Amid modest successes against the coronavirus, Montezuma County has also seen a drop in demand for testing.
According to estimates based on data from the Montezuma County Department of Health, there has been a 39% decrease in testing over the past two months when compared with November and December of last year.
The county recorded about 3,850 tests from Nov. 2 to Dec. 30, compared with 2,365 tests from Jan. 1 to Feb. 26.
The totals are an estimation because they might not account for independent tests. There also is a brief delay in receiving results from positive tests because they are sent to the state.
“If you compare the numbers, it is slowing down significantly,” county spokesperson Vicki Shaffer told The Journal. “There just hasn’t been the demand like there was months ago.”
According to Shaffer, many of the tests were attributed to people whose employers require testing. Many of the same people come in for tests over and over again.
According to recent data from Southwest Health System, the main provider of tests in Montezuma County, testing has plunged since a peak in the middle of November.
SHS performed 736 tests the week of Nov. 7 to Nov. 14 but only 194 tests from Feb. 6 to Feb. 13.
Montezuma County appears to be coinciding with a national trend. According to reporting from the Associated Press, average daily tests in the U.S. have fallen more than 28% since Jan. 15.
New testing hoursSouthwest Health System’s drive-thru testing service has usually been offered four days per week.
SHS recently announced that effective March 1, it will operate its testing clinic three day per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The center is at SHS’s EMS building at the northwest section of the campus.
Tests are collected on-site and sent to a private lab or to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Many insurance companies will cover the entire cost of the test, and results from the private lab are faster. Those without insurance can get the free test offered to anybody who wants it by the Montezuma County Department of Public Health. Those results take longer to get back since they have to be sent to the state.
Masks are required for all patients and visitors. SHS asks that individuals bring their own masks, but will provide one if needed.