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COVID-19 community testing sites in Denver seeing long lines, high demand

Denver is opening a third community testing site Tuesday but is encouraging those with insurance to seek testing from a primary health care provider.

DENVER — With the current spike in COVID-19 cases Denver is experiencing, more people are wanting to get tested.

After the Pepsi Center testing site closed more than a month ago, this city has instructed to visit denvergov.org for the latest pop-up community testing sites.

Two community testing sites were listed Nov. 2 – at Paco Sanchez Park and Green Valley Ranch Pool – with a third testing site opening Nov. 3 at Denver Human Services located at 3815 Steele St.

But these smaller community testing sites are not built for the demand the city is currently seeing – Denver's website says the "COVID-19 community testing site located at Paco Sanchez Park is currently experiencing a high volume of traffic," and suggests those looking to be tested visit a different location.

“It doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle that kind of volume,” said Tony Diaz, a COVID-19 testing branch director for the city and county of Denver. “It’s not necessarily intended to handle 900 cars a day.”

Diaz said the community testing sites are aimed at bringing testing to people that don’t have insurance, so they are encouraging people with insurance to seek testing from their primary health care provider.

“We’re not saying we’re not going to test you if you have insurance,” Diaz said. “We will test you. We’re not going to turn anyone away, but we do want folks to seek care through their primary health care provider.”

Diaz said this is a better route for insured people seeking testing because if your test comes back positive, you’re able to receive care and guidance right then and there.

Diaz said Denver is currently doing upward of 3,000 tests a day.

“Denver is providing well over what the CDC recommends for a city of our size of about 1,080 a day.” he said.

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