Health officials send COVID-19 alert to cellphones in 20 counties as new testing site opens in Jefferson County

State officials sent a cellphone warning about COVID-19 to people in 20 counties across Colorado Sunday, urging residents to use caution because of the “severe risk” of the virus.

The emergency alert was pushed to cellphones in the 20 counties that have gone to the “Red Level” warning status on the state’s scale for coronavirus risk level, said Micki Trost, spokeswoman for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Health officials have struggled to keep up with the soaring demand for testing and contact tracing as the virus has swelled in a third wave this fall. In Denver, two testing sites, Paco Sanchez Park and Denver Human Services East on Steel Street, had filled to capacity by 10 a.m. Sunday and were no longer accepting new patients.

Also on Sunday, Jefferson County opened a new large-scale testing site at the county fairgrounds at 15200 W. Sixth Frontage Road in Golden on Sunday. Testing there is free. Those seeking testing can make an appointment in advance or just show up; no insurance or identification is required.

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