By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– Starting Wednesday, some Coloradans can get tested for coronavirus at a drive-up testing site. That site with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is located at 8100 E. Lowry Blvd.

Gov. Jared Polis made it clear you can’t just show up for the drive-thru tests being conducted at the Lowry State Health Department lab facility.

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The drive-up testing at CDPHE location in Lowry (credit: CBS)

“You need a doctor’s order to get that test and doctors want to keep potential coronavirus patients out of their practices,” Polis told reporters at a news conference where he announced a State of Emergency for Colorado on Tuesday.

The procedure for drive-up testing includes:

  1. Individuals will drive through a secured area, and will be instructed not to leave their car. Once at the collection station, the sampling will take 5 – 10 minutes. Representatives will take a swab from their nose and throat. They will not provide medical advice.
  2. If there are multiple people in one car, each person must have their own doctor’s order.
  3. Telephonic interpretation will be available for speakers of other languages.
  4. Testing is free.

What people need to bring:

  1. Individuals must have an order/note from their doctor confirming they need to be tested. (These tests are for patients who are symptomatic and have traveled to areas where there have been outbreaks or who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.)
  2. Individuals should not go to their doctor’s office but should call them to get the order, which the doctor can then email or fax to the individual.
  3. Individuals should bring some form of identification – driver’s license, school ID, work badge, etc. – that will match the name on the doctor’s order.

The drive-up testing at CDPHE location in Lowry (credit: CBS)

In addition to Colorado, the drive-up testing is being conducted in South Korea, the state of Washington and other locations. Polis hopes to open more drive-up locations throughout Colorado as more tests become available.

Those who use the drive-up tests will be asked to answer a questionnaire and submit a nasal swab sample.

“Open your mouth as far as you can and say, ‘Ahhhhh.’ This may make your eyes tear up it takes about five seconds to swab your nose and five seconds to swab your mouth,” said one worker to a person who drove up to be tested.

The drive-up testing at CDPHE location in Lowry (credit: CBS)

Once you are done with the test, the results are sent to a lab. It can take one to a few days to find out if you have contracted the virus.

“I think it’s good for those people need to be tested for their own mental health and security,” said Bianca Wallace.

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The drive-up testing at CDPHE location in Lowry (credit: CBS)

Additional Information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

  • Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer; use your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick. The illness can last for many days so make preparations now to work from home if possible.
  • We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency– like a large snowstorm– and have a plan for your family. Make sure to have 72 hours of key supplies on hand like medications, infant formula, diapers, pet food, etc. FEMA guidance for pre-pandemic COVID-19 preparedness is available on Ready.gov.
  • Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.

Rick Sallinger