Colorado ramped up COVID-19 testing capacity, earns an “A” on CoPIRG scorecard

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Allison Conwell

Governor Polis should keep testing at a high level and take further action to curb the spread of the virus


Recognizing Colorado for ramping up its COVID-19 testing, CoPIRG gave the state an “A” grade on its latest coronavirus testing scorecard. At the time of CoPIRG’s review, the state had nearly reached the amount of testing that health experts say is crucial to rein in the virus. Testing is one of the most effective ways to combat COVID-19, but it’s only fully effective as part of a broader public health strategy. That’s why CoPIRG is urging Gov. Jared Polis to ensure that testing stays above 914 tests per 100,000 people and take further action to prevent the virus from spreading more widely. 

“COVID-19 has killed record numbers of Coloradans in recent weeks. By implementing more comprehensive testing, we’re finding positive cases earlier, then isolating people who are infected,” said Allison Conwell, CoPIRG advocate. “The virus is still raging across the state and we could see another surge after the holiday season. Governor Polis should issue a temporary, statewide stay-at-home order now so that we can get cases down quickly and keep them low through aggressive testing.”

Colorado earned an A on the scorecard for being 95.10 percent of the way toward the suppression level testing target, laid out in a Brown University School of Public Health model, at the time of CoPIRG’s review in early December. When the group reviewed the state’s testing capacity in October, it was only about a third of the way toward its target. 



“Nearly tripling testing capacity and rising from an “F” grade to an “A” grade in the last month and a half shows both great awareness and swift action from Colorado’s leaders. But we can’t let down our guard. Contagion is a looming threat everywhere right now and it will be for the next few months until vaccines are widely distributed and administered. That’s why the governor should continue boosting testing but also put in place restrictions to limit transmission,” said Conwell. 

Testing levels have dropped slightly since CoPIRG’s review, so the group is urging the governor to ensure consistent and widespread testing. 

For an analysis of all fifty states testing protocols, check out U.S. PIRG Health Care Campaigns Director Patricia Kelmar’s recent blog, “Is your state doing enough testing?”