Garfield County Public Health offers free weekly COVID-19 community testing for Parachute, Rifle and New Castle
A curative mobile COVID-19 testing van is slated to visit parts of western Garfield County beginning Monday, according to a news release.
Testing is free and does not require a doctor’s note, identification or insurance. The weekly service will be made available based on community demand, the release states.
“Testing began in January 2021 and will run in each location through March as long as participation numbers are there,” Garfield County Public Health curative testing coordinator Christine Singleton said in the release. “We didn’t have much advance notice to get the word out that the van was coming back, but now it will be a weekly offering in these communities.”
Elk Creek Elementary School
• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays
• 804 W Main St., New Castle
Bea Underwood Elementary School
• 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Mondays
• 0741 Tamarisk Trail, Parachute
Garfield County Fairgrounds
• 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mondays
• 1001 Railroad Ave., Rifle
The testing offered in early December had 88 participants in Parachute, 125 in Rifle and 185 in New Castle, the release states. Testing the first week in January had eight in Parachute, 33 in Rifle and 62 in New Castle.
“COVID numbers are still high, so I think that the lack of participation was more of an issue of people not knowing about the site being available,” Singleton said in the release. “We know that it can be really difficult for some of our Parachute and Battlement Mesa residents to travel to other towns for services. We hope that people learn about the testing sites and use them as needed as it is a use it or lose it situation.”
Curative offers an oral-fluid swab testing — an alternative method to nasopharyngeal or brain swabs in testing for COVID-19 with the highest possible clinical sensitivity, the release states. It is an observed and directed, self-collected test, which minimizes the in-person contact and risk of transmission for all site visitors and testing professionals.
Results are returned to patients within 48 hours upon receipt at the lab.
Garfield County Public Health encourages anyone who has symptoms to get tested immediately and isolate for at least 10 days from onset until they are fever-free for 24 hours (without the help of medication) and their symptoms are improving.
Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested 5-7 days after exposure and quarantine, the release states.
While walk-ins are welcome, online pre-registration is highly encouraged. The mobile testing sites will be offered through March.
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Officer Haley Walker sat beside her stepmother in a windowless interrogation room just before starting the overnight shift on Thursday evening.