When we looked out across the landscape in March 2020, and saw 500,000 Coloradans out of work and 500,000 students out of school, we knew the only way to help Colorado recover was to help employees safely return to work and help students safely return to school. To do that, employers needed timely and accurate information on the prevalence of COVID-19 within their organizations to help guide their decisions about how to reopen safely. We knew this would require an integrated approach to providing employees access to regular, affordable COVID-19 testing and daily symptom tracking, alongside local public health departments’ contact tracing efforts. That’s what inspired Gary Community Investments to establish COVIDCheck Colorado, a social benefit enterprise designed to do just that.
Today we’ve conducted more than 40,000 tests and helped 200,000 students from early childhood through college return to in-person learning, which has made it possible for many employees to return to work. But we need even more Coloradans heading back to work, waiting in line at their favorite lunch spots, and re-engaging with the small businesses that helped catapult Colorado’s economy to #1 back in January.
While working from home has proven to be effective for many businesses, our economy can never fully recover until more businesses bring their employees back in person. And, many of our lowest-wage earners working service and retail jobs are depending on it.
So how do we bring the business community back to Denver safely?
For a nominal fee, members of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce can use our integrated platform to provide their employees access to schedule an appointment to get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks at any of COVIDCheck Colorado’s drive-thru testing sites. Employees receive results in 48-72 hours, and those who test positive for COVID-19 receive a phone call from a telehealth provider who offers support and guidance on self-isolation. Positive cases are reported to local public health agencies and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Those who have been exposed to the virus get notified in accordance with the state’s contact-tracing protocols. Employees can also attest to the symptoms they may be experiencing through a mobile-friendly website. Designated leaders at every organization have access to a HIPAA-compliant dashboard displaying the organization’s test results and symptom data to help stop potential outbreaks before they start.
Fast and accurate COVID-19 testing remains one of the most critical public health strategies to keep each other safe and healthy. It’s also a critical strategy in our community’s efforts to put more Coloradans to work.
Interested in partnering with COVIDCheck Colorado? Contact Courtney Steele, Director of Private Partnerships, at email@example.com.
Mike Johnston is the president and CEO of Gary Community Investments