Centura Health offers asymptomatic testing as Summit County expands partnership
Summit County is in the process of transitioning all of its novel coronavirus testing partnerships to be with Centura Health, the owner of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. In addition to the new partnership, Centura will expand its testing capabilities to include some people that don’t have symptoms of the virus.
Centura’s testing clinic at the Centers for Occupational Medicine in Frisco operates daily and has been providing community testing to Summit County residents since late April. Previously, Vail Health in Eagle County helped Summit County catch up in testing for the virus by providing tests for the mobile testing program and opening its own clinic in Silverthorne.
Now the county is working to partner with Centura for both the mobile program and its daily clinic. In an email Summit County Nurse Manager Sara Lopez said the testing should be fully transitioned to Centura by June 15.
Hospital Spokesman Brent Boyer, confirmed in an email that the Centura Health Physicians Group, which operates all High Country Health Care clinics, has expanded its testing to include individuals without symptoms of the virus. Centura will test “all symptomatic, exposed or concerned community members,” Boyer wrote.
The expansion of testing capability falls in line with recommendations from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The testing will also involve a new partnership between Centura and the department lab, Lopez said.
Patients can book an appointment for testing by calling 970-668-5584, but the program is in its early stages, so they may expect a few hiccups, Lopez wrote. Walk-in testing is also available for people who have a testing order from their medical provider, Boyer said.
Until now, asymptomatic testing has been reserved for health care workers as a preventative measure to reduce exposure of the virus. While it’s now available to the general public, that doesn’t mean just anyone can get one.
“There are several scenarios in which asymptomatic testing is helpful,” Julie Sutor, county communications director, said. “We do know with this disease that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spreading can occur.”
Lopez said Centura will be following guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in regards to the testing.
Aside from health care workers and others in high risk occupations, the department recommends asymptomatic testing of individuals who have been exposed to the virus. The county determines who those people are through contact tracing, the process of asking a person who tests positive for details about their life to determine where the virus may have spread.
Lopez wrote in the email that the county may also recommend testing in outbreak situations. However, public health cannot require people to be tested.
In many cases, engagement by the employer in the testing process is important. For example, after an outbreak of the virus at City Market Breckenridge, the grocery chain offered testing to all of its asymptomatic employees.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also recommends asymptomatic testing for individuals who were part of a group greater than 10 where social distancing was not possible. This category applies to people who have attended protests of the killing of George Floyd.
On Tuesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis recommended that everyone who attended the Denver protests get tested for the virus. That same day he announced the Pepsi Center in Denver would be offering asymptomatic testing to people who attended the protest.
The tests being provided by Centura are viral tests which can tell a person if they currently have the virus. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has not yet recommended governments provide antibody testing because it doesn’t tell a patient whether they actually have the virus. Antibody testing is available through some private clinics in the county, however.
The daily testing clinic at Centura’s Center for Occupational Medicine operates from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Centura is also partnering with Summit County for the mobile testing clinic, which operates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, the clinic is at Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue Station 12 in Dillon. On Wednesdays, it’s at the Family and Intercultural Resource Center in Silverthorne and on Fridays, it’s at the Clubhouse at Dillon Valley West in Dillon.
To receive a testing order and book an appointment for either option, call 970-668-5584.
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