CDPHE closes 40 COVID-19 testing sites across the state as demand dwindles

Posted at 4:36 PM, Apr 30, 2022

LONE TREE, Colo. — Beginning Sunday, 40 state-run COVID-19 testing sites across Colorado will have closed as the state health department transitions testing options to health care providers.

In December 2021, some sites, like the Sky Ridge testing location in Lone Tree, saw hours-long lines. On Saturday, there was no line, and there were only a few cars there during the hour Denver7 stopped by.

"Obviously, over the course of this pandemic, as cases go down, you see demand for testing go down," CDPHE COVID-19 Incident Commander Scott Bookman said in an interview earlier in the week.

This decline in demand is a reason the agency is closing the Lone Tree site and 39 others across the state. Instead, the focus is transitioning to people's primary care doctors, for example.

"Your testing in a traditional health care setting, including doctors and pharmacies, will allow for increased continuity of care," Immunization Branch Chief Heather Roth said last month.

At the beginning of April, demand for PCR testing was less than 2,500 tests per day on average, which is about five percent of the state's total testing capacity, according to CDPHE. And with at-home tests, although not as accurate, becoming more accessible, the need to wait in a drive-thru is no longer necessary.

But there are still plenty of options out there. Eighty state-run sites will remain open throughout the state, with a daily capacity of 26,000 tests. There are also still multiple pharmacies, like Walgreens and CVS, still offering tests.

"While we are shutting down some of these community, you know, the large community testing sites, there's still a broad availability of testing in the state," Bookman said.

You can see a map and a list of all of the testing locations on CDPHE's website.