DENVER – Getting tested for the novel coronavirus is one of the most important things you can do to help mitigate the spread of the disease to your loved ones and the community as a whole.
While testing for the new virus is free at a state lab, many Coloradans dread getting tested for fear they’ll have to pay up large sums of money for medical care when going to get a doctor’s note so they can get tested for COVID-19 – even if they have insurance through an employer.
Nearly half-a-million Coloradans with health care insurance through an employer skipped going to the doctor in 2019 because they thought it was too expensive, according to the Colorado Health Institute, which also found that about 6.5% - or about 361,000 residents – don’t have insurance.
So what can those people do if they suspect they have COVID-19 but don’t have a family doctor or can’t afford to go to the hospital?
During a Monday news conference, Gov. Jared Polis unveiled the state’s new community testing site map, which shows where community testing sites for COVID-19 are located.
The map, which can be accessed through this link, already lists more than 20 community testing sites – and more are coming.
Clicking on any given location gives you the name of the community testing site, their phone number, address, hours of operation, and answers some questions about what prerequisites those looking to get tested need to meet.
Some of the community sites test the general public while others only test county residents or patients from a particular health care facility. Some allow testing without a doctor’s note while others require those looking to get tested to bring one with them. Some allow patients to show up without an appointment while others do not.
The map does not show hospital testing sites, as Polis emphasized that residents should still go through their doctor if they need a COVID-19 test.
“These sites are not only route to testing,” Polis said during his Monday news conference. “These are the community-based testing sites that are meant to fill in the gaps where you can’t get to a hospital or don’t have a doctor.”
The governor said the map will help answer some of the most pressing questions residents might have as they ponder whether to get tested for COVID-19 and save them time by not having to research and make phone calls to see if they qualify to get tested.