Testing for COVID-19 Before Gathering Can Make Holiday Celebrations Safer this Season

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Larimer County health officials recommend that residents take action to celebrate the holiday season safely in light of the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly throughout Colorado and the United States.

With holiday travel and celebrations in full swing, one of the most important steps families, friends, and co-workers can take to reduce their chances of catching or transmitting COVID-19 is to test just before gathering. Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) recommends that residents consider rapid at-home testing for COVID-19, even without symptoms, immediately before gathering with others over the holidays. Testing right before gathering is the best approach for reducing the likelihood that someone at the gathering is in their infectious period. Rapid tests can be purchased locally in drugstores and Colorado provides no-cost rapid tests that can be shipped straight to someone’s home. For more information on the at-home testing program please visit covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-testing-at-home.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate themselves away from others for 10 days and contact their healthcare provider quickly to ask about treatment options such as monoclonal antibody therapeutics.

Individuals should also get tested right away and avoid gathering with others if feeling sick or have any symptoms like fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, or sore throat.

In addition to rapid testing options, there are free drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Larimer County, with results returned in 2-3 days.

  • Foundations Church, 1380 N. Denver Ave, Loveland, open 8 am-6 pm M-F
  • Timberline Church, 2908 S Timberline Rd, Fort Collins, open 8 am-6 pm M-F (closed Friday, 12/24)
  • Estes Park Event Complex, 1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park, open 8 am-5 pm M-F

Additional holiday tips can be found at covid19.colorado.gov/winter-holiday-guidance. The Larimer County Department of Health & Environment has web pages dedicated to helping residents find information about COVID-19, including vaccination, testing, and accessing COVID-19 treatments at www.larimer.org/covid19. Individuals may also call LCDHE at 970-498-5500 for assistance. Phone assistance is available in English and Spanish.

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