Mercy opens up COVID testing
Testing available for community at-large with doctor referral
Centura- Mercy Regional Medical Center, which once reserved COVID-19 tests for severely ill and high-risk patients, is now making them available to the community at large .
Mercy announced Tuesday it has secured enough kits to make testing more widely possible. Testing will be done seven days a week at Mercy’s Centers for Occupational Medicine Clinic, at the Horse Campus, 810 3rd St., Suite 202. Testing hours are 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday - Friday and 9 a.m. - 12 noon Saturday and Sunday. Most results will be returned within 24 - 48 hours.
Liane Jollon, San Juan Basin Health Executive Director, welcomed the news, saying it will help public health officials get a better handle on how widespread the virus is in Southwest Colorado. “This is wonderful news for the community and this additional testing will give us a better picture of COVID-19 activity in our area,” she said.
The testing is open to all residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, however, they first must receive a testing order from the hospital or their medical provider. To receive a testing order from Mercy, people can call (970) 764-1790 to speak to a medical professional.
Cedar Diagnostics, an independent local lab, began offering widespread community COVID testing a few weeks ago. However, due to a shortage of test kits, up until now, Mercy was only able to administer tests to what are called Tier 1 and Tier 2 patients – those who are sickest or at highest risk. Mercy said the hospital will continue offering testing as long as needed.
Despite the welcome news, Centura’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Shauna Gulley reminds residents that testing is only one weapon in the fight against coronavirus. “Additional testing is one more important resource we can provide to these communities,” she said. “Social distancing, hand hygiene and masking remain critically important in our fight against this pandemic.”