CDPHE’s medical director answers questions about COVID-19 testing


DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports more than 1 million residents have been tested for COVID-19.

Health experts say testing goes hand-in-hand with following public health guidelines when it comes to protecting everyone in the community.

Dr. Eric France, chief medical director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, emphasizes that it is important to know when a COVID-19 test is needed.

“If you have been exposed to somebody with COVID, get tested seven days after the exposure. Quarantine for a full 14 days while you wait for your results” he said. 

France explains there are different types of tests for COVID-19. A nasal swab can provide results in a couple of hours. Other types of tests are more sensitive but may not reveal past exposure to the coronavirus in fully recovered patients.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says current testing can provide four results: a true positive or negative, and a false positive or negative.

Health officials say that’s why truly preventing the spread of disease means combining testing with public health safety practices, like wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, regular hand washing and disinfecting surfaces. 

Health officials say it’s important to remember that not much is known about how long immunity may last after contracting COVID-19. 

More information about testing methods and site locations can be found on the CDPHE’s website.

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