Denver’s COVID-19 testing shifts to smaller group places as Pepsi Middle website prepares to shut

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Denver’s COVID-19 testing technique is pivoting for a 3rd time, because the drive-thru website on the Pepsi Middle closes subsequent week and the town’s emphasis shifts to native and pop-up websites.
Like many of the United States, Colorado didn’t have sufficient testing provides in March, and individuals who weren’t sick sufficient to go to a hospital had been advised to experience out their signs at residence. After the Pepsi Middle website opened in late Could, officers inspired anybody with signs to get examined — although some reported lengthy waits for his or her outcomes. Later, the drive-thru website expanded free testing to individuals with out signs.
The subsequent section will give attention to smaller-scale testing websites. The Pepsi Middle reduce its capability in half Sept. 13, and all lanes will shut down after Sept. 30.
The objective is to gradual the unfold of the novel coronavirus in neighborhoods the place an infection charges are highest in order that the town can start reopening additional, mentioned Tony Diaz, an emergency administration specialist with the Denver Division of Public Well being and Atmosphere.
The town additionally goals to make testing extra accessible by assembly residents the place they stay, as not everybody owns a automotive, he mentioned.
The location on the Pepsi Middle was created as a “cease hole” whereas metropolis officers organized and created a method for testing locally, mentioned Diaz, who oversees COVID-19 testing for Denver.
“We’re prepared now to actually begin focusing on the communities the place we’re seeing the outbreaks,” he mentioned. “We wish to be certain we’re offering this extra all through the town.”
Diaz mentioned new “mini-Pepsi Facilities” will function day-after-day. There are also discussions underway to supply flu photographs on the places as influenza season is approaching. Whereas Denver will lose some testing capability, residents can get exams on the group websites, pressing care clinics or by way of major care physicians, he mentioned.
Denver’s announcement earlier this month of the looming closure of the Pepsi Middle website directed “those that are ready” to hunt testing from their very own physician.
“We’re not making an attempt to discourage anybody at this level to get examined,” he mentioned.
Wendy Nading, a nurse supervisor answerable for group testing at Tri-County Well being Division, mentioned giant testing websites within the metro space have been operating at perhaps half their capability lately. Although the Pepsi Middle noticed lengthy traces and limits imposed on exams per day in early July, Gov. Jared Polis extra lately has famous that website has not been operating at full capability.
Moreover, not everybody is ready to get to a central website, and even to register on-line, Nading mentioned.
“The demand for that testing simply hasn’t been there,” she mentioned.
The massive websites have the benefit of simple messaging, Nading mentioned, but it surely might make sense to redeploy a few of the workers working there to smaller websites across the group. Testing days at church buildings and different organizations that individuals belief of their neighborhoods have had good turnouts, she mentioned.
“In the event that they have already got a group presence there, they’ve been very profitable,” she mentioned.
A schedule on the Denver metropolis web site confirmed a testing occasion each Saturday by way of the top of October, and a few on weekdays. Areas included the Denver Indian Middle, Abraham Lincoln Excessive College, the Montbello faculty campus and social service suppliers.
Cell websites can’t be the one resolution, nevertheless, as a result of individuals want to have the ability to get examined persistently, Nading mentioned. Medical doctors’ workplaces and pressing care clinics have begun providing speedy testing, although it’s all the time a problem to attach individuals with out insurance coverage to these places, she mentioned. COVID-19 testing itself is free, however sufferers might get a invoice if a health care provider runs another exams, or for the price of visiting an emergency room if that’s the place the particular person obtained examined.
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The state’s 211 map confirmed 141 places offering COVID-19 testing within the Denver space. The websites had completely different standards, although, with some testing solely individuals with signs and others limiting their providers to residents of sure counties.
Giant websites providing free testing are also nonetheless accessible on the Aurora Sports activities Park and WaterWorld, for these capable of drive there.
Olga Webber, chief working officer for Clinica Tepeyac, mentioned they could want to extend staffing to satisfy the necessity for testing after the Pepsi Middle website shutters. The clinic initially provided testing solely to individuals residing within the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, however now they’ve individuals coming from so far as Englewood and Golden.
They don’t survey sufferers about why they selected that website, however some are undocumented and afraid to go to a testing website that requires identification, she mentioned.
“We wish to ensure if anyone must be examined, they will come,” she mentioned.

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