Alejandro is a Lyft Driver in Denver. He rushed to the community drive-through testing site at Denver Human Services East before they closed Thursday afternoon. Denver Human Services East, Green Valley Ranch Pool, Paco Sanchez Park, and Ruby Hill Park will be closed for testing on Dec. 11 due to weather conditions.
“I like to do it anytime I’m in contact with someone that I think might be sick,” Alejandro said. “I need to know. The sooner the better, just to keep my customers safe.”
Snow and cold temperatures in the forecast are forcing the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment to close some of the city’s drive-through community coronavirus testing sites on Friday. Their goal is to make sure staff and residents stay safe during the winter weather.
Tony Diaz, testing site director for the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, says the closure is part of a winter safety plan.
“There are several factors that go into making the decision. Wind chill is one of them, anything below 25 degrees, and we’ll start monitoring the wind chill. Precipitation and heavy snowfall are the others,” Diaz said. “Two days out we start monitoring the weather forecast, and usually by noon the day prior is when we’ll make that determination.”
Diaz says shutting down testing sites is their last resort.
“We’ll always try to do a delayed opening, or an early close, before we shut down the sites completely,” Diaz told CBS4’s Andrea Flores.
Alejandro says its best to play it safe and plan ahead.
“It’s a relief. At least I know by the time next week comes around, I’ll be getting a result, versus getting tested at the beginning of next week, and going another four or five days on top of that without knowing if I have COVID-19,” said Alejandro.
DDPHE says it is possible residents might see long lines the day after a snow event. They say the best way to make sure the lines keep moving is to register before you show up to the testing site, if possible. Diaz says the winter weather shouldn’t have an impact on testing results, and it won’t affect the laboratory’s ability to process the samples.