By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Colorado, increased access to rapid testing is one tool officials are hoping could reverse the trend. On Friday, HealthONE announced eight CareNow Urgent Care facilities across the Denver metro area have joined the list of sites offering rapid testing.

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“My oldest son, who is in 4th grade, woke up and said he had a scratchy throat. And we were immediately concerned,” said Elizabeth Neufeld who got her whole family tested recently. “It’s concerning, less so that he’s going to have this horrible reaction and more so that we would have infected an entire community.”

Neufeld has two kids in learning pods until they can return to in-person classes. She says her first concern was for other families that might have been infected. Results for the rapid test came back negative in 15 minutes instead of several days.

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Rapid tests have been less reliable than other forms of testing and experts say it’s only a moment in time, other precautions to prevent COVID-19 are still necessary.

“It’s still there and it’s still very active,” said Dr. Reginald Washington with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. “You could test negative and still be exposed tonight and 4 or 5 days from now come down with COVID.”

Neufeld said she researched the drawbacks to rapid testing but decided the risk was worth it. Thanks to the results she says she believes her sons had a mild cold exacerbated by the wildfire smoke lingering in the area.

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“It’s something that is better than nothing and it didn’t mean we sent him back to school that day or that we were around anyone for the next three or four days but it gave us some assurance in that snapshot of time,” she said.

Jeff Todd

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