Colorado hopes to test anyone with coronavirus symptoms by May 15, governor says
The plan is to have a testing site in each of Colorado's 64 counties. Colorado's state lab has already sent supplies to support 42 community testing sites.
Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday unveiled a plan to scale up coronavirus testing in Colorado, saying the state’s goal is to provide screening to all symptomatic people who want it by May 15.
“We’re still working to get that infrastructure in place,” Polis said at a news conference at the state Capitol. “We’re building this car as we’re driving. It’s a labor-intensive effort.”
Polis said Colorado is expecting shipments in the coming weeks from the federal government and private businesses of swabs and testing reagents that will dramatically increase the state’s ability to screen people for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The state currently has the capacity — between its public health lab and private health care providers — to process up to 10,000 tests a day. But because of supply constraints only a fraction of that amount is actually being done.
“The test is complicated. Supplies are limited. That’s why this has been such a challenge for Colorado and for America to get where we need to be on testing,” the governor said. “I’m proud to tell you that I’m optimistic that we’re getting where we need to be.”
The hope is that the broader testing will allow the state to identify outbreaks early on and stop them from worsening as restrictions are loosened on Coloradans’ movement starting this week. The state lab is now able to turn around results in as little as 24 hours, down from a maximum of five days.
Polis said the goal is to have the capacity to test a minimum of 5,000 people a day by the middle of May. But he hopes the state can do even more — 8,500 tests a day — by the month’s end.
To read the rest of the Colorado Sun’s article, please click here.
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There are no COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit as of publication, a spokesperson for Memorial Regional Hospital said on Wednesday.