State lawmakers are questioning the Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment’s decision to use unauthorized COVID-19 tests in nursing homes despite provider warnings about the equipment’s issue with false positives.
Now, lawmakers are calling for an audit of the state’s COVID testing program. On Monday, the Legislative Audit Committee moved to look into an $89 million contract with the testing company Curative, according to a report by CBS Denver.
The contract was approved last year for tests only on people with COVID symptoms. Instead, the state provided the testing equipment to all state nursing homes for free to use on asymptomatic people too, the report explained.
Providers had warned that the company’s tests were notorious for false positives, according to Gregory J. Gahm, M.D., corporate medical director of Vivage Senior Living, one of the state’s largest operators.
“Every single time it was Curative positive, one sent to another lab was negative,” Gahm said.
Lawmakers are now questioning if the contract was approved based on connections to the governor’s top advisor, who met with a Curative investor who’s also a donor of the governor’s, the report stated.
“It’s not fair that 1,100 nursing home patients died last fall during the time this contract was in place,” State Sen. Rob Woodward (R) said.
“I’m worried about some things that we as a state could have done better. So that’s all I’m asking this committee to take a look [at],” he added.