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Health, first responders tested in NoCo

Posted on 04/04/2020
Health, first responders tested in NoCo

On Tuesday, March 31, and Friday, April 3, staff from Weld County’s and Larimer County’s Departments of Public Health and Environment conducted their first COVID-19 testing drive-through at the Ranch in Loveland. The drive-through testing was only open to health care workers and first responders in those counties. The test kits were provided by the Federal Health and Human Services Department (HHS).

“Health care workers and first responders have been working tirelessly to treat people who’ve been infected by this virus,” said Dr. Mark Wallace, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment. “Making the first supply of test kits in northern Colorado available to them was a critical step in keeping them healthy and protecting against the spread of COVID-19.”

Larimer County was selected by the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services (CDPHE) to conduct the drive-through testing event for health care workers and first responders who are symptomatic and responded to a survey sent to health care providers, long-term care facilities, ambulatory providers and law enforcement throughout both counties.

To make the event as successful as possible and achieve the maximum benefit of the tests available, Weld County and Larimer County worked together. Larimer County Public Health secured The Ranch as a testing site, the Larimer County Sheriff’s provided traffic control, and the Weld County Health Department provided 25 clinical support staff who conducted the actual testing. Each test took approximately 10 minutes to complete and were gathered by CDPHE and taken to a lab for analysis. Positive results will be shared with the individuals as well as their respective home county in the next several days.

HHS supplied the test kits for the event and a total of 189 people were tested. The remaining kits will be split among each county and will be used to test priority populations within both Weld and Larimer.