Colorado to shut down all state-run COVID-19 testing sites due to low demand

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Michael Odom (left) and Takahiro Beachum, employees of Denver Police’s crime lab, work a new mass testing facility for COVID-19 at the Pepsi Center. May 21, 2020.

Anyone looking for a free COVID-19 test in Colorado will have a few less options starting on Jan. 15. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says it plans to shutter its 20 remaining community testing sites on that date due to a shift in demand among residents to at-home tests. The drive-thru and walk-in sites at parks and schools – once overwhelmed at the height of the pandemic – have been operating at less than 6 percent capacity since November. 

The move comes in the middle of peak respiratory illness season. But officials involved in the announcement stressed that COVID tests would remain widely available through other means.

“Coloradans have transitioned away from relying on large community testing sites and toward testing at home,” said Scott Bookman, the state’s COVID-19 incident commander, in a news release. “With this transition, the state is focusing efforts on the testing distribution methods Coloradans currently use most and providing testing resources to those who need them most.”

The closures will affect testing clinics in Denver, Boulder, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs and other large cities across the state.

The list includes the following: 

  • Alamosa - Adams State University, Conour Hall
  • Aurora - Aurora Center for Active Adults - Del Mar
  • Aspen - Aspen Airport
  • Boulder - Stazio Ball Fields
  • Canon City - Fremont County DPHE
  • Carbondale - Carbondale Recreation and Community Center
  • Castle Rock - Justice Center
  • Centennial - Centennial Hospital
  • Cortez - Southwest Memorial Hospital
  • Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs Event Center
  • Commerce City - Dicks Sporting Goods Park
  • Denver - All City Stadium South, George Washington High School, Ascension Catholic Church
  • Durango - La Plata Fairgrounds
  • Frisco - Frisco Rec Center
  • Grand Junction - Colorado Mesa University
  • Greeley - UNC Greeley
  • Lakewood - Lakewood at South Kipling
  • Loveland - Foundations Church
  • Ouray - Ouray Public Health Department
  • Salida - Chaffee County Public Health- EMS
  • Springfield - Baca County Public Health
  • Telluride - SMC Public Health - Miramonte Building Parking Lot
  • Westminster - Westminster - Front Range Community College

Coloradans can search on CDPHE’s website to find a distribution site for free at-home tests near them. CDPHE’s free school testing program will stay in place through the end of this school year at least.

Many pharmacies and private doctor’s offices have large supplies of tests available for free. You can also still order free tests through a federal program online.