PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s first walk-up coronavirus testing site is set to open in Providence Tuesday allowing those who need it, access to the important tests.
Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, of the R.I. Health Department says roughly 45% of cases in the state are from the Latino community.
The new site is located in the Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School parking lot on Gordon Street. Gov. Gina Raimondo says the location is strategic by placing the center in the Elmwood neighborhood of the city.
With the centralized location for a community in need, the walk-up site will allow people to get a test who don’t have a car or can’t get to the other locations across the state.
People will also be able to drive up to the testing site, which is being run by the Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC) clinic across the street.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says this is the first site to offer both walk-up and drive-through testing.
State and local leaders agree that access to testing is critical for identifying and containing the spread. Tests at this site are free and they will be able to do up to 40 tests a day.
Alexander-Scott says the Latino community is being hit hard by the virus and are hoping people take advantage of this option.
“Minority populations already have a higher rate for chronic diseases and that puts them at a higher rate for complications related to COVID-19 so we really want to make sure testing is available to everyone and that there is a place people are comfortable coming in to get tested,” Valerie Almeida-Monroe, Nurse Director Hope Clinic said.
Symptomatic patients should seek a referral from their primary care doctors or call PCHC at (401) 444-0404 for assistance before walking or driving up to the site.