First responders have now been added to a list of those eligible for high priority COVID-19 testing.
This means first responders who are showing symptoms of the virus are now eligible for high-priority testing, joining hospitalized patients, healthcare workers, and residents and employees in congregated or long-term care facilities.
Fire chiefs in Colorado championed for the change since they saw the domino effect of not being able to easily access testing.
"The safety and health of our communities is a top priority for us all," said Jefferson County Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper. "We must to do everything possible to ensure our first responders can protect our communities. Priority testing for first responders is crucial."
In Jefferson County, a wildland fire crew was in self-isolation for two weeks after a member started feeling sick in March. Testing at that point, according to Elk Creek Fire Protection District Chief Jacob Ware, was difficult to access so the team ended up in quarantine.