PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — More than a dozen high-volume COVID-19 testing sites in Rhode Island will close by the end of the month, Governor Dan McKee and the R.I. Department of Health (RIDOH) announced Monday.
State officials said the focus is being shifted to bringing testing to the most vulnerable populations through mobile and pop-up testing sites in communities with low vaccination rates, schools, travel destinations, and other places where outbreaks have happened.
“Please continue to get tested even if you are vaccinated and have symptoms,” McKee said. “Testing will continue to be an important way to keep Rhode Islanders safe as more and more Rhode Islanders across age bands get vaccinated and will help RIDOH identify emerging variants in our communities.”
Free testing will still be offered at 25 fixed sites throughout Rhode Island, as well as medical offices and retail pharmacies.
At the height of the state’s testing volume in April, roughly 125,000 were getting swabbed per week. Now, it is down to around 50,000 per week, according to the Health Department.
“The COVID-19 positivity rate in Rhode Island has gone down and vaccination rates are among the highest in the nation,” Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said. “But the pandemic is not over, and Rhode Islanders need to remain vigilant.”
McKee also announced a new partnership Monday with Uber and United Way 211 to provide free rides to Rhode Island vaccination sites.
Residents can call 211 and they will be provided with a promotional code that can be entered directly into their Uber app for two round trips to and from the site.
“This partnership is a milestone in our larger commitment to provide 10 million free or discounted rides to those in need across the world to ensure transportation is not a barrier to accessing the COVID-19 vaccine,” Uber Policy Manager Hayley Prim said.
As of Monday, more than 596,000 Rhode Islanders were fully vaccinated and nearly 672,000 people had received at least one shot.
There has not been a death related to COVID-19 in the state since June 5, data from the Health Department shows.
Health officials reported 54 new coronavirus cases since data was last released on Friday.
The data also shows 33 people remain in the hospital with COVID-19, with five patients in the intensive care unit and six on ventilators.
Saturday, June 26, is the last day of testing at the sites listed below:
- Barrington Shopping Center: 180 County Road, Barrington
- Dorrance Street: 79 Dorrance St., Providence
- Park Holm Senior Center: 1 Eisenhower St., Newport
- Stop & Shop Newport: 199 JT Connell Hwy, Newport
- K12 CCRI- Newport: 1 John H. Chafee Blvd., Newport
- K12 Pastore Campus: 19 Foster Road, Cranston
Sunday, June 27, is the last day of testing at the sites listed below.
- New England Tech East Greenwich: 1560 Division Road, East Greenwich
- New England Tech Warwick: 2480 Post Road, Warwick
- North Providence Mineral Spring: 1967 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence
- RI Convention Center Parking Garage: 114 West Exchange St., Providence (walk-up PCR location at the ticket booth on Sabin Street will remain open)
- Smithfield VFW: 47 Farnum Pike, Smithfield
- Stop & Shop Cottage Street Pawtucket: 368–398 Cottage St., Pawtucket
- Walnut Hill Plaza: 1500 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket