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What’s It Like To Get A COVID-19 Test? KSJD Finds Out

On Wednesday, health care and emergency response personnel in Montezuma County made about 1,000 COVID-19 tests available to the community for free. Though only a total of 343 people were tested - about half of the number expected - officials said they were pleased with the organization of the event at the county fairgrounds. 

According to Karen Dickson, Montezuma County Public Health Department Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator, around 65 personnel from over ten different counties, city, and Ute Mountain Ute tribal agencies and departments participated.

Medical professionals administered the nasal tests in drive-thru testing lanes, and other volunteers and emergency response personnel were on-site to offer information and other support.

Additional community testing sessions may be organized in the future, Dickson said, but officials are not sure when.

“We will see what the community response is, if they want us to have another one, then we will most definitely do it,” she said, adding that the public health department is monitoring Facebook to determine the best course of action.

“Social media has a way of telling us exactly what the community demands,” she said. “So if they want more [testing], if we have a spike in cases, if we have some need [or] some outbreak somewhere in the community ... then most definitely we will do testing,” Dickson said.

Dickson said results from the completed tests will be released by June 10, and people who test positive will be notified directly by the health departments in their counties of residence. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will contact those who test negative.

KSJD’s Austin Cope visited the testing site Wednesday to speak to organizers and to find out firsthand what the nasal test feels like. Hear his feature below.

Austin Cope is a former Morning Edition host for KSJD and now produces work on a freelance basis for the station. He grew up in Cortez and hosted a show on KSJD when he was 10 years old. After graduating from Montezuma-Cortez High School in 2010, he lived in Belgium, Ohio, Spain, northern Wyoming, and Himachal Pradesh, India before returning to the Cortez area. He has a degree in Politics from Oberlin College in Ohio.