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12 Responds: How out-of-state residents can get a COVID test in RI


In this photo taken Saturday, June 27, 2020, medical personnel prepare to test hundreds of people lined up in vehicles in Phoenix’s western neighborhood of Maryvale in Phoenix for free COVID-19 tests organized by Equality Health Foundation, which focuses on care in underserved communities. Arizona’s Republican governor shut down bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks Monday, June 29, and leaders in several states ordered residents to wear masks in public in a dramatic course reversal amid an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases nationwide. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Gina Raimondo’s new rule that travelers arriving from nearly half of all states need to get tested for coronavirus or else self-quarantine on arrival in Rhode Island has spurred questions about whether residents from elsewhere could get a test here.

The answer: yes, but it depends where you go.

R.I. Health Department spokesperson Joseph Wendelken confirmed that only Rhode Island residents are allowed to use the state testing portal,, to sign up for a COVID-19 test. However, he said, a resident of any state can get tested at various respiratory clinics in Rhode Island listed in this Health Department document.

Another option is going to a CVS/Pharmacy location, 10 of which are currently listed as offering COVID tests in Rhode Island.

CVS spokesperson Michael DeAngelis said individuals “can get a test at CVS in a state other than the one they reside in,” adding, “We are in the process of updating information on our website in this regard.”

Raimondo instituted the new travel restrictions on Tuesday in response to rising coronavirus cases elsewhere in the country. Under the new rule, anyone coming to Rhode Island from a state where the COVID-19 test positivity rate is at least 5% must either have a negative test result within 72 hours of arrival or self-quarantine for 14 days.

As of Wednesday, 24 states and Puerto Rico fell under Raimondo’s restriction, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker that the Health Department is currently using to enforce it. Those states include Florida, Arizona, Texas and California.

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