PHPprime is committed to meeting the needs of our patients, staff and the community during the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado. We have compiled information you need to know about COVID-19, vaccines and testing.
Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will also help keep you from getting seriously ill, even if you get COVID-19. Learn about COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness, how the vaccines were developed and more.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free. You do not need ID or insurance to get vaccinated. Additionally, you are entitled to paid time off from your job to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects. Find answers to your vaccine questions.
Vaccine Safety and Monitoring
COVID-19 vaccines were produced based on years of research from scientists worldwide and have proven safe and effective. Medical experts and independent doctors have evaluated the vaccine in tens of thousands of volunteers from diverse backgrounds – just like other vaccines. Learn more facts about COVID-19 vaccines from the CDC.
Where to Get Vaccinated
There are more than a thousand vaccine providers across Colorado. You can get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at a pharmacy, doctor’s office, pop-up clinic or mobile vaccine bus near you. Please contact your primary care provider to see if the vaccine is available in your clinic.
Staying Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines
Staying up to date with all recommended doses is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.
Vaccine Side Effects
After the COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. The side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination, such as chills or tiredness, may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting vaccinated.
Reasons to Get Tested
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms
- After known or suspected exposure to COVID-19
- For Screening (schools, workplaces, congregate settings, etc.)
- Before travel
- When asked by a health care professional or public health official
CDC recommends that anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.
Where to Get Tested
here are a few different ways to get tested for COVID-19 in Colorado.
- Many Coloradans can get tested through their health care provider if they feel sick.
- Most people with a health plan can get an at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 test online or from a retail store. As long as the test kit is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many insurance plans will cover the cost or reimburse you.
- Every home in the United States can order free at-home tests by mail using COVIDtests.gov.
- Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) pay for at-home COVID-19 tests for members. Get free at-home tests at pharmacies that serve Health First Colorado and CHP+ members.
- Coloradans can use the federal Test to Treat program to seek both testing and treatment for COVID-19. Learn more about Test to Treat.
Community Testing Site Transition
Please note that state support for Colorado’s 20 state-run community testing sites ended on January 15, 2023. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is working closely with local public health agencies to support them if they choose to offer community testing in their area. No-cost and low-cost tests remain available at rapid test distribution centers and locations participating in the federal Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program. For more information about the testing site transition, read CDPHE’s press release.
Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
- COVID-19 self-tests (also referred to as home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.
- Self-tests can be taken at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results.
- You can use self-tests, regardless of vaccination status, or whether you have symptoms.
- Follow all the manufacturer’s instructions for performing the test.
One of the key tools to fight COVID-19 and slow its spread is right in your pocket. CO Exposure Notifications is a free and voluntary service developed in partnership with Google and Apple that can notify users of possible exposure to COVID-19.
Learn more about exposure notifications.
Notify your close contacts
If you test positive for COVID-19, let people you’ve been in contact with know that they may have been exposed. Notifying your close contacts is especially important if they are at high risk and could benefit from getting treatment as soon as possible.
What Can I Do to Prevent COVID-19?
To keep from getting and spreading COVID-19, you can:
- Get vaccinated, including your third or fourth dose when it’s time. Getting all the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine greatly reduces the chance that you will get sick or pass the virus on to others.
- Some people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or who can’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 may be able to take medicine called Evusheld. Learn more about preventive treatment for COVID-19.
- Wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth in public, especially when Community Levels are medium or high. This is especially important if you are unvaccinated or at high risk.
- Stay six feet apart from people who don’t live with you, especially when Community Levels are medium or high.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces and improve ventilation. Outdoor spaces are safer than indoor spaces. Opening doors and windows to bring in fresh air can reduce your chances of getting sick.
- Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
What are COVID-19 Symptoms?
People with COVID-19 may have a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may feel like a cold at first. They can include headache, cough, congestion or runny nose, soreness, tiredness, and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms on CDC’s website.
- If you have any of these symptoms, you should isolate yourselfand get tested. If your test is positive, continue isolating and tell your health care provider you have tested positive for COVID-19. You should also let people you’ve been in contact with know that they may have been exposed, especially if they are at high risk and could benefit from getting treatment.
- Most people who have COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and recover within a few weeks. If your symptoms are mild, you should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take pain- and fever-reducing medicine if you need it.
- If you have mild symptoms but are at high risk of severe disease, you may be eligible for COVID-19 treatments. Getting treatment for COVID-19 quickly could help you avoid severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death.
- If your symptoms start to get worse or are worrying you, call your health care provider or a nurseline. Tell them you have COVID-19 and your symptoms have gotten worse.
- If symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the emergency room. Severe symptoms include:
- Trouble breathing.
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
- Inability to wake or stay awake.
- Bluish lips or face.
What Should I Do If I Have COVID-19 Symptoms?
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow these steps from the CDC to care for yourself and help protect other people in your home and community.