The following was compiled from a press release issued by the office of Gov. Ned Lamont.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Friday morning that the State of Connecticut has formed a partnership with CVS Health in an initiative that will make free, rapid COVID-19 tests available to eligible CT residents. This includes the opening today of the state’s first rapid testing site at the former Gateway Community College campus at Long Wharf in New Haven.
Using the new Abbott ID NOW™ COVID-19 test, CVS Health is planning to conduct up to 750 tests per day, seven days a week. All patients seeking to be tested will be required to pre-register in advance online.
Here’s how it works:
- Anyone experiencing certain COVID-19 related symptoms and risk factors as defined by CDC guidelines, as well as those who meet certain requirements including state residency and age guidelines, are eligible.
- All patients must register online and schedule a time slot prior to arriving at the test site.
- Anyone who does not have an appointment will not be tested. Tests can be scheduled for the same day or up to two days in advance. To register, visit the testing website.
- The testing will not take place at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations but will be held at the former Gateway Community College parking lot (60 Sargent Drive, New Haven).
- For the safety of patients and health care providers, all patients must arrive in a vehicle. At this time, walk-up testing is not being offered.
- When patients arrive, they are required to remain in their vehicles. Team members will check their registration and direct them through the testing process. Health care providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants from MinuteClinic, will be on-site to oversee the testing.
- The process takes approximately 30 minutes from the collection of the swab to the delivery of the results.
- Testing is available at no charge to the public.
The former Gateway Community College parking lot was selected by state officials because it is an easily accessible area that is able to accommodate multiple lanes of cars at one time. The state is providing security, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for the team administrating the tests, and on the ground logistics.
“While a vaccine does not yet exist for this virus, one of the ways we can mitigate its impact is through increasing our testing capacity,” Lamont said. “Not only will this new testing site significantly increase the number of people being tested, but the speed at which we can get results will aid in our effort to prevent further spread of this disease. Public-private partnerships like this will only strengthen our state in the fight against the coronavirus. We appreciate the community outreach that CVS Health is doing here in Connecticut as their work is quite literally saving lives.”
“CVS Health is uniquely positioned to play a vital role in helping support both local communities and the overall health care system in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic,” Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health, said. “Our ability to help coordinate the availability of rapid COVID-19 testing for Connecticut residents will bolster the state’s efforts to manage the spread of the virus and provide people with on-the-spot test results.”
“We see the effectiveness of COVID-19 rapid testing sites in other states like Georgia and Rhode Island, and I am glad that CVS Health has stepped up quickly to open a rapid testing site in our city,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said. “The New Haven Health Department will also provide assistance to those residents without internet access by helping filling out the online application. Call our emergency line at 203.946.4949 for assistance. This is an unprecedented time for our communities, and it is critical we continue to stay home and stay safe to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Launching of the rapid testing site has been a joint initiative of the following organizations:
Office of Governor Lamont
Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
Connecticut State Police
Connecticut National Guard
Connecticut Department of Administrative Services
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
City of New Haven