Today Governor Polis announced that Colorado has reached a critical goal, and now has the supplies and capacity to test anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.
Colorado can now test:
• Any individual who has COVID-19 symptoms
• Any individual who is employed as a health care worker, nursing home worker or first responder
• Any essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working, per state or employer guidelines
There are four ways that Coloradans can get tested:
• Health care providers
• Local community-based testing sites
• Specialized testing sites
• Private sector partners
Coloradans can get tested at no cost. 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.
There are two types of test available: Viral (swab based) testing and Antibody (serology) testing. Viral tests determine if the virus is present in a person’s body. They are most relevant for diagnosing new infections quickly after a person has become infected, and help contain the spread. Antibody tests test for the body’s response to the virus, and can be used in research to provide information about where the virus has been and the extent of its spread, but can’t be used in individual patient care due to outstanding scientific questions.