STRIDE expands COVID-19 testing to Jefferson County


WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Clinics are adding more COVID-19 testing locations to reach more healthcare workers, first responders and those at high risk of developing severe symptoms.

As clinics attempt to expand testing, rationing is still being practiced to ensure adequate supplies of swabs and kits for those in need. Even with additional testing kits coming in, clinics are still in short supply.

The STRIDE Community Health Center drive-thru testing center near East 10th Avenue and Del Mar Parkway in Aurora uses roughly 100 swabs a day. By Tuesday, that work will be doubled with a second drive-thru in Wheat Ridge.

“Right now we’re doing COVID-19 screenings out of [our mobile unit] before we set up our drive-thru process tomorrow,” said STRIDE facilities director Jeremy Bixler, who was working at the location near West 29th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard on Monday.

STRIDE test results are returned in 24 to 48 hours, according to Savita Ginde, chief healthcare officer at STRIDE Community Health Center.

“We have very efficiently been able to work out a good workflow,” Ginde said.

Long car lines that were experienced earlier in the month elsewhere are no longer as much of an issue, Ginde said. A short supply on testing kits and swabs as well as the weather are bigger concerns.

“If we have bad weather, [we] might not be able to be outside to do the drive-thru,” Ginde said. “PPE doesn’t withstand moisture very well.”

STRIDE operates 18 clinics in the Denver metro but has consolidated to seven in order to be more efficient with COVID-19 testing and to preserve personal protective equipment. Their mission is to relieve stress on area hospitals by helping with initial evaluations.

“Ideally, we’d like to be able to swab anybody who’s having symptoms, and really, anybody who comes through the drive-thru— but we’re not there yet with enough kits to be able to do that,” she said.

Currently, priority is given to people with chronic illness, those over 65 years of age, healthcare workers and first responders.

An order from a doctor is not required at STRIDE, but people will need to go through a simple symptom screening process before being tested. Those wanting a test must have a cough, fever, chills or trouble breathing.

STRIDE has already conducted 750 tests with a 15 percent positive rate. It started doing door screenings at its clinics on March 12. The Aurora location opened last week.

Testing locations and hours:

STRIDE CHC – JeffCo Family Health Services Center

Drive-thru testing available Tuesday, March 31 – Saturday, April 4

Enter from Wadsworth at the entrance directly north of the building

7495 W. 29th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

9 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday

9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday

STRIDE CHC – Aurora Health & Wellness Plaza

Drive-thru testing available Monday, March 30 – Friday, April 3

Enter on the south side of the plaza, near 10th Avenue

10680 Del Mar Pkwy., Aurora, CO 80010

9 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday

9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday

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