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Demand increasing at Colorado COVID test sites

Test site administrators said daily they average around 150 tests. On Wednesday, nearly 2,000 tests were conducted.

GOLDEN, Colo. — More people are making their way to COVID-19 testing sites due to the highly contagious delta variant.

The COVID Check Colorado testing site at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds looked a bit eerie Thursday. But those leading the site said they’ve seen an increase in testing.

“We have seen an increase in testing at all of our sites over the last few weeks, particularly with the delta variant,” said COVID Check Colorado Senior Regional Manager Terra Avila.

COVID Check Colorado offers free testing sites that offer nasal and saliva tests with results in 40 to 72 hours. No insurance, appointment or ID are required to get tested.

“We have 18 metro area sites. Five sites in North Eastern Colorado. We are about to have three sites in Grand Junction and three in the Durango area,” Avila said

Daily the sites said they are averaging around 150 tests. On Wednesday, nearly 2,000 tests were conducted. In the last two weeks, 9,516 tests were performed.

“Tests have gone from being in the double digits to triple digits, and we’ve been seeing some of our highest numbers recently since May,” Avila said.

Fully vaccinated people contribute to those numbers now that they are contracting the delta variant and experiencing symptoms.

“Fever, cough, shortness of breath, maybe muscle aches,” said Kaiser Permanente Infectious Disease Physician Amy Duckro, DO.

Duckro said symptoms should appear within 5-6 days of exposure.

"Watch for symptoms for that entire 14 days. And that if you are able to get tested within 3 to 5 days after that exposure. Then you would wear that mask until you get a negative test or until the 14 days have passed,” Duckro said.

However, vaccinations remain the focus. The concern among health experts are vaccines not being as effective against variants to come and if the same testing regimen can be used.

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