DENVER (CBS4)– Denver has hit a new record for the number of people tested for coronavirus in one day. Positive results are also trending up.
People are lining up to get COVID-19 tests after the July 4th holiday weekend. But the City of Denver is now limiting testing at the state’s busiest site. It says the lab it has contracted with can’t keep up with processing all the tests.
The city hit a new record Tuesday for the number of tests administered at the Pepsi Center in a single day – almost 2,100. This site was closed over the holiday weekend so some of the increase was due to pent up demand.
So many people showed up to be tested, workers closed the gates at 12:30 p.m. About 500 people were still in line. They waited in their cars up to an hour and a half to get a test.
Not only is demand for testing higher, the city says the number of people testing positive is also up.
Since May 22, the city has tested 39,960 people at the Pepsi Center. The results are trending higher with 3% of them testing positive compared to 2% a couple weeks ago.
And the rate may be higher. It’s taking twice as long to get results back because of the high demand.
Director of Public Safety Murphy Robinson says that is why the city is now limiting the number of tests it will administer each day.
“With this virus, we don’t want people to get their results 10 days later. And if you test that many people in a day, the lab only has so much capacity. So, we’re going to keep it around 2,000 and once we hit that mark each day, we have to shut down the site,” said Robinson. “I would actually say, if you have health care and you have the ability to utilize your health care to get a test, we ask you to do that.”
Starting Wednesday, the city will be updating its website with the number of tests done at the Pepsi Center every half hour so people don’t drive there and get turned away because they’ve hit the maximum tests for the day.
If you think you’ve been exposed, health officials say you should also wait 4-5 days to be tested because the virus doesn’t show up right away.