By Danielle Chavira

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced a new at-home COVID-19 testing program during a news conference on Tuesday. Test results could come back in about 15 minutes, state officials say.

Polis says the state bought 2 million Binax rapid tests which can be delivered to your home. Coloradans can order eight free tests which should arrive within four to six days.

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“It’s an extra security level to identify any infection earlier and identify if it’s indeed COVID, to take that extra step and protect yourself and others,” Polis said.

(credit: CBS)

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The new program comes as the state reported nearly 1,800 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The seven-day positivity rate remains over 6%.

While 867 people are in Colorado hospitals now, down 14 from Monday, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s epidemiologist, says health experts are seeing a trend in northern Colorado.

“There is some variability in what we are seeing in ICU capacity across the state. While Colorado’s COVID-19 rates have started to go down, we are still seeing some higher rates in northern parts of the state. Counties that tend to have the highest hospitalization rates tend to be the counties with the lowest vaccination rates. So the overall message is that at the individual level the vaccine will prevent you from being hospitalized and at the county and state level, vaccinations help keep ICU capacity in check,” said Herlihy.

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Polis says booster shots will be administered in nursing homes starting this week to those who are FDA-eligible. He adds the state is prepared to give out booster shots to other age groups as soon as the FDA gives clearance.

Danielle Chavira