colorado, for many weeks, was only testing a few hundred people every day. Only recently has the state consistently been testing several thousand people per day, with its daily peak of about 4,500 reached last week.

That it took the state so long to reach this testing capacity was a point of great frustration for the governor, who previously described himself as “so disappointed” in the country’s meager testing infrastructure.

“Now that you can get tested, you really should get tested,” said Polis, in a news conference held outside a Wheat Ridge health center that these days is doubling as a testing site with both virus and antibody tests.

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