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Boulder County mass testing sites see surge in demand

According to officials at Boulder County Public Health, traffic at their mass testing site at the Boulder County Fairgrounds has increased by 238%.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — As people return home from the holiday, demand for COVID tests have skyrocketed. According to officials at Boulder County Public Health (BCPH), traffic at their mass testing site at the Boulder County Fairgrounds has increased by 238%.

"We're going to get folks through as quickly as possible," Chris Campbell the emergency management coordinator at BCPH said.

"I think folks with the continued holiday are looking to get tested rightfully, so they feel safe and comfortable meeting with friends and family and we are seeing significant uptick in cases in Boulder County. So it's just a combination of things leading to that impact on the testing sites. So as always, we ask community members for patience."

Ben Aronson waited roughly two-and-a-half hours for his test. He was sent to the site after one of his co-workers tested positive. 

"You just got to go with the flow," Aronson explained. "I'd definitely rather know that me and my coworkers are all negative and are not going to be getting sick."

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Campbell also believed the influx of testing was due to the low availability of at-home test kits. NBC News reports the federal government would be making 500 million free at-home tests available, with the first tests ready to be sent out in January. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) launched a Rapid At-Home testing program making at-home test kits available for all Coloradans.

According to CDPHE, the state has received about 95,000 over-the-counter tests each week. Officials told 9NEWS they have ordered more tests to cover the increased demand and avoid additional delays where possible.

Campbell said anyone that visits a test site should be patient, the surge in demand may last a while. 

"I think demand is going up even more," Campbell said. "So I would anticipate that through the end of the week as we continue through the holiday season."

Boulder County Public Health said turnaround time for results may be a little longer than usual as well. Right now, they're averaging two to three days but officials said in the coming days that may change.

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