The availability of COVID-19 testing in Weld County is increasing as Weld County Government will host free community drive-thru testing events in early June. The events, in combination with those led by health care providers and other public and private agencies throughout Weld County, are part of a goal to collectively test 10 percent of the county’s population by July 18.
People who are experiencing symptoms and asymptomatic people who are in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 are eligible for testing. A doctor’s note is not required, and those wanting to be tested must be at least 18 years of age and register by 3 p.m. the day before an event.
Registration opens seven days prior to each event and can be completed by visiting www.weldhealth.org.
Securing enough test kits for countywide testing has been difficult, but the Weld County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has been persistent in asking the state’s Emergency Operations Center for testing kits since mid-March. These events in June reflect the first time since the beginning of the pandemic Weld County has obtained enough test kits to test the general population.
As stay-at-home orders ease, expanded testing remains critically important. Robust testing, combined with continued contact tracing, allows Weld County Health Department staff to monitor community spread of the virus. Additionally, these events help meet the recommended testing levels in Weld County.
“We know that COVID-19 test availability is important to our residents, and our staff has been working diligently to expand testing opportunities,” Weld County Chair Mike Freeman said. “Now that we have tests for widespread community testing, we look forward to testing those who need it and using that data to gain more knowledge about COVID-19 in our county.”
Each drive-thru testing event will follow specific procedures. Participants will follow the steps below once they arrive at a testing site:
1. To be tested, individuals must be at least 18 years old.
2. The participant will enter the entry station checkpoint with their windows rolled up. When instructed, the participant will show staff a photo identification with an email confirmation of their reference ID and appointment time through their closed window at the security gate checkpoint.
3. Once staff confirms the appointment, the participant will be directed to the Admission Station checkpoint and show identification and reference ID to the Admission Coordinator through the driver’s side window. Staff will retrieve requisition, label, specimen bag and testing materials. The Admission Coordinator will verify that the participant’s name and date of birth is correct. If correct, the Admission Coordinator will mark the car window with a sticker showing the participant’s position in the vehicle and attach the specimen bag to the car.
4. The participant is moved to the Sample Collection Bay where a swab is taken and collected. Once the swab is collected, the participant is directed to the exit.
5. Participants will be notified of results by phone within 24 hours.