DENVER (KDVR) — It’s the holiday rush, unique to 2020.
With just a few days until Christmas, there’s always much to do, but this year you can add a COVID-19 test to the list.
In testing centers across Colorado Monday, people flocked to get nasal PCR tests, expecting results by Christmas Eve.
“For those that are going to be around others we want them to take advantage of free testing, so they know they’re healthy as they are around other people,” said Chyrise Harris with COVIDCheck Colorado. “Certainly, we are hoping that people take advantage of testing today on the 21st so people receive their results by December 24th.”
Those who test positive will receive a phone call from a doctor or nurse who will offer support and guidance on how best to keep others around them safe.
“While limiting gatherings and social distancing is still encouraged, getting tested and knowing whether or not you’re carrying the virus is critical to keeping yourself and others safe and healthy during this busy season,” said Mike Johnston, president and CEO of Gary Community Investments. “With more than 11,000 people registered for testing today, it’s clear that Coloradans are serious about crushing COVID and giving nothing but good intentions and best wishes to others this holiday season.”
By the afternoon, the number of people registered for a test with COVIDcheck Colorado was much higher, exceeding 13,000. That number doesn’t include the people that showed up without registering beforehand.
“It’s just been very crazy and wild, everyone is getting ready for Christmas,” said Esmeralda Quezada, a medical assistant working at the drive-thru testing center at North High School in Denver. “Usually other days we will see a big morning rush and then the day will slow down and start picking up in the evening, but today it just keeps on going.”
Medial staff working the 25 COVIDCheck Colorado locations across the state noted many patients talking about Christmas plans, hoping a negative test means getting together with family without the worry.
“We are trying to let people go see their families pretty much,” said Quezada. “We are obviously not finding a cure, but it feels like we are making a difference.”
COVIDCheck Colorado intends to provide access to free testing beyond Dec. 23 and is working to open new test sites that can serve more Coloradans throughout the state. Updated test-site locations and hours of operation can be found at covidcheckcolorado.org. All COVIDCheck Colorado test sites have trained medical professionals who administer an FDA-EUA approved PCR nasal swab test. Those who get tested through COVIDCheck Colorado can expect to receive results within 24-72 hours.