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Colorado cranks up COVID testing capacity, opens more testing sites

As of right now, Gov. Jared Polis said Colorado has enough capacity to test everyone who needs to be tested.

COLORADO, USA — Colorado is preparing to increase COVID testing capacity in the state if it becomes necessary with the omicron variant spreading across the country. 

While testing sites have been busy as the holidays approach, the state said it still has enough capacity right now.

"This is our busiest time," said Rob Carlucci with COVID Check Colorado. "Everyone wants to go get tested before they go see their families, before getting on flights."

Carlucci tests hundreds of people a day with COVID Check Colorado. The company completed 11,000 tests on Monday. 

The state has more than 150 community testing sites. They’ve seen a spike in demand this week and are prepared to open more sites if the omicron variant forces them to.

"We’re expecting increased demand in testing with omicron as other areas have seen," Gov. Jared Polis told 9NEWS. "Currently we have more than sufficient testing capacity. We want to bring additional sites online so that we don’t see long lines or delays."

In places like New York and Washington, we’ve seen people waiting in long lines for hours to get a test as the omicron variant spreads. Colorado is preparing for that.

Polis is also leaning heavily on the state’s at-home testing program with more than 1.3 million tests having already shipped to homes for free.

"We are bringing online additional testing and vaccination sites," said Polis. 

COVID Check Colorado said today was the last day to get tested and get the results before Christmas. Results usually take less than 2-3 days to receive and moving forward with the holidays, they warn people that it could take up to five days for results.

"We’re expecting to do this same amount, if not more after the holidays, after people are gathering and seeing their families," said Carlucci.