DENVER (KDVR) — The COVID “Test to Treat” initiative is launching in Colorado, offering antiviral pills on the spot to people who test positive for COVID at participating sites.
The program was announced during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 20 King Soopers The Little Clinic locations and one CPESN pharmacy along the Front Range have been added to the program.
King Soopers said it expects to get shipments of the antivirals as early as this week.
A Walgreens representative said they are not currently participating in the program in Colorado. Neither is Safeway, nor CVS.
All CVS MinuteClinic locations are participating, but there are none in Colorado.
The Merck and Pfizer antiviral pills need to be given within five days of COVID symptoms, and they can dramatically reduce the chance of hospitalization.
Now, under the federal Test to Treat program, if you go to participating locations and test positive for COVID, a provider will give you a prescription for antiviral pills that you can get filled for free on the spot.
“We are excited that the feds are adopting a program like this,” said Scott Bookman, the Colorado COVID-19 Incident Commander.
“We are still waiting to get some more information about it, but obviously the concept really shows where COVID is going, which is these therapeutics are a game-changer, but those treatments need to be linked with testing,” Bookman said.
More participating sites could be added soon, but officials remind us all, this is just one option.
“My message to anyone who tests positive is you really should be talking to your health care provider about whether you are an appropriate candidate for one of those treatments,” Bookman said.
CDPHE plans to post a list of participating sites on its website soon.