By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced a free, drive-up coronavirus testing site that will open at the Pepsi Center’s parking lot starting on Friday. Polis said getting tested is “free, easy and quick.” He urged anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

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“Forget about those early days where you saw several hour waits in line, you’ll be in and out 15-20 minutes at this testing site and others,” Polis said. “If you have symptoms, cough, a fever. We want you to be tested.”

The City of Denver is using $3.5 million from the CARES Act to fund what is now the largest drive-up testing location in the state. There are currently 33 other community testing locations around Colorado.

“Opening up the economy safely means testing,” said Hancock. “The more we’re able to test people the more we’re able to isolate those with infections and build confidence in our homes and workplaces to contain outbreaks.”

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The type of testing is different than others and allows for minimal contact between the patient and the person administering the test. That also means less need for personal protective equipment.

“You actually rub a Q-Tip-type thing around your nose yourself, not at all painful, incredibly easy, quick. You should be in and out of here in 10 minutes. To make sure that we can truly isolate, quarantine and contain this deadly virus,” said Polis.

The testing site will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. No appointment is necessary but you are asked to register online.

“We’ve got to make testing accessible to all residents, it can’t just be people who have the ability to access testing through their physician. This is for everyone,” Hancock said.

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“If you cannot make it to the Pepsi Center, or have problems with transportation, or you are so symptomatic that you cannot leave your home, we invite you to call 311 for further assistance and we will utilize another way of testing — mobile or another health care provider — to help you get tested,” said Murphy Robinson, Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety.

LINK: Denver COVID-19 Testing Information

Jeff Todd