COVID-19 testing site at Aurora Sports Park to close

The COVID-19 testing site, located at 19300 E. Colfax Ave., is closing Oct. 5. The drive-up site will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day until then. The tests are free and available to anybody who wishes to be tested. Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

This story was updated to reflect comments from the state health department regarding testing capacity.

AURORA | The Aurora Sports Park coronavirus testing center is slated to close Oct. 5 because of low demand, according Aurora city officials. 

Mayor Mike Coffman said on Twitter Thursday the COVID-19 testing site, located at 19300 E. Colfax Ave., has only provided an average of 178 tests per day. He said city planners had anticipated administering up to 1,000 tests per day at the center. 

The new coronavirus testing spot opened Aug. 10. It’s a drive-in testing center and a joint project between the state and regional health departments, city government and Arapahoe and Adams counties. 

From Aug. 10 to Aug. 21, the Sentinel reported the testing site had averaged 204 tests per day. 

Public health officials said over the summer testing capacity was improving, and that it’s a crucial tool for tracing and limiting spread of the virus. It’s unclear whether the site could be rapidly set up again if there was a sudden demand for testing.

A spokesperson for the state health department said pending the closure of the Aurora site there is enough testing at the state’s more than 50  community testing sites for anybody who wants a test.

“At the request of some local partners, we are transitioning large drive-through sites, toward mobile test sites in certain communities that will ensure everyone has access to tests,” the spokesperson said. “The closure of Aurora Sports Park will not have a significant effect on the ability for all Coloradans to get tested. The state will continue to work with local partners to meet community testing needs in a manner that best serves their residents.”

COVID-19 infections in Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties have been on the rise since early September, according to data from the Tri-County Health Department, which governs public health in the three counties.

So far, there have been 20,646 coronavirus cases across the three counties and 655 deaths.

Coffman said the test site will operate as usual from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Oct. 5. Patients can expect to receive their results within four days, according to the mayor. 

The testing site bill is covered by federal CARES Act dollars and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, city spokesperson Michael Bryant said last month.