Does anyone go to community sites more for COVID-19 testing? I posed this question to a technician from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment assigned to the Southwest Plaza test site in southern Jefferson County when I arrived on the morning of April 7, after having discovered that the queue waiting to be cleaned consisted of. ..me.
“Not that much,” he replied cheerfully, like a man on a desert island who finally reported a passing ship. “We are relaxing. »
What a difference a few years make. In July 2020, our article “COVID-19: How Pepsi Center Testing Went From a Breeze to a Marathon” noted that the on-site testing site (now known as Ball Arena) had been closed shortly. afternoon July 7 due to a combination of factors including supply shortages and high demand. Indeed, the line of cars was so long that day that it snaked through the entire parking lot to Auraria Parkway, causing a traffic nightmare. My wife and I had joined this line just under the wire, at 11:30 a.m., and the whole process took ninety minutes, in temperatures so scorching that we had to turn the heater on full blast to prevent our engine to explode.
The situation was equally chaotic in November, when a newly opened testing site in Jefferson County was quickly overwhelmed and had to close well ahead of schedule – a situation that prompted the Westword headline “COVID-19 testing expectations are starting to look like entry and exit lines.”
No more. The wide availability of free rapid tests has resulted in far fewer people using community testing sites – and since the CDPHE does not count cases unless they have been confirmed by PCR or polymerase chain reaction, the type of test used at such centers makes it increasingly difficult to know how many Coloradans are actually infected.
I have been using rapid tests for many months, like so many others. But after spending hours on the weekend of April 2-3 with someone who later tested positive on two rapids and a PCR, I decided to sign up for a more detailed test a few days later. I chose the Southwest Plaza location because it’s closest to me, and choosing a timeslot online was a breeze, since every one of them for April 7 was open.
The testing process couldn’t have been easier. At the agreed time, I stopped at the stop in front of the small shed serving as the headquarters of the two technicians on site – one who checked my information and scanned the barcode on the confirmation page to which I had accessed using my cell phone. phone, the other who did the swab without scratching my brain, as was common at the time. If the whole process took more than three minutes, I would be surprised.
I hung around outside the site a bit longer to see if anyone else was coming, and someone did. Even behind their masks, the technicians seemed happy. And unlike times in the first year of the pandemic, when test results took a week or more to come back, essentially rendering them useless, the turnaround time for my results was just over 24 hours. I rated a negative.
The CDPHE announced last week that it would close forty community testing sites by the end of April as part of what Gov. Jared Polis’ administration has dubbed “Colorado’s Next Chapter: Our Roadmap to Going Forward.” forward”. During the state’s effort to move community testing to what’s described as “traditional health care facilities and federal programs,” eighty more will remain open…for now. These eighty sites are capable of processing 26,000 tests per day, but current demand is estimated at 2,500.
One of the forty sites designated for closure (Timberline Church in Fort Collins) effectively closed on April 8, while another (Granby’s Inn in Silvercreek) will close on April 14. Here are the other 38 that are expected to close by April 30 — and yes, the Southwest Plaza site is one of them.
16th St Mall (1600 California Street Suite 1, Denver, CO 80202)
5th Street Garage – Auraria Campus (955 Lawrence Way Denver, CO 80204)
AIMS Community College (5401 20th St, Greeley, CO 80634)
Aspen Airport Cell Lot (233 Airport Rd, Aspen, CO 81611)
Aurora Center for Active Adults – Del Mar (30 West Del Mar Circle, Aurora, CO 80011)
Buena Vista Community Center (715 E Main Street, Buena Vista, CO 81211)
Clear Creek Valley Park (3700 W 58th Pl., Arvada, CO 80002)
Colorado Mountain College-Edwards (150 Miller Ranch Rd, Edwards, CO 81632)
Rio Grande Social Services (1015 6th St., Del Norte, CO 81132)
Eastman Park (7025 Eastman Park Drive, Windsor, CO 80550)
Echo Park Stadium – Doug Co Parker (11901 Newlin Gulch Blvd., Parker, CO 80134)
Fairplay Community Center (880 Bogue St, Fairplay, CO 80440)
Fort Garland Community Center (17523 US-160, Blanca, CO 81123)
Historic Fraser Church (107 Eisenhower Dr Fraser, CO 80468)
Fruita School 8/9 (1835 J Rd., Fruita, CO 81521)
Georgetown (1198 Argentina St. Georgetown, CO 80444)
Glenwood Springs Community Center (100 Wulfsohn Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601)
Jefferson County Fairgrounds (15200 W. 6th Ave. Frontage Rd., Golden, CO 80401)
Kunsmiller Creative Arts (2250 S Quitman St. Denver, CO 80219)
La Veta Fire Protection District (100 Birch St, La Veta, CO 81055)
Lakewood to South Kipling (260 S. Kipling St., Lakewood, CO 80226)
Lamar Community Building (610 S 6th St, Lamar, CO 81052)
Lincoln County Public Health (326 8th St, Hugo, CO 80821)
Littleton Southwest Plaza (8501 W Bowles Ave, Littleton, CO 80123)
Medical Mission (2125 E LaSalle St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909)
Monte Vista – Chapman Park (300-398 W Prospect Ave, Monte Vista, CO 81144)
Evergreen Montessori School (6989 County Hwy 73, Evergreen, CO 80439)
Mountain Family Health Center (195 14th Street, Rifle, CO 81650)
Netherlands Community Center (750 Hwy 72 N. Nederland, CO 80466)
Our Lady Mother of the Church (6690 E 72nd Ave, Commerce City, CO 80022)
Purchase of peach trees (3225 I-70BL, Clifton CO 81520)
Red Rocks Community College (5444 Miller St Arvada, CO 80002)
Rocky Ford Public Safety Building (300 S Main St, Rocky Ford, CO 81067)
Rocky Mountain Prep (3752 Tennyson Street Denver, CO 80212)
Silverthorne Recreation Center (430 Rainbow Dr, Silverthorne, CO 80498)
Sky Ridge Campus – Lone Tree (10101 Ridgegate Pkwy, Lone Tree, CO 80124)
Snowmass Village Town Hall – (130 Kearns Rd, Snowmass Village, CO)
Water World (8801 Pecos Street, Federal Heights, CO 80260)