Boulder Community Health provided an email update on Saturday, Oct. 24 to community members. President & CEO Rob Vissers, M.D. reported on two partnerships related to COVID-19: access to free testing for underserved and at-risk population groups across Boulder County and a Museum of Boulder exhibition sharing perspectives on the pandemic: the stories of BCH doctors, nurses and patients.

Expanded Access to COVID-19 Testing in Boulder County

BCH is guided by a vision and philosophy of partnering with like-minded organizations to make Boulder County the healthiest community in the nation. Our team is announcing a new partnership addressing a key concern of the COVID-19 pandemic – expanding access to testing.

BCH has joined with Boulder County Public Health (Public Health), diagnostic testing developer Biodesix, Inc., and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to launch a coordinated effort to expand access to free COVID-19 testing for underserved and at-risk population groups across Boulder County.

The new initiative will reach out to Boulder County residents who do not have equitable access to testing services, including the Latinx community, those experiencing homelessness, individuals age 65 or older, and people living in the Peak-to-Peak areas of the county.

Access to such testing is vital to reducing the spread of COVID-19 disease in our community. According to Jeff Zayach, executive director of BCPH, his team has worked successfully with BCH, local urgent care centers, community clinics, and other local hospitals to provide about 500 tests per day, which meets the general testing needs of the community.

Unfortunately, lack of financial resources and transportation have been major impediments to accessing COVID testing for many underserved populations. Through our new partnership, free testing will be taken directly to the people who need it most.

BCH staff will collect the lab specimens and Biodesix, through an agreement with CDPHE, will process the tests. Boulder County is covering program costs and BCPH is coordinating testing events at locations across the county.

We recently welcomed a new partner to this initiative. Gebhardt Volkswagen joined the team by donating a 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan that BCH and BCPH staff will use as a Mobile Health Unit.

In addition to free COVID tests, the partners will provide culturally appropriate education materials on how to stay safe and healthy, disease investigations and contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine support.

This partnership is a great example of how organizations across Boulder County are responding resourcefully to the many challenges posed by COVID-19.

Secondy, BCH is highlighting a creative cultural response to the pandemic.

Museum Exhibit Features COVID-19 Stories and Photos

On Friday, Oct. 30, the Museum of Boulder will open a new exhibit that explores the relationships among simultaneous major events — from civil rights movements to pandemics — in Boulder’s past and present. As you would expect, the COVID-19 pandemic is a prominent part of this display, and our team is proud that the stories of BCH doctors, nurses and patients are featured. The exhibition provides varied perspectives on the pandemic, from how the Boulder community came together to serve over 14,000 nutritious meals to frontline workers to showing the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by BCH doctors and nurses.

You can find museum hours and admission information here.

Drawing Parallels: Community Art & Artifacts from 2020” opens Oct. 30 and runs until March 1, 2021. You can find museum hours and admission information here.

Drawing Parallels will provide a unique opportunity to reflect on the historic pandemic that has had such a profound impact on all our lives.