Cost and Eligibility

Yes. Tests are free to all Coloradans through a partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

No. Anyone can get a test and you don’t need to have a state-issued or government-issued ID. Tests are free and available to everyone, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. 

General

We currently use the Fulgent COVID-19 by RT-PCR nasal tests. This test is run through 40 cycles of PCR in order to detect the virus as early as possible. The test is highly sensitive in an analytic sense; if viral RNA is present in the sample, it is exceedingly likely to be detected. For more information, you can find the FDA Emergency Use Authorization of the specific tests that we use.

COVIDCheck Colorado nasal tests are performed with mid-turbinate or anterior nares swabs, which are more comfortable for patients than nasopharyngeal swabs without compromising accuracy. 

If you are getting a saliva test, you’ll be asked to dispel saliva into a tube, fill to the line, then drop the tube into a biohazard bag. COVIDCheck Colorado uses the SalivaDirect™ protocol. It is a PCR testing protocol with FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Participants provide a saliva sample under the supervision of a medical professional. Yale’s studies have shown that SalivaDirect™ PCR is as sensitive as a nasal PCR test.

All COVIDCheck Colorado medical staff are licensed Medical Assistants, certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, or Registered Nurses. These team members are thoroughly vetted and trained to administer nasal and SalivaDirect™ tests, and comply with all CDC- and FDA-recommended procedures throughout the testing process. 

The testing process is fast, reliable, and easy. You’ll register for an appointment time either with your organization’s link or on covidcheckcolorado.org.  Please wear a mask to your appointment. A member of the team will check you in and give you directions. When it’s your turn, a trained medical team member will explain the sample collection process, swab both of your nostrils, and let you know that test results will be available within 36-72 hours. If you are doing a saliva test, you’ll hold the tube, dispel saliva into it, seal the tube, and drop it into the biohazard bag. Depending on the contact information you provided during registration, you will receive a text message and/or email alert from PrimaryBio when your results are available. If your results are delayed, please contact support@covidcheckcolorado.org.

COVIDCheck Colorado testing sites are run in accord with CDC and CDPHE guidelines for PPE usage, social distancing, and hygiene. We perform regular quality checks at each test site to confirm appropriate use of PPE, social distancing, and other core protocols that ensure the safety of staff and patients.

Safety

No–false positives are exceptionally rare. COVIDCheck Colorado’s RT-PCR test looks at two targets of the virus — if one is negative and one is positive, the result will come back as “Inconclusive,” which may indicate a false positive or represent low levels of virus. If a test result is Inconclusive, the individual should take precautions as though they are positive and retest.

COVIDCheck Colorado uses a highly sensitive PCR diagnostic test; if any viral RNA is present in the sample, it is very likely to be detected. Because of the sensitivity of our tests and the biology of the disease, you may still test positive up to 90 days after you contract the disease because remnants of the virus remain in your body. 

A positive result may require that you isolate again. To prevent this, we have added a question prior to scheduling any test with COVIDCheck Colorado asking if you have tested positive within the past 90 days.

The CDC website states that “for persons recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection, a positive PCR without new symptoms during the 90 days after illness onset more likely represents persistent shedding of viral RNA than reinfection,” as reinfection of the disease is highly unlikely during this time frame. It is important to note that serologic (antibody) testing should not be used to establish the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or reinfection.

The agency recommends not retesting for 3 months after being diagnosed with Covid-19, and suggests that those who develop new symptoms during this period speak to their primary care physician or other healthcare professional. As always, if severe symptoms occur, do not hesitate to seek emergency medical help regardless of the time frame in which you experience them. 

For more information, please feel free to read the key findings from major studies on the subject or visit the relevant page on the CDC website. 

If you are required to retest within 90 days of a positive test result for any reason, including an employer’s requirement for a negative result before returning to work, please direct them to this FAQ sheet or the CDC page linked in the question above. If they continue to require you to test within 90 days of a positive, simply select the “No” option when asked if you have tested positive in the past 90 days. Afterwards, you should be able to schedule a test as normal. If you have further questions, please contact support@covidcheckcolorado.com.

A TNP result means that there was an issue with the sample (e.g. not enough material on the swab, damaged tube, or other reasons) and the patient should get a retest. Unlike a patient who receives an Inconclusive result, a patient with a TNP is NOT presumed positive. Individuals with a TNP receive instructions along with their results to schedule a retest.

Quarantine is for people who are not sick, but may have had exposure to someone with COVID-19. Individuals who are quarantined must stay at home so they don’t unknowingly spread the disease. Even if they are feeling well, quarantine lasts for 14 days after the last contact with a person who has COVID-19. During this time, they should watch for COVID-19 symptoms.

Isolation is for people who are already sick. This may be in the form of either a suspected (symptomatic) or confirmed case of Covid-19. Individuals in isolation must stay at home for at least 10 days, and at least 24 hours after fever has improved without the use of fever-reducing medication.