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Major companies now offering free testing for coronavirus

Health experts are grateful, say more testing is needed
Posted at 2:44 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 17:44:25-04

In such uncertain times, people are finally getting definitive answers whether or not they have COVID-19

“It was a little uncomfortable but it’s needed,” said a woman who was one of dozens of people that took part in a free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at the Auraria Campus in Denver.

These services will soon to be expanding across the country.

“My emotions are a little high, my adrenaline is high,” said Samantha Westman, an advanced patient care technician working on the front lines of this testing.

Westman says these tests are more than physical, they’re emotional.

“There’s a lot of people at risk and there’s a lot of people needing help and they are really scared,” she said. “This is a way to help reduce that.”

This drive-thru testing is sponsored by multiple agencies including Kroger Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“We want to make sure that we’re here for our communities when they need us the most,” said Jessica Trowbridge, a spokesperson for King Soopers.

Trowbridge says this entire process takes just a few minutes and that people will get their results within 48 hours.

“All patients will remain in their vehicles for the entire testing process,” she said. “They will use a self-administered nasal swab to test themselves for COVID-19.”

To date, Kroger Health has performed nearly 8,000 of these tests at 30 locations across the country. Health experts are grateful but say there needs to be a major increase in testing to get this outbreak under control.

“Really, we’re behind the eight ball on it,” said Sheryl Zajdowicz, Ph.D., an infectious disease specialist at Metropolitan State University of Denver. “We should have been doing it a long time ago.”

Zajdowicz says more and faster testing is the only way to get a grasp on this pandemic.

“We’ve only tested 1.2% of our population or thereabouts,” she said. “If we want to know how many people are sick or how many people already have immunity, so protection, typically you have to be at 70%.”

To make that happen, Zajdowicz says 2 million Americans need to be tested every day for the next several weeks.

For the people that received this free COVID-19 testing, however, it makes all the difference, regardless of the results.

“I feel much better because if I’m positive or negative I know what needs to take place,” a woman said after the testing.

Kroger Health plans on expanding its free drive-thru COVID-19 testing to 12 more states with the goal of performing 100,000 tests by the end of May.