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Public Health Guidance Available to Prioritize Limited COVID-19 Testing Supplies and Capacity in Metro Denver

Press Release

Containing COVID-19 and slowing its spread require accurate testing with timely notification of results. The Metro Denver Partnership for Health (MDPH) today released Guidance for Prioritization of COVID-19 Testing, data-informed recommendations to assist health and social service providers, employers, and policymakers in the metro region as they implement testing strategies with their employees, residents, and clients. 

“Testing capacity in Colorado has increased since March, including the recent contributions of several large testing sites in the metro area. But our residents have periodically experienced long wait times for receiving results due to many factors beyond our control, such as supply chain shortages, ” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department and co-chair of MDPH. “These delays can have a number of impacts, including delivery of appropriate health care and effective re-opening of our schools. If test delays continue or worsen, we believe that testing capacity should be prioritized to protect those at greatest risk.” 

This testing guidance offers tiers for testing based on the risk of transmission as well as the risk of developing severe disease. The guidance also provides an approach for routine testing among other groups when/if testing supplies and capacity are adequate. The guidance may be revised as additional data become available. 

“Testing is an essential tool for mitigating COVID-19, and we want to assist our partners with practical, thoughtful guidelines for expanding testing in the metro area,” said Bill Burman, MD, Executive Director of Denver Public Health and co-chair of MDPH. 

MDPH is led by six public health agencies serving the seven-county Denver metro area: Boulder County Public Health, Broomfield Public Health and Environment, Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, Denver Public Health, Jefferson County Public Health, and Tri-County Health Department, serving Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties. MDPH’s work impacts nearly 3 million Coloradans—60% of the state’s population—who live in this region. MDPH is supported and staffed by the Colorado Health Institute (CHI). The guidance can be found on the Colorado Health Institute website at


Contact for the Colorado Health Institute: Kristi Arellano, Managing Director of Marketing and Communications | | 720.382.7080 

Contact for public health departments:

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