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Peterson relocates COVID-19 testing site

People prepare COVID tests.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alina Thomas, 21st Medical Support Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of medical records, prepares COVID-19 tests on Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 13, 2022. COVID-19 testing was recently moved to the Peterson golf course club house by appointment only and providing same-day results to patients. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aliviah Williams)

Person walking to car.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaren Dizney, 21st Healthcare Operations Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of pediatrics, prepares to administer a COVID-19 test on Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 13, 2022. The 21st Medical Group moved COVID-19 testing to the recently closed Peterson golf course club house to provide medical professionals a warm and safe location to conduct testing during the winter months. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aliviah Williams)

Person talks to another person in a car.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaren Dizney, 21st Healthcare Operations Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of pediatrics, administers a COVID-19 test on Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 13, 2022. Testing is conducted from 8 to 11a.m. each day allowing 21st Medical Group Airmen to process tests and provide same-day results to patients. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aliviah Williams)

Cars parked on the road.

Patients scheduled for COVID-19 testing wait in their vehicles outside the former Peterson golf course club house on Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 13, 2022. Each day, the 21st Medical Group tests nearly 80 patients and provides same-day results. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aliviah Williams)

Man talks to person in truck.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Eigen Matho, 21st Dental Squadron dental laboratory technician, hands out patient intake forms in the parking lot of the former golf course club house on Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 13, 2022. The 21st Medical group conducts COVID-19 testing every weekday morning, by appointment only, for base personnel and beneficiaries. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aliviah Williams)

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. — --

Due to weather and safety concerns, the 21st Medical Group has moved the Peterson-Schriever Garrison COVID-19 testing to the former clubhouse of the Silver Spruce Golf Course, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 10, 2022.

 

This new location provides protection from fast-changing, often harsh weather that affects the Pikes Peak region in winter and spring, allowing members of the 21st MDG to respond to P-S GAR’s COVID-19 testing needs without cold temperatures and strong winds as complicating factors. This is especially important now, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 drives increased need for testing.

 

“Our tempo has increased significantly,” says U.S. Air Force Maj. Julee Avram, 21st MDG officer in charge of the Pandemic Response Flight. “Before the beginning of the year, there were days where we were screening 20 people a day. Now, every single day, it’s 80 people.”

 

Previously, the 21st MDG offered testing through tents set up outside of the 21st MDG annex building by appointment from 8 to 11 a.m. This new site will offer testing by appointment only, with the same hours. The clubhouse parking lot will be used to keep test appointment traffic away from higher-use roads on base, an additional benefit to the new location.

 

The service members who run the testing site each morning are diverted from their typical day-to-day tasks for the garrison which may affect patient care in other departments.

 

Avram, who works in women’s health outside of her pandemic response duties, has limited appointment hours and suggests women in need of routine care contact their primary care physician.

 

For pandemic responders like U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaren Dizney, 21st Health Care Operations Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of pediatrics, there are coworkers to help with day-to-day work, so at worst, some paperwork may be delayed.

 

“We’re all resilient, so we adapt and we overcome,” said Dizney. “Even if we are short on staff and we have to move people around, everybody works together as a team.”

 

The 21st MDG is conducting COVID-19 testing for empaneled patients who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Contact the 21st MDG to schedule a test appointment by calling (719) 524-2273 or (719) 526-2273.

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