DENVER (KDVR) — After a long weekend full of travel, football games and gatherings, doctors and health experts are worried about a potential post-holiday surge. One way to keep an eye on a potential influx of cases is COVID testing. A way the state monitors people is currently out of operation.
Governor Polis and the state were adamant about making sure frontline workers had access to BinaxNOW COVID tests. Now at a critical point in the pandemic, the tests are unavailable to those working on the front lines.
Throughout 2021, the State of Colorado has been distributing free, at-home rapid tests to people working directly with the public. Before Tuesday, people looking to get an at-home COVID test from the system were greeted with a message reading: “Currently, we are still accepting orders for the Binax at-home test kits. However, due to low inventory, we will not be able to fulfill any requests at this time.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, the state’s at-home testing site was updated to read: “We are currently revamping and transitioning this program. While we are unable to fill orders immediately, we are accepting orders and will honor those once our new program is underway.”
The state is telling people looking for an at-home test to go to a community testing site in the meantime.
A spokesperson for Polis’ office Tuesday evening said there is not a shortage of testing in the state. They tell FOX31 the state is changing vendors and is going through the appropriate vetting process. Their goal is to have the program back up and running by the end of September.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it is still fulfilling requests for eligible organizations.
“We are directing them to request tests through our bulk Binax program and fulfilling those requests. Organizations can provide testing for their employees through the bulk Binax program. The bulk Binax program focuses on providing testing to congregate settings and essential workplaces. To date, this program has distributed more than 3.5M bulk Binax to LPHAs, shelters, government agencies and others,” the organization said in a statement to FOX31.
To date, CDPHE says it distributed 474,042 tests to individuals from April – Aug. 2021 statewide.