UCHealth’s drive-through testing site in Estes Park to close Friday

Nov. 12, 2020
Sign points to COVID-19 testing site.
UCHealth offers drive-through COVID-19 testing at several locations throughout Colorado. The health system opened a regional sample-collection center on Nov. 9 at The Ranch Events Center in Loveland.

UCHealth will be closing its drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Estes Park for the winter later this week.

The collection center, which will close at 2 p.m. Friday, has been operating in the parking lot outside the UCHealth Timberline Medical Center since July.

Patients who need to be tested locally for COVID-19 can look into the testing available at Estes Park Health.

Another option is UCHealth’s new regional testing site at The Ranch in Loveland, which is now open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. UCHealth does not offer testing at this location on Wednesdays. Patients should enter The Ranch via the north entrance off of Fairgrounds Avenue (Larimer County Road 5) and follow signs to the testing area. This new collection center is ideal for wintertime testing operations because patients will be able to drive through the West Pavilion, where they and staff will be better protected from below-freezing temperatures, snow and ice in the upcoming months.

The criteria for UCHealth testing has recently been updated. At this time, UCHealth’s COVID-19 tests are only available for people with a provider’s order (including a required test for a scheduled surgery) or who are experiencing symptoms including fever, shortness of breath or new cough. All patients who want a nasal swab test at a UCHealth testing site must have either an order for testing or an appointment before they arrive at the testing site. Those who do not have an appointment or order will have to return to the site after they are able to obtain one.

To schedule an appointment at the UCHealth testing site at The Ranch, those with symptoms should go to uchealth.org or their My Health Connection app if they have an account.

Hours at the new center are subject to change. The latest hours are available on the website. Patients also should plan ahead as wait times could vary.

Because prevention is still the best defense against COVID-19, UCHealth urges Coloradans to continue to protect themselves and others through frequent handwashing, physically distancing from others, wearing masks and avoiding gatherings of more than five people at a time.

UCHealth also advises that if you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19, you should immediately isolate at home. Quarantine there for the number of days recommended by the CDC. If you need help from your medical provider, call your primary care provider or set up a Virtual Urgent Care visit to be evaluated and to determine if testing is necessary. Those who experience an emergency medical condition, should call 911.

About the author

Kelly Tracer is a media relations specialist at UCHealth, based in northern Colorado. For nearly 20 years, she worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and designer before diving into the world of health care communications.

She believes there is an amazing story inside everyone and considers it an honor to get to meet and work with so many extraordinary people – patients, families, providers, volunteers and staff – every day. She is also fascinated by health care innovation and programs that empower and inspire people and families to live healthier lives.

A native of Nebraska, Kelly received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She and her husband have two children and enjoy paddle boarding all summer and skiing all winter.