PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Gov. Gina Raimondo has a message for Rhode Islanders who are struggling to schedule a COVID-19 test: they’re working on it.
During her weekly coronavirus briefing Thursday, Raimondo said the recent surge in cases statewide has led to an increased demand for testing.
“We’ve heard from a lot of you, it’s taking too long to schedule,” Raimondo said. “We’re behind, but we’re going to get better.”
12 Responds has received numerous complaints from Rhode Islanders regarding the state’s testing program, which include difficulties scheduling a test and long wait times for appointments.
Larissa Zuhoski told 12 News she’s been tested before, and this time it took her a week to make an appointment. She said Raimondo makes it sound easier to schedule a test than it actually is.
“People are saying to be patient because the system must be overwhelmed right now during a surge, but when we were at a low point, it was just as difficult to get a test,” Zuhoski said.
“It’s a pain to wait five days,” Raimondo said when asked about the delay in scheduling a test. “It’s hard for me to believe you can’t get a test at all.”
In an effort to address Rhode Islanders’ concerns, the state is opening a new testing site Friday in the parking lot outside McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. Appointments can be made at portal.ri.gov and the site will be for both symptomatic and asymptomatic Rhode Islanders.
Additionally, asymptomatic testing sites are opening within days at South Road Elementary School in South Kingstown and Stop & Shop in Greenville. Appointments are required and can be booked on the state portal website.
Raimondo said testing capacity will double over the next three weeks.
“Know that in the next three weeks, you’ll start to see it get better and better,” Raimondo said.