DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday that the state has increased its coronavirus testing capabilities, making it possible for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get a test.
The governor encouraged anyone with symptoms to get tested.
In late April, Polis said he wanted all symptomatic Coloradans to be able to get tested by mid-May.
“Getting tested is a crucial part of our response to this virus, and I’m proud to say that any Coloradan who is showing symptoms, can and should get tested,” said Polis. “This ensures that infected individuals get the care they need, and prevent spreading the virus to others. This is an all-hands on deck effort for Coloradans. Significant progress in expanding testing had been made through our partnership with cities, counties, hospitals, community health clinics, and retailers in every corner of the state.”
In addition to testing those with symptoms, the state also has the capability to test the following people:
- Health care workers
- Nursing home workers
- First responders
- Any essential workers who interacts directly with the public
According to Polis’ office, there are four ways to get tested in Colorado:
- Health care providers
- Local community-based testing sites
- Specialized testing sites
- Private sector partners
Coloradans can get tested for free.
“The Division of Insurance has directed Colorado-regulated insurance plans not to charge copays for testing, and Medicaid patients can also get tested without cost. For individuals without insurance, community testing sites can send samples to the state lab and the state will cover the cost. In addition, Coloradans shouldn’t be worried about losing their jobs if they test positive for COVID-19 as most Colorado businesses are now required to provide paid leave for those who test positive,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
Additionally, under the CARES Act, all insurance providers cannot charge for COVID-19 testing.
There are two types of tests available: viral and antibody.
The viral tests use swabs and determine if the virus is present in a person’s body. According to Polis’ office, they are most effective for diagnosing new infections soon after a person has become infected, therefore helping contain the spread of the disease.
The antibody tests use blood and test a body’s response to the virus. These tests can help provide information about the extent of the virus’ spread. However, the governor’s office says antibody tests can’t be used in individual patient care “due to outstanding scientific questions.”
As of Monday, 129,159 people in Colorado had been tested, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Additional information about getting tested can be found on the state’s website.