COLORADO SPRINGS — As our communities continue to navigate the challenges posed by Coronavirus variants, the State of Colorado tells news5 it continues to send rapid tests out to Coloradans. News5 has the numbers and how you can get your hands on tests if you need them.
The results of these rapid tests are designed to help people make important daily decisions, like whether to go to work, school, or even the grocery store. News5 found out in addition to a federal program the State of Colorado is continuing to send rapid tests out as well.
So, order them now so you can have them on hand.
Local doctors say reporting a positive test is important, especially for helping our hospitals prepare for challenges.
"it is helping us with some of our volumes in the emergency departments and in the urgent care centers by just allowing people to be able to take a test in the comfort of their own home," said Chief Medical officer of St. Mary Corwin and St. Thomas More Hospitals Dr. Kendall Rockler.
Last fall, the State of Colorado purchased two million rapid COVID tests with the goal of getting them in the hands of Coloradans for free and tests continue to be sent out.
News5 recently acquired the state numbers that show a snapshot of the program.
Since September of 2021, the State reports more than 1.8 million rapid tests have been sent to Coloradans. In the last three weeks, the program has sent an average of 129,477 tests per week. But to date, the State says just 8,580 individuals have reported their positive results.
In an email from the State to News5, these reported positive tests are classified differently.
The email from the Colorado State Joint Information Center reads in part:
"Individuals who test positive with a rapid at-home over-the-counter test are classified as suspect cases unless they receive additional testing or public health investigation. These individuals are not included in our daily case counts, which only include confirmed and probable cases."
But leaders at our area hospitals say you should still report that positive at home COVID tests to help our front-line healthcare workers.
"So we can watch trends in certain regions of the state so we can make educated decisions on our staffing needs," said Dr. Rockler.
And to help others who need the hospital for reasons other than complications from COVID.
"We also want to make sure we have the resources to deal with those who are coming in with heart attacks and strokes and the normal stuff that we are seeing every day," said Dr. Rockler.
Ultimately, doctors say having these COVID tests on hand ahead of time is important for empowering you with information during times of uncertainty.
"Are they having allergies, or are they having something else related to COVID? It's helping them differentiate their symptoms at home to see if it is a run of the mill cold or COVID," said Dr. Rockler.
If you need more information or you'd like to order some rapid at-home COVID tests from the State for your household you can visit this website: https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-testing-at-home