FEMA-sponsored COVID-19 testing site expands to include testing for individuals over the age of 65

NEWS RELEASE

April  2020

FEMA-sponsored COVID-19 testing site expands to include testing for

individuals over the age of 65

The site, which is still open to health care workers and first responders, is expanding to provide testing for individuals over 65 years who have symptoms

El Paso County, CO – The FEMA-sponsored COVID-19 testing site that is currently providing testing for health care workers and first responders is now expanding to provide testing for individuals over 65 years who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath).

Beginning Sunday, April 5, 2020, the site will be open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The following people are encouraged to come get tested:

  • Health care workers
  • First responders
  • Individuals who are over 65 years and are experiencing symptoms

See below for more details on testing:

  • The site is located at 175 S. Union Blvd. in the back parking lot.
  • Individuals only need to bring a picture ID and insurance information if they have it.
  • Qualified individuals will be tested, regardless of insurance status.
  • There is no cost for the testing, and no need to have a doctor’s prescription to receive testing.
  • This is a drive-through site and you will not be getting out of your car.
  • Please do not bring pets or others in your vehicle that will not be getting tested. 

“We are grateful for the support of our federal partners at FEMA,” said Lisa Powell, El Paso County Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program Manager. “The ability to expand local testing capability is an incredible resource, and it gives us the opportunity to provide expedited testing for our most vulnerable populations.”

Additionally, the JIC just produced a series of PSA videos on senior issues and we encourage you to share these resources as you see best.

We included the EPCPH website, but we are connecting people with Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging and other partners by directing people to their webpages and tagging them in the body of our social media posts.
Pikes Peak Area Agency on Agency- http://www.ppacg.org/covid-19-updates/
They have a senior resource page that lists lots of resources for Park, Teller and El Paso County

Silver Key has resources for seniors for care visits, reassurance calls, etc.
https://www.silverkey.org/

Here’s a link to the videos and scripts

Stay connected: https://vimeo.com/408158209

Loved ones: https://vimeo.com/408158033

Mental health: https://vimeo.com/408158112

Caregiver check-in: https://vimeo.com/408157790

Caregiver praise: https://vimeo.com/408157862

Limit news: https://vimeo.com/408157946

HOW CAN SENIORS STAY CONNECTED:

There are moments in a day when most of us would like to be with another person or connected with another person and right now we can’t do that face to face, we can’t give hugs, we can’t see grandchildren perhaps or reach out to someone we care about, even a casual friend face to face, so now we’re having to adapt, we’ve having to do it in different ways, many of us have picked up snail mail again, or we pick up the phone and make a call, the point is we need to reach out through whatever technology we have and reach out often.

HOW TO HELP SENIOR LOVED ONES

I think sometimes we have to ask people what they want and what they need. Some people would be bothered by having a phone call every hour if there were a lot of people checking inn on them. In general however, I think the theme is communicate and communicate often. Find media that you can use, mix the media, send a letter today, make a phone call tomorrow and bring flowers the next day, but communicate, reach out. 

SENIOR MENTAL HEALTH CHECK

When we listen to our loved ones, we need to listen for changes, perhaps changes in the ways they’re taking care of themselves that are familiar, cooking for themselves, bathing, moving, getting up, if you listen to your loved one and you hear changes, the person is becoming sedentary, less engaged, their voice quality has changed, they sound down, they’re speaking with language of hopelessness, those are times that you might need to get more involved and find out if you can get a wellness check and get eyes on them and make sure the person is ok.

CHECKING ON CAREGIVERS

one of the groups that particularly challenged right now are family members who are providing care in the home to a loved one whose needs are constant, unrelenting – and where in the past that caregiver may have had short breaks by going to the store or having someone else come into the home, at this moment, they may have fewer breaks available to them. I think those of us who know caregivers needs to reach out to our caregiver friends, make sure they have the boost they need to keep going. 

PRAISING PAID CAREGIVERS

I literally cannot go into a facility to see my loved one, I am relying on that paid caregiver not only to be there and do a high quality care but to meet my loved ones social needs when I can’t. 

The hospitals have been given a lot of visibility as to their risk, absolutely appropriately, I think the carers in the long term facilities may not have been quite as visible in the media and I think that their services are remarkable in this time.

LIMITING EXPOSURE TO NEWS

For many of us, we need to have a time of day and a source or two from which we get reliable information about the risks that are happening and the rules that are in place in our community. And then I think we need to let go of that and turn our attention to something we can really engage ourselves in and get invested in and lose ourselves in the joy of the puzzle, or the book or sewing or cooking or woodworking project and access the joy that’s available in the project without the constant flood of negative information.