COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- This is the first week every patient admitted to a UCHealth hospital will be tested for COVID-19.
Throughout the pandemic, the UCHealth system has tested more than 9,000 patients. Now that tests and supplies are more readily available, the hospital is beginning to test everyone who comes in and needs admission.
Wednesday, El Paso County Public Health reported two new cases of COVID-19.
After months of struggling and a decline of reports in the county, UCHealth staff says they now have access to enough testing supplies.
"Anybody that comes into the hospital for whatever reason and ends up requiring admission into the hospital gets a COVID test," said Dr. Michelle Barron, UCHealth’s Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control.
There are two types of tests for COVID-19. One is called a PCR test, which is the test Dr. Barron says patients are now taking.
"It'll help us look more broadly who has COVID because I think we know the ones that did but there are probably a few people that came in that we didn't know about because they weren't showing the classic symptoms," she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 35% of coronavirus patients are asymptomatic. Barron says these tests will help contain the virus to COVID-19 units of the hospital.
"I hope people will realize it's safe to go to the hospitals and this is just another way of trying to make people feel safe," Barron said.
The change to testing applies to all UCHealth hospitals, including the three in Colorado Springs.
As of Wednesday afternoon, El Paso County is reporting over 250 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Those numbers are expected to rise as testing at UCHealth continues.