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Drive-up COVID-19 testing at Denver Coliseum cut off after 200 vehicles

Health officials said a schedule and locations for testing next week will be announced by CDPHE when available.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) closed drive-up testing for coronavirus on Saturday at the Denver Coliseum after 200 vehicles.

CDPHE announced there will be no drive-up testing on Monday. Drive-up testing will resume by appointment only on Tuesday. Locations will be posted on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's website.

CDPHE canceled drive-up testing in the Lowry neighborhood on Friday due to weather. About 160 people waited an average of 84 minutes for testing on day one, and the site tested another 500 people the next day but had to turn some away early after the line grew too long.

The new testing site was set up at the Denver Coliseum – a move the CDPHE said in a news release was for “safety and logistical reasons.” It was staffed by the National Guard medical team.

The testing was scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Officials originally said they hoped to serve the first 100 to 150 people in line, before later announcing that the line was cut off after 200 cars.

The Denver Coliseum – which is one of the city-owned venues that has been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak – is located at 4600 Humboldt St.

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CDPHE said it intends to move the drive-up testing operation from Denver to “strategic locations throughout Colorado” after Saturday. The goal in doing this is to identify community spread early and launch public health responses.

The schedule and locations for testing next week will be posted on CDPHE's website when available, officials said Saturday afternoon.

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During Wednesday and Thursday’s drive-up tests, CDPHE said it identified 10 positive cases and is working to notify the patients of their results.

Those who can’t be served by drive-up testing are asked to seek care from a private provider. CPDHE said Colorado now has capacity for private labs to conduct testing and recommends contacting your physician for guidance, obtaining a doctor's note, and requesting information on facilities offering COVID-19 testing.

If you do reach out, CDPHE said to call ahead so the health care facility can be properly prepared.

Individuals waiting for test results are asked to stay at home while they wait for an answer.

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Before waiting in anticipated long drive-thru lines, make sure you meet the requirements for testing:

  • Bring a written or electronic copy of the doctor’s order. Individuals should not go to their doctor’s office but should call to get an emailed or faxed copy of the order.
  • If there are multiple people in one vehicle, each person to be tested must have their own doctor’s order.
  • Bring a form of photo ID (driver’s license, school ID, work badge, etc.) that matches the name on the doctor’s order.
  • Individuals will drive through a secured area and will remain in their vehicles throughout the entire testing process.
  • Be prepared for long wait times. No restrooms will be available.
  • Bring water and other items to be comfortable while waiting.
  • Testing is free. Proof of insurance is not required.
  • Telephonic interpretation will be available for speakers of other languages.

Test result returns could take as long as 72 hours. The wait will be dependent on the volume of people coming to the center.

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