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Southwest Health System to discontinue drive-up COVID-19 testing as positive cases decline

Drive-thru COVID testing at Southwest Memorial Hospital will end Feb. 21, but testing by appointment will take place at the Park Street medical building. (Courtesy Southwest Health System)
Testing will continue by appointment only at the medical clinic

Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez has announced it will discontinue drive-up COVID-19 testing beginning Feb. 21, but testing will still be available.

COVID case numbers in Montezuma County have been on the decline, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

Since Feb. 1, the county had 395 new reported cases, compared with 724 new cases between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31, a 45% decrease.

On the number of days of decreasing or stable hospitalizations, Montezuma County ranges between zero and seven days, which is the Level Orange “high risk” category. Orange is the fourth-highest category out of six.

Southwest Health System has hosted and staffed the drive-thru testing station since April 2020 on the north side of the campus.

Regular drive-thru testing hours will remain in effect until Feb. 18, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

SHS will transition all COVID-19 testing to a more streamlined and appointment-based process. These tests will be available at the outpatient Draw Station, 111 N. Park St.

SHS said the drive-thru COVID testing required additional staff hours, and the transition to appointments will help alleviate staffing concerns for patient access, laboratory service and EMS teams.

Appointment-only testing will begin Feb. 21, and drive-thru hours will be reduced to Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Starting on Feb. 28, the Park Street Draw Station will reopen only for COVID-19 testing, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, also by appointment only.

The operating hours will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch.

Four parking spots will be available in front of the Draw Station, specifically identified as “Draw Station Appointment Parking Only,” with the phone number to notify the staff of their arrival.

To schedule a COVID-19 test, call (970)564-2177, visit go to shscovidtesting.rsvpify.com or use your phone's camera to follow the QR code link.