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Colorado expands rapid at-home testing program

As of April 7, 2,543 Coloradans have signed up for the BinaxNOW at-home testing program. The state is now offering free test kits to all public-facing employees.

COLORADO, USA — Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is distributing 2 million free rapid BinaxNOW test kits directly to eligible employees whose jobs require them to interact with the public. 

Those who have opted into the CO Exposure Notifications service are also eligible if they receive an exposure notification. 

Eligible Coloradans can apply to receive test kits through this form and can expect a confirmation email from the state within one business day. That email will include a link to order test kits. 

RELATED: State expands home COVID-19 testing program to all employees who work with public

Each kit contains six tests, which individuals can use to test themselves every five days. Employees will be able to order their next kit 20 days after their previous order. 

According to CDPHE, the rapid tests are designed to be used for individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or as a surveillance testing tool. Care providers may order different tests if the virus is still suspected after a negative BinaxNOW result. 

9NEWS Health expert Dr. Payal Kohli said she's glad the state is ramping up testing efforts but warns that rapid tests could come with a tradeoff between how quickly you get your result and how accurate the result is. 

"If you test positive, you feel pretty confident that it’s likely a true positive, and that’s especially true of the BiNax at home tests, but the opposite is not true," said Kohli. "If you test negative, they don’t actually perform that well."

Kohli recommended getting a PCR test if your rapid test comes back negative, especially if you are experiencing symptoms. 

RELATED: At-home COVID-19 testing program expanded to include restaurant workers

According to CDPHE, eligible employees include, but are not limited to: retail workers, hotel and hospitality employees, events industry employees and event attendees, delivery and truck drivers from all industries (including DoorDash, UberEats, Amazon, etc.), movie theater employees, bank employees, gym employees, real estate agents and other staff, construction workers and trades people, general maintenance staff (cleaners, building maintenance, plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople), grocery store workers, energy and utility workers and security workers for all industries. 

> Find more frequently asked questions surrounding the BinaxNOW rapid tests here