PITKIN COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), this morning, released new guidance on the administration of Curative tests for community-based testing. Based on direction from the FDA, CDPHE is concerned about Curative sample collection methods leading to possible false negative results. CDPHE has advised local public health and site administrators to transition away from using Curative tests for asymptomatic community testing. In short, Curative is only approved for symptomatic testing—not asymptomatic testing.
Pitkin County Public Health and Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH), who administers the Curative collection sites in Pitkin County, were made aware of this guidance this morning. The change in the guidelines does not refer to the accuracy of positive results with Curative tests, only false negatives. Out of an abundance of caution we are stepping away from the use of Curative tests for both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing, to be effective at the end of the day tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 22.
Pitkin County Public Health and AVH recognize there is adequate testing for symptomatic tests in our community, and any additional capacity that may be needed can be absorbed through other PCR tests. “As a variety of additional tests remain available in our community, we remain committed to ensure sufficient testing is available for broad community-based testing over the next several months,” said Jon Peacock, Pitkin County Manager.
The Governor has made a commitment to continue community-based testing as long as it is needed, and both Pitkin County Public Health and AVH are awaiting further guidance from the state on other testing options for asymptomatic testing to fill the void.
In addition, CDPHE purchased Curative tests and currently provides the tests to Pitkin County and the Aspen School District (ASD) at no cost. The Public Health team will continue to work with ASD to identify testing options moving forward.
Pitkin County Public Health is communicating directly via email with those individuals who received a Curative test on or after January 13 at one of the two sites used locally with follow-up guidance.
Pitkin County Public Health would like to remind our community that with any COVID-19 test, there is always a chance for false negatives and that receiving a negative test result should not change your behavior. Public Health continues to encourage everyone, regardless of their test result, to continue to maintain social distance, wear a mask in public, socialize only with your household, and follow all quarantine and isolation guidelines. Pitkin County Public Health is committed to continue providing a robust network of free Covid-19 testing sites that meet the highest standards set by the FDA and CDPHE in order to continue to best serve our community.