Health officials expand COVID-19 testing in southwest Colorado

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DURANGO C.O.—Health officials in southwest Colorado are working with the state to increase COVID testing in La Plata and Archuleta counties.

"In the last month or so we were able to bring in the Colorado rapid response team to assist with ongoing testing for the specific areas in the specific population, just to make sure testing is available convenient, and easily accessible by individuals in our community," said Liane Jollon, executive director of San Juan Basin Public Health.

San Juan Basin Public Health and the state’s rapid response team have performed over 70 tests in the month that they’ve been working together. Individuals like those who are experiencing homelessness, older adults and those with disabilities are among those who may not have access to COVID-19 testing.

“As a community, we owe it to people who are in higher risk circumstances the opportunity to have frequent ongoing testing and the services that if they test positive how do we help interrupt the spread of infection and to take care of people," Jollon said.

Since last May, San Juan Basin Public Health has performed hundreds of covid tests in through pop up locations also working with community soup kitchens and family centers.

“I think it’s really important especially now while we’re so focused on making vaccine available and figuring out how we’re gonna get through this pandemic to remember that we still have lots of people that are testing positive there are still people in the community who are symptomatic or that are not showing symptoms but are positive and can spread infection," Jollon added.

Health officials are continuing to encourage COVID-safe practices and will continue targeted testing.