As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to elevate cases to new highs in Mesa County, COVID-19 testing is increasingly important.

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) recommends a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms of COVID-19, including a cough, sore throat, congestion, or runny nose. After coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19; a test after day five is recommended if you do not have symptoms, or at the first sign of symptoms if you develop any.

To make testing faster and easier, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Federal Government will send free rapid COVID-19 tests to your home or business. You should not wait for an at-home test kit to arrive if you have symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend getting tested as soon as possible. 

An at-home rapid test may be more convenient than a PCR test, done at your doctors’ office or one of the free community testing sites in Mesa County, however, at-home tests can be less sensitive and require reporting your test result through the website. Once there, create an account and select the test type, “At-home antigen – self-reported.” If you are unable to report your results on the website, please call MCPH to report results at 970-248-6900.

If your test was done at a community testing site or at your doctor’s office, the lab reports those results to MCPH and the state health department and personal reporting is not necessary.

Test results help MCPH understand COVID-19 positivity trends in the county and allow staff to give isolation instructions to infected individuals. Providing that information to the community, as well as monitoring data and trends helps our community respond to the pandemic. Testing data is how our percent positivity (the percentage of positive results compared to the total tests performed) is calculated. That metric is often an early warning sign before cases begin to increase.

With the recent Omicron surge, the positivity rate in Mesa County has soared to around 20%. To see community spread under control, this metric needs to be at or less than five percent (5%).

MCPH appreciates cooperation from the community as we all continue to battle COVID-19.