Massive drive-up COVID-19 test site prepped to open in Pepsi Center lot

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis and Mayor Michael Hancock are expected to unveil a free, large-scale drive-up COVID-19 testing site in a Pepsi Center parking lot at a press conference on Thursday.

The massive drive-up site in Pepsi Center’s “Prius West” lot features 12 lanes to get people tested on a large-scale. Neighboring parking lots are lined with cones to help with traffic control.

Earlier this week, Polis announced the state can now process 10,000 tests a day. CDPHE has partnered with STRIDE Community Health Center, Clinica Family Health and Women’s Health Group to open six sites around the metro. However, the opening of the massive testing site outside Pepsi Center signifies a significant increase in available testing in the metro.

Drive-up testing as been the preferred method of testing because it is easy and convenient. When a drive-up testing site initially opened at a CDPHE facility in Lowry, patients waited hours to get tested and even got turned away. After it closed, those wanting to get tested complained it was difficult to find places to get tested. Thursday’s announcement of the drive-up site near the Pepsi Center marks a shift in the metro area’s testing capabilities and accessibility.

Polis said wide-spread testing is vital in easing restrictions on the economy because it will help health experts monitor how the virus is spreading and behaving in Colorado. Additionally, Polis said easy access to testing incentivizes people to get tested if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate if they are sick and notify those they have been in contact with.

The Pepsi Center site will be able to process at least 500 tests a day.

It will begin administering tests Friday, May 22, and will continue to operate daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

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