BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Gov. Polis recently announced that Colorado now has the supplies and capacity to test anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.
Boulder County Public Health says that in addition to anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, anyone with or without symptoms who is employed as a health care worker, nursing home worker, first responder, or is an essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working, can get tested in Boulder County.
“Now that we have adequate supplies, we hope residents who have symptoms of COVID-19, have contact with someone who is positive, or who is an essential worker will consider getting tested,” said Dr Chris Urbina, Boulder County Public Health medical officer. “Testing can help quickly identify people with the illness and ensure they’re safely separated from others to prevent spread of the disease at home or work. Early testing also helps to identify anyone who was in close contact with the infected person so that they too can quickly and safely be separated from others to stop disease spread.”
Those who live in Boulder County and would like to be tested for COVID-19 and meet the testing criteria can contact their regular health care provider or visit a community testing site.
Both the viral (swab-based) testing and antibody (serology) testing are available.
The viral tests determine if the virus is present in a person’s body and can help diagnose new infections quickly after a person has become infected so the spread of disease can be contained.
Antibody tests look for the body’s response to the virus in the blood and can be used in research to understand where the virus has been and the extent of its spread.
Antibody tests cannot be used to diagnose an acute infection.
“The more people that get tested, the better picture we’ll have of the disease within the county,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health executive director. “One thing that’s important to remember is that as more people are tested, we will see more positive results. Tracking and tracing close contacts will be vital to control the virus and save lives.”
The Colorado Division of Insurance has directed Colorado-regulated insurance plans not to charge copays for testing, and residents with Medicaid insurance can get tested with no cost.
For those without insurance, community testing sites can send samples to the state lab. The state will then cover the cost of the testing and supplies.
Anyone who has lost job-based health insurance coverage within the last 60 days may qualify for a special enrollment period in Connect for Health Colorado.
For information about testing results in Boulder County, visit www.boco.org/covid19illnessrecovery.