BEAT COVID-19: Rapid testing site opens in Central Falls


Courtesy city of Central Falls

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — Rapid testing for COVID-19 is now available to Central Falls and Pawtucket residents through a partnership with CVS Health, the cities’ mayors announced Thursday.

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said as part of the BEAT COVID-19 initiative, the Rhode Island College Workforce Development Hub on Dexter Street in Central Falls is now the state’s second facility to offer rapid testing.

“We are appreciative for these new partnerships that will enable the residents of Central Falls and Pawtucket to receive the COVID-19 testing that they need,” Diossa said.

“The addition of rapid testing to the Rhode Island College Hub will be integral to getting members of our community tested and on to the next step of isolation,” Grebien added. “We cannot thank the Governor, CVS Health, Rhode Island College, and everyone else involved in helping us bring these tests to our communities enough.”

Dr. Michael Fine, who spearheaded the initiative, said Central Falls is reporting a higher incidence of COVID-19 than New York City.

“Rapid testing is a crucial step in helping communities manage the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is a concrete example of the private and public sectors coming together to bring expanded testing capabilities to the people of Rhode Island,” CVS Health Senior Vice President Emmanuel Kolady said. “By working together, we can help slow the spread of the virus.”

The new testing site serves as an extension of the BEAT COVID-19 initiative which also includes identifying residents who become symptomatic as soon as they get sick, providing them with available testing, resources and eventually moving them into effective isolation.

“Rhode Island College is proud to be on the front lines of the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, working alongside Governor Gina Raimondo, the Rhode Island Departments of Health and Commerce, and the Cities of Central Falls and Pawtucket,” RIC President Frank Sánchez said.

Testing at this site is by appointment only. To request an appointment, residents must be referred by their primary care physician or call BEAT COVID-19 at (855) 843-7620. The call line is a free, multilingual service for Central Falls and Pawtucket residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms who do not have a primary care doctor.

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