Asymptomatic testing site opens in Barrington; organizer hopes to bring another to Newport

East Bay

BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Asymptomatic testing is now available in Barrington as part of the latest partnership between the state and Paolino Properties.

Joseph Paolino, the owner of Paolino Properties and former mayor of Providence, said he’s been looking to open this site for a while now.

“When the state asked us regarding Dorrance Street downtown, I said ‘If you’re going to do more sites would you like Barrington?’ They said, ‘Not at this time,'” he said. “Then the other day, the town manager came to us and asked.”

Paolino said the Barrington site took less than two weeks to open with the help of the R.I. National Guard, and now he’s looking for more communities to provide with similar testing sites.

“Any properties that I have, any locations that I have, if I can give them to the state to utilize and assist them, I want to do that,” he said. “I think it’s part of our responsibility as citizens.”

Testing sites, Paolino said, aren’t the only thing on his mind as he works with the state towards ending the pandemic.

“It would be nice if we can make these sites available for the vaccine,” he said. “I mean the vaccine is what the state needs, what the country needs and we’re willing to help and make that happen.”

Dr. Philip Chan, a consultant medical director at the R.I. Department of Health and infectious disease expert, said the state is already looking for places to set up vaccination sites.

“Certainly, as this sort of rolls out, we want this vaccine to be widely disseminated and accessible to the general public,” he said.

While he hopes to open vaccine sites down the road, Paolino said he is currently in talks with the state opening a testing site in Newport next.

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