3 more COVID-19 testing events to be held this week
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Routt County public health officials announced three more COVID-19 testing events to be held this week for people who have been experiencing symptoms in the past seven days.
The drive-thru stations will again be set up in the Howelsen Hill Ski Area parking lot on Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tests will be administered by appointment only — which can be made by calling 970-870-5577.
The most common symptoms associated with COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, lack of appetite and/or body aches.
On Thursday, a testing event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at South Routt Medical Center in Oak Creek. Appointments can be made by calling 970-736-8118.
Last week, 61 people were tested on Wednesday, with four positive results.
The results have not come back for Saturday’s tests but are anticipated by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Two people from Wednesday’s results were re-tested on Saturday after results came back inconclusive.
Director of Routt County Public Health Kari Ladrow said she deems those results as tentative good news.
She believes the word got out better for last Saturday’s event, for which they filled all available slots and put about 20 people on a waiting list who will be testing on Wednesday.
The results are something officials are eager to get, as it is the first time they have a chance to “get a sense of the whole community,” Ladrow said. The more tests, the more data, the accurate the assumptions, she added. And part of it is simply seeing how many people are interested in getting tested.
Until last week, they needed to triage the limited testing supplies for the most vulnerable populations.
In terms of what happens after this week, “We have a commitment keep ongoing testing going,” Ladrow said. “To what extent I don’t know.”
Another goal, depending on resources, is to do some surveillance testing on some of the essential workers who are having the most interaction with the public, Ladrow said, like bus drivers and grocery store workers. That will include testing everyone, whether or not they have symptoms.
Available data thus far shows a significant percentage of infected people being entirely asymptomatic.
Ladrow said her staff has been searching “every nook and cranny” for testing supplies. She’s been able to piece together kits when she could only get certain components from certain sources.
“It has been deliberate and taken a lot of people to pull resources together,” she said.
It continues to be challenging to access those resources, she said, and has required a lot of self-advocacy on behalf of the county.
“A certain amount of that advocacy has to do with being a rural community,” Ladrow said.
As of Monday, there were 52 positive results in Routt County out of 759 tests administered. Of those, 35 are listed as recovered.
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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