Colorado restaurant workers may be getting at-home COVID-19 tests

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Posted at 3:17 PM, Feb 02, 2021

DENVER — Colorado is hoping to expand its at-home COVID-19 tests program to restaurant workers to help a struggling industry amid the pandemic.

Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday during the weekly update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that the state is purchasing rapid tests for restaurant workers.

The tests are already being distributed to educators and students, which began receiving at-home COVID-19 tests this week, a push to ramp up testing for schools while teachers await the vaccine in the coming weeks.

The federal government will reimburse the cost for the testing kits, Polis announced Tuesday, as part of a larger funding plan from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA has agreed to match 100% of states’ expenditures on items like personal protective equipment back to last year.

“Today, they announced on the call with governors that they would be doing a 100% FEMA match retroactively,” Polis said.

Polis also announced the federal government is increasing the supply of the vaccine to states. Starting next week, Colorado will be receiving up to 10,000 additional doses that will go directly to pharmacies.

The additional supply will help the state vaccinate teachers and those 65 and up. Those groups are eligible to receive the vaccine beginning Monday.

A mass vaccination event for those 70 years and up targeting underserved communities is scheduled this weekend in Denver.

SCL Health is hosting the event Saturday at the National Western Complex. The goal is to vaccinate 5,000 people. All vaccination appointments are filled for this event, and walk-ups cannot be accommodated due to supply constraints, SCL Health said.