By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– With the coronavirus emphasis now on COVID vaccinations, fewer people are going to testing sites. Just before last Thanksgiving, there were traffic jams for those waiting to get tested. Now there’s little need to wait.

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Isaac Perez was one of the few at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds COVID Check location, “Someone on my high school swim team tested positive, so I have to go in, get tested.”

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Why there has been a large drop-off in testing is not certain. People who have been vaccinated may feel they no longer need the tests. Stride Community Health is down from seven testing sites to just two.

“We were seeing 130, 140-150 sometimes more a day and now we are not,” said Stephanie Campbell, Stride Director of Nursing.

Getting tested for COVID is still important, according to state health officials. Not just to determine if you have caught the virus, but the state needs the information to determine which variants are active.

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“We want folks who have been in large groups, so they could be exposed to people, to get tested, we want people who have known exposure to get tested and we definitely want people who are symptomatic to get tested,” said Emily Travanty, PhD, Laboratory Director at Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

CBS4 requires testing, so reporter Rick Sallinger went to the COVID Check site at the Jeffco Fairgrounds, no waiting necessary. This time
instead of a nasal swab he was offered a saliva test. No pain, but it takes a while to gather enough.

While there, Sallinger asked another of the few arriving, “Why are you getting tested?”

(credit: CBS)

The man named Jim responded, “Because I have been having some cold systems and I am wondering if it’s more than a cold.”

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At that point, Sallinger decided even though he has been fully vaccinated, it would be a good time to end the interview and stand back.

Rick Sallinger