DENVER (CBS4) – A key requirement of lifting the Colorado stay-at-home order is having the capacity to test the population for coronavirus. During a regular news briefing with members of the media, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicated it’s working on the logistics for mass testing.
“We’re currently working with our local public health agencies, and really developing a mass testing strategy with them. The goal is really to have the local public health, work with health care providers, whether it’s doctors offices federally qualified health centers or hospital systems to really determine the best way to do mass testing in their communities,” said Scott Bookman, Incident Commander for the CDPHE.
The goal is to have a mass testing center in every one of Colorado’s 64 counties. While the state has increased its capacity to do the testing, it’s still lacking the proper supplies to get it done. Bookman said the CDPHE is working diligently to secure the personal protection equipment needed, as well as, cotton swabs and cell culture dishes.
Mass testing is part of a larger strategy that state officials are working on in order to lift the stay-at-home order.
“The idea is, when the stay-at-home order is lifted, that we would have alternative solutions to contain disease transmission. So instead of using a stay-at-home order, we want to use aggressive decontrol strategies; isolation and quarantine, perhaps, some other social distancing strategies, that would be a little, a little less than a stay-at-home order. And then, other screening practices at businesses and nursing homes and other settings that could also limit transmission, so there’s a variety of strategies we’re looking at, and the challenge we have right now is trying to estimate how much each of those strategies might be able to limit disease transmission, and then really come up with the appropriate menu of options to to use to really try and match what we’re achieving right now, with a stay at home order,” said Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist.
In addition to having strategies in place, infection numbers have to remain plateaued or declining. Bookman pointed out that the governor has been clear that he won’t reopen the state until he feels confident that people will be safe.
About The Colorado Stay-At-Home Order
Colorado’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus outbreak went into effect on the morning of March 26 and it is currently set to expire on April 26.
Coloradans are urged to stay in their own community and not travel for recreation or to get outside. Only essential businesses have been given the green light to keep in-person operations going, and those that remain open are required to keep in line with social distancing guidelines.