Last of 3 new coronavirus testing sites opens in Smithfield

Coronavirus

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The last of Rhode Island’s new asymptomatic testing sites opened Monday at the Stop & Shop in Greenville.

Last week, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced three new testing sites in an effort to bolster testing in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We’ve heard from a lot of you, it’s taking too long to schedule,” she said. “We’re behind, but we’re going to get better.”

The Stop & Shop testing site is one of two focused on people without COVID-19 symptoms.

Stop & Shop customers don’t have to worry about people going into the store to get tested, since the testing all happens outside in the parking lot.

Workers say people have been coming without an appointment, and they’ve had turn them away since they are already booked for the day.

There is still a chance to get an appointment, people are told to keep checking the website because if there is a cancellation the spot will become available. Visitors can schedule an appointment at portal.ri.gov.

On Friday, the parking lot at McCoy Stadium opened to test people with and without symptoms, and on Saturday, the South Road Elementary School in South Kingstown began testing asymptomatic individuals.

The new testing sites are said to be providing an additional 2,000 daily tests to the asymptomatic testing capacity and an additional 300 daily tests for people with symptoms. This is on top of the tests being conducted at places like CVS.

“We have seen the demand for testing increase substantially over the last 10 days and we’re continuing to roll out additional testing sites,” CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo said in an interview with “Face The Nation” on CBS Sunday. “We’ll have more than 5,000 within the next two or three weeks, including about 1,000 point of care testing sites where we’ll use the antigen test and will provide real time results in about 30 minutes.”

In addition to state-operated testing sites closing at noon this Wednesday and reopening on Friday at 9 a.m., CVS testing sites will also be closed on Thanksgiving day.

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