Free COVID-19 testing changes take effect in Garfield County |

Free COVID-19 testing changes take effect in Garfield County

Free COVID-19 testing is now less available in Garfield County and limited to a single location in Carbondale, even as case numbers locally rise with spread of the latest subvariants of the virus.

As of Tuesday, the only place in the county to get a free PCR State Lab test, with results available in 24-36 hours, was at the testing site behind the Carbondale Recreation Center, 511 Colorado Ave., Garfield County Public Health Specialist Carrie Godes said in a news release.

Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Walk-ins or drive-ups are accepted, but appointments can be made at  

The final day for the free Roaring Fork COVID Testing sites throughout Garfield County and the Roaring Fork Valley was Friday. 

That service has been handed off to the for-profit Valley COVID lab, also at the Carbondale location, and requires a fee. The $120 PCR-type test offered by Valley COVID provides same-day results. Hours for that service are 8:30-11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, the county release states.

There are other options for testing besides the sites, Godes said.

Free, take-home rapid antigen tests are available on a walk-in basis at the county’s Rifle Public Health facility, 195 W. 14th St., although supplies are limited. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed for the noon hour), or call 970-625-5200 for more information.

Free rapid antigen tests can also be requested to be sent by mail through the federal at-home test program, the release states.  

“People can still go to their primary care provider for a test, but their pricing and requirements vary by provider,” Godes said.

For additional information on COVID-19 testing in Garfield County, visit

Reported positive cases of COVID-19 have been increasing in Garfield County and statewide in recent weeks, reaching a two-month peak of 22.4 cases per day in the county on June 28, according to Garfield County Public Health’s data webpage.

The county had 157 cases reported during the seven-day period from June 22-28, with one hospitalization reported this week and the first death attributed to COVID-19 since April. That occurred on June 10 and involved a male in his early 80s who was unvaccinated, Godes said. 

Garfield County has had 96 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020.

Recent COVID-19 outbreaks are being monitored at four nursing homes across Garfield County, and another at a men’s addiction recovery residential group home in Carbondale.

“The best advice we can give is to get your booster shot if you are due for one,” Godes said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises adults age 18 and older receive an initial booster at least five months after the final dose of the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Adults over age 50 and people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are advised to receive a second booster at least four months after the first booster, according to CDC recommendations.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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