SM County: Importance of Covid Testing As Access Expands!

SM County: Importance of Covid Testing As Access Expands!

San Miguel County Public Health announces that CDPHE mass testing events return to Norwood and Telluride.

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Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

San Miguel County Public Health continues to expand testing opportunities for residents and visitors alike in order to best understand how the virus is spreading and to effectively limit spread going forward. Next week, on February 25 and 26, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will return to Norwood and Telluride Airport for two mass testing events.

Testing can help determine if people are infected with COVID-19 regardless of whether or not a person has symptoms. That leads to quick identification of cases, prompt treatment for those infected and immediate isolation to prevent spread. Early testing also helps Public Health’s contact tracing efforts to identify people at risk of infection due to exposure so they too can be quickly treated as needed.

“Testing is an effective means for getting us safely back to work and school,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “Testing saves lives by quickly and easily identifying known positives and preventing potential exposures during the period of infectiousness. We encourage you to get tested if you have been exposed or have any symptoms, regardless of how mild.”

The two types of tests available to those interested in being tested are PCR and antigen tests. PCR tests detect genetic material of the virus from a nasal or throat swab or a saliva sample. Antigen tests detect certain proteins in the virus using a nasal swab. Antigen tests are currently available at the medical centers in San Miguel County based on provider discretion.

Next week, with CDPHE testing returning on Thursday and Friday, testing opportunities are as follows:

• Monday, February 22 in Lawson Hill from 7 am to 2 pm: Saliva PCR Test with Microgen
• Tuesday, February 23 in Lawson Hill from 7 am to 2 pm: Saliva PCR Test with Microgen
• Wednesday, February 24 at the Mountain Village Gondola Parking Garage from 2 to 4 pm: Nasal Swab PCR Test with San Miguel County Public Health mobile testing
• Thursday, February 25 at the Norwood Fairgrounds from 10 am to 3 pm: Nasal Swab PCR Test with CDPHE testing
• Friday, February 26 at Telluride Airport from 2 to 5 pm: Nasal Swab PCR Test with CDPHE testing

The regular weekly testing schedule includes drive-through clinics in Lawson Hill on Monday and Tuesday and mobile testing clinics on Tuesdays in Norwood and Wednesdays in Telluride and Mountain Village. Registration links for all testing opportunities as a well as the weekly schedules can be found on the County COVID-19 dashboard here.

Public Health has confirmed four new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from February 17 through 18. Of these cases, three are confirmed as residents and all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation.

As of r2.19, there have been 803 total COVID cases among residents to date with 15 active cases.

There are presently 400 test results outstanding from the week as the main lab used for COVID testing is in Texas where a severe weather event has effectively put the region in a state of emergency. Additionally, FedEx experienced delays in shipments this week due to adverse weather postponing the delivery of 200 tests to another main lab in Texas. These samples are still viable, and results are expected to be reported throughout the weekend.

While observing a declining trend in positivity, maintaining current policy levels will help San Miguel County continue the downward trend over a two-week measurement period in order to sustainably reopen in the coming weeks.

To learn more about the county’s current COVID-19 metrics, please visit the County COVID-19 dashboard.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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