A new and free COVID-19 testing site has been set up near Durango Public Library for three days a week.
San Juan Basin Public Health announced the drive-thru and walk-up testing site will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday across the street from the library’s parking lot, located at 1900 East Third Ave.
Testing, which started Tuesday, is limited for “high priority” patients with symptoms or people notified of a possible exposure to the virus; and “medium priority” patients, such as people who live or work with high-risk populations.
High-risk populations are generally considered people who work in high-risk environments, such as long-term care facilities, detention facilities and first responders, and homeless populations.
Claire Ninde, spokeswoman for SJBPH, said turnaround times for test results vary, but are currently received in four to seven days. She said there is no limit on the number of tests available at the new site.
Testing is also available at other locations in La Plata County, namely Mercy Regional Medical Center, Cedar Diagnostics and La Plata Integrated Healthcare.
Recently, Mercy was forced to decrease the number of free community testing it could offer to 50 tests a day because of high demand. Mercy said patients hospitalized still had access to testing.
Mercy’s reduction meant La Plata County was unable to meet nationwide standards for testing capacity. Ninde said Mercy was offering about 100 tests a day, with some days as high as 170 tests performed.
The new testing site near the Durango Public Library is a result of a partnership between SJBPH, Axis Health System’s La Plata Integrated Heath, Animas Surgical Hospital, the city of Durango, La Plata County and the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.
“We sincerely thank all of our community partners for stepping up to provide additional community testing to meet the needs of local residents,” Liane Jollon, SJBPH executive director, said in a prepared statement. “The most important tools we have to fight this virus begin with adequate community testing.”
As of Tuesday, SJBPH reported that 9,653 tests have been conducted in both La Plata and Archuleta counties. Among residents in the two counties, 243 have tested positive.