COVID-19 testing site at URI to shut down due to low traffic


SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Testing for COVID-19 at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus will end on Wednesday, Eyewitness News has learned.

The decision was made because the site was seeing low testing numbers, according to R.I. Department of Health spokesperson Joseph Wendelken. Despite the low numbers, staff was still using a lot of highly sought-after personal protective equipment (PPE) in anticipation of patients, he said.

Governor Gina Raimondo has said the state is conducting roughly 2,000 COVID-19 tests a day. Wendelken said RIDOH does not anticipate the closure of the Kingston testing site to impact those numbers.

“The decision was made to reallocate the resources from that site to other sites in the state that are seeing more traffic,” Wendelken said in an email to Eyewitness News, noting that the testing site at Kent Hospital in Warwick is about a 20-minute drive away.

“However, we are remaining in close contact with healthcare providers in South County so we can quickly adjust if the need for more testing arises in South County,” he added.

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