The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is stepping up efforts to get testing for the coronavirus into Colorado communities.

Due to the overall shortage of COVID-19 tests available nationwide, many communities have not had enough testing to definitively conclude the coronavirus is not circulating in the community. Montrose is one of those communities and has been selected by the CDPHE to be a surveillance site for COVID-19 testing.

A total of 100 residents are being carefully selected for testing based upon a variety of risk factors, symptoms,  and state requirements. The selection process is being handled by local providers public health experts. This is not an opportunity for the general public to be tested or request testing. Anyone who suspects they may have contracted the coronavirus should see their local health provider to be screened.

Testing will take place on Monday, March 23 at the Montrose County Events Center. The National Guard will be assisting with the effort and there will be increased law enforcement presence at the testing site. The Montrose County Event Center was selected as the testing site by Incident Command due to the National Guard requirements for size and safety.  About 70 people from the National Guard and the CDPHE will arrive in town on Sunday to begin setting up for the testing.

As of Thursday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montrose County and a total of 42 tests had been conducted. Some of those tests are still being processed.

Montrose County Public Health Medical Adviser Dr. Joe Adragna, M.D., M.H.A., M.G.H, FAAFP said in a press release, "It’s important to remember that 80 percent of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms."  He goes on to say "None of these results will change our clinical management but will provide valuable public health data.  If you have a cold, cough or a fever, please self-isolate for 14 days, and treat your symptoms."

Montrose County Public Health offers these recommendations.

* If you have symptoms and you are otherwise healthy, self-isolate for 14 days and treat your symptoms

* If you have symptoms and you are high-risk (over 65 years old, have a pre-existing condition such as heart, kidney or lung disease, or are immune-compromised), call your provider (or use patient portal if one is available).

* If you are asymptomatic but have had contact with someone who is sick, you will not be tested and you do not require medical care. Instead, you should self-quarantine for 14 days to see if you develop symptoms.

* If you are asymptomatic, you will not be tested and do not require medical care. Avoid contact with sick people, limit exposure in public places and continue best practices to do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Montrose County Commissioner Keith Caddy encouraged area residents to remain calm. He said, “There is no threat to public health or safety. Now is a time to remain calm and come together as a community.”


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Colorado’s COVID-19 Hotline

CO-HELP is Colorado’s call line for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). People who have general questions about COVID-19 can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, for answers in many languages, or email them at for answers in English.

Helpful Links:

Center for Disease Control & Prevention

World Health Organization

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

Mesa County Public Health

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