County needs to get away from current testing system
My last letter about my daughter’s COVID testing experience resulted in me receiving a number of phone calls about her experience but sadly none from anyone who mattered. (“Pitkin tests results aren’t worth the wait”, Sept. 15) I learned that Aspen COVID Test offers a fully certified lab with capacity to handle more than 4x the current tests being run countywide for less money with same day turn around. Let me say that again. Aspen COVID Test can do all the testing Pitkin County needs with same day results for less money than Texas-based Microgen is charging the state of Colorado. Why did the state choose Microgen for Pitkin County? The state is requiring Pitkin to use a test site that is out of state, doesn’t provide visibility or granularity into testing data, doesn’t processes tests on weekends, takes days to return results and costs more money.
Our County board of health, county manager, state COVID testing manager, mayor and commissioners should all be on the hot seat trying to explain what seems inexplicable. Why pay more money to an out of state company for test results that are so slow as to put lives and our town’s livelihood at risk? How much more willing would our citizens be to get tested if results were returned same day? Miss an afternoon of work or school not 3-5 days while awaiting test results. Be able to actually contact trace positive results.
If you are one of our town’s members who has Governor Polis’s cell phone please ask him, if you see Mayor Torre, county manager Jon Peacock or Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman around town please ask them. And we shouldn’t accept as an answer some nonsensical bureaucratic state mandated solution. Our leaders need to lead. We have a qualified, fast and less expensive local solution that will help keep students in school, businesses open and people out of the hospital. Let’s get this sorted now, before the demands of winter ski season and or a nastier new variant make us pay an even greater price for shipping test samples to Texas.
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