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The National Guard will arrive in Chaffee County to support COVID-19 testing this Sat. March 21. A testing site will be set up at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds. This testing site is only for people who are symptomatic and have a doctor’s order, or who have been added to a list at Chaffee County Public Health, or at their doctor’s office.

The presence of the National Guard will be a logistical support function for the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) staff who will begin setup on Friday, March 20 for COVID-19 testing on Saturday. This testing site is not led by Chaffee County Public Health but rather the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  IN fact, due to the ocunty’s social distancing directive , Chaffee County Public Health staff will not be onsite.

Colorado National Guard. Image courtesy of CNG Facebook group.

Director of Chaffee County Public Health Andrea Carlstrom, is reassuring the public regarding the presence of the National Guard.

“Please do not be alarmed by their presence; public health and healthcare providers in the county welcome this visit from the National Guard and appreciate their assistance in administering these tests.”

Testing will be done with a drive-up format for Chaffee County residents who are symptomatic, fit specific criteria, and have a doctor’s order for the test. CDPHE has stated that they can test up to 40 people an hour. There will only be capacity for 100 tests. The first 100 vehicles in the queue will have access to the drive-up testing; all other vehicles that arrive after that will be encouraged to seek testing from a private provider.

As always now, call ahead and speak with the health care facility in advance before going there for testing or treatment.  Individuals will drive through a secured area and are to remain in their vehicles throughout the entire testing process. People should be aware to  prepared for long wait times; no restrooms will be available. Bring water and other items to be comfortable while waiting.

Again, this testing site is not led by Chaffee County Public Health but rather the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  Chaffee County Public Health staff will not be onsite due to exercising social distancing.

Chaffee County Public Health and Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center are working to identify and contact appropriate patients. If you are experiencing a cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your provider to discuss testing possibilities and details. This event will not take drive up requests without a doctor’s orders.


Location: Chaffee County Fairgrounds 10165 County Road 120, Salida, CO. 81201
Date: Saturday, March 21, 2020
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The public should anticipate long wait times.

As of Thursday morning, March 19, 62 COVID-19 tests have been done in the county. The results; 22 negative — 40 pending.