Summit County Upgrades Testing Facility In An Effort To Lower Positivity Rate

The county has also partnered with Vail Health to help and is looking at a new testing location near the Silverthorne Recreation Center.  The county has until Wednesday to see a plateau or decline in the number of positive cases or the state will move it to, Safer at Home Level 3.

Summit County says it plans to double overall testing capacity by Nov. 8. At its main testing facility in Frisco, Centura Health has made major upgrades inside as part of that effort.

“We started here at the professional building with testing under a tent, and demand as you well know has increased in the state, and we’ve increased our capacity greatly increased our staffing and over tripled our testing that we were doing,” said Aaron Parmet, Infection Prevention Manager at Centura Saint Anthony Summit Medical Center.

Parmet said the building, once slated for demolition, has made state-of-the-art upgrades making it a one-of-a-kind testing facility that can support up to 140 tests a day.

“We completely modified the interior space of the building. We constructed negative pressure air rooms just like you would find in an isolation ward in the hospital. We applied a whole bunch of air filtering to it so that we could test people indoors, keep them safe, keep them separated from the staff and that lets us test anyone who needs it,” he said.

At 12.1%, Summit County has one of the highest positivity rates in the state. The county hopes more testing will paint a more accurate picture of the positivity rate- even lower it.

“Positivity is a measure of how many folks that you test that are positive, over the total number of tests. It’s a good way to gauge whether you’re testing enough folks and to validate whether an increased number of cases is a measure of increased testing, or true measure of increased cases in the community and that’s why public health pays very close attention to that number. It’s way to validate data,” he said.

If the county moved to Safer at Home Level 3: High Risk , guidelines and restrictions imposed by the State would include:

  • Restaurants reduced to 25% capacity or 50 people per the space calculator
  • Retail reduced to 25% capacity
  • Personal Services reduced to 25% capacity or 25 people per the space calculator
  • Offices 25% capacity
  • Gyms and Fitness centers reduced to 25% capacity or 25 people per the space calculator
  • Group Sports – virtual or outdoors in groups less than 10
  • Outdoor Recreation reduced to 25% capacity or 10 people

View the local public health order, including the mitigation measures for events, businesses, short-term lodging, restaurants and bars.

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