Fri May 8th, 2020
Jeremy Wade Shockley
The Southern Ute Drum
San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and Mercy Regional Medical Center are partnering to provide diagnostic (PCR) COVID-19 testing six days a week at Mercy’s Horse Gulch location. Testing will be available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Testing will start on Thursday, May 7.
Symptomatic individuals will be screened over the phone and can be tested the same day. Appointments and healthcare provider orders are not required. There is no fee for the test. The tests have been provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), in an effort to expand community testing efforts throughout Colorado.
Additionally, Centura – Mercy Regional Medical Center is now providing seven-day-a-week community COVID-19 testing to La Plata County residents, beginning immediately and continuing for as long as needed.
“As access to supply improves, we have progressively increased COVID-19 testing. We have now expanded testing to rural communities with limited testing access as Colorado moves towards easing shelter-in-place restrictions,” stated Dr. Shauna Gulley, Chief Clinical Officer for Centura Health. “Social distancing, hand hygiene and masking remain critically important in our fight against this pandemic. Additional testing is one more important resource we can provide to these communities.”
Centura’s testing will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Centura’s Centers for Occupational Medicine clinic at 810 3rd St., Suite 202, in Durango.
Other locations in La Plata County providing PCR diagnostic testing are Cedar Diagnostics, Mercy Regional Medical Center (hospital location), and Durango Urgent Care.
“We are very excited to partner with Mercy Regional Medical Center to increase the amount of diagnostic COVID-19 testing available to community members.”, said SJBPH Executive Director, Liane Jollon. “Every additional diagnostic test taken gives us a better picture of where our community stands in relation to the spread of this disease and helps us make appropriate decisions on how we move forward,” Jollon said. “The importance of increasing diagnostic testing in helping control this disease cannot be overstated.”
Any community member experiencing known COVID-19 symptoms can call (970) 764-1790 to speak to a Centura Health Physicians Group (CHPG) medical professional to receive a testing order. Same-day, walk-in testing will be available with an order from the medical provider. The community COVID-19 testing program is open to all residents.
“The nationwide shortage of CDC-approved COVID-19 test kits has been well documented,” Mercy Regional Medical Center interim CEO Mike Murphy said. “At Mercy and across our Centura Health system, the focus in the weeks before COVID-19’s arrival in Colorado and in the weeks since has been to ensure adequate testing supplies, medical resources and surge capacity for our community’s most critically ill patients as well as for the health care providers and first responders providing care on the front lines of the pandemic.”
To date, Centura has followed CDC and CDPHE protocol in prioritizing testing for Tier 1 and Tier 2 patients. The new community COVID-19 testing program will allow us to add Tier 3 patients, meaning anyone with known symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested with a medical provider referral. Most test results should be returned within 24 to 48 hours.
“This is wonderful news for the community and this additional testing will give us a better picture of the COVID-19 activity in our area,” Jollon reiterated.
“Our priority, first and foremost, is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our associates and our physicians at all times,” Murphy said. “For it is our caregivers that ensure we provide the compassionate care our community needs, and that our mission calls us to deliver.”
“Centura Health-Mercy is grateful for this opportunity to offer additional diagnostic testing to our community through collaborating with San Juan Basin Public Health,” Murphy emphasized. “Providing this additional testing allows Mercy to live out its mission by nurturing the health of the people in our communities in meeting this COVID-19 challenge.”
San Juan Basin Public Health is a local public health agency, governed by a seven-member local Board of Health, serving all residents of La Plata and Archuleta counties. For over 70 years, San Juan Basin Public Health has improved the health and environment of the Southwest Colorado community.
Symptomatic individuals can call 888.540.8924 to be screened for COVID-19 testing. Testing will occur at Mercy’s Horse Gulch location at 810 E 3rd St. in Durango, Colo. Patients need to enter on the 1st Floor of the building and proceed to the Garden Level for testing. Lab results should be available within 48-72 hours.
For the most up to date information, visit SJBPH’s website at: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/