MICHAEL-HANCOCK-COVID-TEST-05212020-KS-219

Takahiro Ueno, right, a forensic scientist with the Denver Crime Laboratory, hands a swab to a person in his car at one of the testing sites. That is one difference to this testing center--those being tested at this site will use the swab on administer the test on themselves. Mayor Michael Hancock is joined by Gov. Jared Polis and other city leaders and regional partners to announce a new free, drive-up COVID-19 testing site on May 21, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. The testing site is located in the parking lot west of the Pepsi Center. (Photo By Kathryn Scott)

The Colorado National Guard announced on Thursday that it had assisted with testing 20,000 individuals for COVID-19 to date, with a presence in 28 counties and 34 cities.

"The mission that really stands out to me is sending Soldiers and Airmen to test at veterans community living centers around the state and having had the opportunity to return the favor to these fellow service members who have sacrificed so much for us," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Reynolds, who is the non-commissioned officer in charge.

Almost 50 Army and Air National Guard members have been part of the testing response, including at correctional facilities. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has tested 516,502 people, and to date there have been at least 46,200 positive cases statewide.

Personnel are also assisting the health department with processing tests in its Denver laboratory. Altogether, approximately 120 individuals are deployed. The National Guard’s involvement is temporary until civilians can take over operations. Gov. Jared Polis has ordered some members to unload, package and distribute personal protective equipment at the State Emergency Operations Center in Centennial. The supplies are destined for community organizations.

“The state needed help with the unloading and delivering to community centers, food pantries and homeless centers, some as far as Pueblo," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Scottlyn Kibbey.

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