Photos show one of the first drive-through coronavirus testing stations in the US, where people with a doctor's note get tested for free

Denver

Brad McGinley Photography/Getty Images

On March 11, Denver, Colorado became one of the first cities in the US to implement drive-through coronavirus testing free to patients with a doctor's notes. The first drive-through testing facility opened in Seattle, Washington earlier in the week.

The new sites allow medical staff to safely test patients with virus symptoms who have recently traveled to high-risk areas or have been in close contact with people who have tested positive. Advertisement

The efforts aim to address the delays faced by people trying to get tested as US coronavirus testing capacity slowly ramps up.

Here's what the Denver facility looks like.

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The new drive-through coronavirus testing station opened in Denver on March 11.

The new drive-through coronavirus testing station opened in Denver on March 11.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the drive-through site will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Friday. A full schedule will be announced next week on the state website.

The station offers testing free to people with a doctor's note confirmed they meet criteria for possible coronavirus infection.

The station offers testing free to people with a doctor's note confirmed they meet criteria for possible coronavirus infection.

Patients qualify for free coronavirus testing if they've shown symptoms, if they've recently traveled to high-risk areas, or if they've been in close contact with someone who tested positive, according to a state health department spokesperson.

Symptoms of the coronavirus could include a fever, fatigue and dry cough, and sometimes muscle pain or difficulty breathing.

Patients are required to obtain a doctor's note for the free test, and are directed to get that note via email or fax to avoid putting others at risk by visiting a doctor's office or clinic in person. They should also bring a photo ID that matches the name on the doctor's note.

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Patients should expect test results within 72 hours, according to officials, and should quarantine at home while they wait.

Patients should expect test results within 72 hours, according to officials, and should quarantine at home while they wait.

How quickly patients can expect their test results depends on the number of people tested, according to a state official, but patients should be contacted directly with their results within 72 hours.

During that time, patients should wait at home and isolate themselves from other people and public spaces.

If a patient tests positive, an isolation order may be issued, according to the health department.

160 people were tested at the Denver site the day it opening. At least 33 cases have been confirmed positive across Colorado so far.

160 people were tested at the Denver site the day it opening. At least 33 cases have been confirmed positive across Colorado so far.

The first day of the drive-through testing station saw 160 patients, according to a state health official, and more are expected on Thursday and Friday.

So far, 6 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the Denver area, according to the most recent data. 33 people total have tested positive for the virus statewide as of Thursday.

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Drive-through testing is one way to mitigate widespread problems with coronavirus diagnosis test access in the US.

Drive-through testing is one way to mitigate widespread problems with coronavirus diagnosis test access in the US.

Elsewhere in the country, people who suspect they may have coronavirus have reported logistical and financial challenges with getting tested.

Some patients have reported waiting for days after applying for tests, uncertain if it's safe for themselves or their families to leave the house.

As of March 8, the US had the lowest rate of coronavirus testing of any developed country, and some areas are reporting a shortage of materials and kits needs to perform the tests, Business Insider previously reported.

Similar testing sites have been established in California, Washington, and around the world.

Similar testing sites have been established in California, Washington, and around the world.

Drive-through testing was first established in the US in Seattle, Washington earlier this week. Other sites have since popped up across the country, including in Connecticut and California.

Globally, drive-through testing sites have been in use to screen for the virus, including in South Korea, the UK, and Germany.

Read more:

World Health Organization declares the coronavirus a pandemic

Where coronavirus cases are surging: more than 2,700 new cases in Europe, Italy hit hardest

The nation's top expert on infectious disease says the US is 'failing' when it comes to coronavirus and testing kits

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