Denver temporarily closes COVID testing site over traffic, safety concerns

Coronavirus

DENVER, (KDVR) — The Denver Public Health and Environment closed the Paco Sanchez Park COVID-19 Testing Site Tuesday morning, citing traffic and safety concerns.

The site has seen increased demand over the past few weeks, according to a city spokesperson, and apparently reached a tipping point Tuesday. 

Rachel Libowitz lives across the street, and says cars have been lining up as early as 6 a.m.

“You walk outside and you hear people coughing,” she says. “So it’s a quick trip out to get your mail or your package, and then right back inside.”

The testing site, one of just a handful operating in Denver, runs along West 12th Avenue between Federal and Knox. 

Neighbors have been openly questioning the city’s decision to place the site there, with dozens of homes just feet away.

“Our roads are clogged, thousands of contagious people are coming through every day,” says Libowitz. “You’ve essentially brought the disease to us. We can’t escape it.”

A city spokesperson says they are planning on opening an additional testing site at Ruby Hill beginning Monday morning. They hope that will alleviate some of the congestion at the Paco Sanchez site. 

DDPHE is asking people with insurance to instead get tested at a doctor’s office, saying the community testing site is designed primarily for those who are underinsured. 

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