DENVER - Governor Jared Polis today provided an update on the State’s response to COVID-19, reiterated the importance of Safer at Home, and discussed the State’s testing strategy.
“These next few weeks are critical and I know Coloradans will continue to be safer at home as much as possible and wear masks when in public,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Testing is an important puzzle piece to Colorado’s response to this pandemic and the state continues ramping up our testing capability, infrastructure, and epidemiological work and will continue to aggressively seek resources through the private sector and federal government. When this crisis began the state could only run 140 tests per day and we have increased that capacity 20-fold, with more to come.”
To date, 67,094 tests have been conducted in Colorado. Colorado has been running 3,000 tests per day, and there is the lab capacity to run 10,000 tests, but supply constraints don’t allow for that yet. The goal is to increase testing from 3,000 to 5,000 per day by the early May and up to 8,500 by the end of May. In order to reach testing goals, Colorado is working to increase testing supplies, availability of testing, and epidemiological capacity. Testing will help the State identify those who are sick, identify hotspots around the State, and protect those who are vulnerable, but it must be accompanied by isolation or quarantine and follow-up contact tracing to get maximum suppression impact.
There are two types of COVID-19 tests: nasal swabs and blood tests. Nasal swab tests can diagnose whether people have COVID-19; blood tests typically measure the body’s response to the virus and not the presence of the virus itself.Colorado is still in need of a number of testing supplies to conduct swab tests including:
There are four types of testing sites in Colorado:
The Governor also provided an update on testing at senior living facilities. There have been a total of 1,171 tests run with 99 positives (55 Symptomatic, 33 asymptomatic, 11 unknown) at four facilities. In addition, today there is testing happening at the Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimons in Aurora. The State is also partnering with Colorado State University to test 45,000 nursing home workers in the coming months. By May 1, the State expects to have weekly supplies of 85,521 masks, 388,733 gloves, 7,840 gowns, and 10,413 pairs of eye protection for nursing home workers.
The Governor also provided an update on the Equity Task Force and announced its members today. Members include:
View the news conference on the Governor’s Facebook page and view the ASL version here.