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Vail Health and Summit County Health Public Health Collaborating on Additional Testing for Summit County Residents
Contacts: Vail Health: Sally Welsh, Summit County: Sarah Wilkinson
SUMMIT COUNTY ― Vail Health, in partnership with Summit County Public Health, will begin offering COVID-19 testing for Summit County residents starting on Tuesday, April 21. Testing will be conducted by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at a drive-through testing center outside Vail Health’s Howard Head Sports Medicine location at 265 Tanglewood Lane, Suite E1, in Silverthorne.
To schedule an appointment, patients should email firstname.lastname@example.org their first name, last name and phone number in the body of the email. A representative from the Vail Health COVID-19 screening center will call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment and collect general patient demographic info.
“Vail Health has had the privilege of providing specialty care to our neighbors in Summit County for decades, and we are honored to have the opportunity to help with testing for COVID-19,” said Vail Health President and CEO Will Cook. “Testing is an important step in combating the spread of COVID-19, and we should not let county boundaries stand in the way of rallying together as mountain communities and helping one another.”
“We are so excited about this new testing partnership with Vail Health,” Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. “The limited testing capacity in Summit County has been a real struggle. The addition of this new screening facility will provide us with the information and data we need to slow the spread of COVID-19 and identify the necessary benchmarks for a safe and strategic reopening of our community.”
The Silverthorne screening facility will operate similarly to Vail Health’s drive-through facility in Gypsum, which has provided testing for more than 800 Eagle County residents.
“We have been fortunate to get ahead of COVID-19 in the Eagle River Valley by testing more than 2,100 residents, which is nearly 5 percent of our population,” said Cook. “Currently, we only have one COVID-19 patient at Vail Health Hospital, which has allowed us to deploy five ICU nurses to help at hospitals in the Front Range. Because of early planning, we have been able to provide some of our personal protective equipment supplies to more than nine organizations across Colorado that were in need. Together, we can help our communities through this pandemic.”
Widespread testing is essential for successful mitigation of COVID-19, as it provides critical information to sick individuals, their close contacts, health care providers and public health officials. Expanded testing will also play a critical role in Summit County Public Health’s ability to assess whether local social distancing measures have been successful in COVID-19 suppression.
“If we can demonstrate that the number of cases in Summit is dropping steadily for 14 straight days, we can be reasonably comfortable that we’ve achieved suppression. This partnership with Vail Health will provide the necessary data to guide our decisions on when to lift the strict social distancing measures we currently have in place,” Wineland said.
About Vail Health
Vail Health is a nonprofit community health care system with 12 locations across Eagle and Summit counties. Vail Health offers a 56-bed hospital, 24/7 emergency care, helipad, urgent care clinics, cancer care, breast centers, cardiovascular services, surgery, childbirth, physical therapy, internal medicine, endocrinology and more. Locally operated and governed by a volunteer board of directors, Vail Health has committed $60 million over the next ten years to Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. For more information, visit www.vailhealth.org.