The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is announcing that a new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing site will open tomorrow, July 21st, at the Rhode Island Convention Center, located at 114 West Exchange Street in Providence. This site will replace the current testing site at Rhode Island College (RIC). Today is the last day of testing at RIC. The testing site at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) will also be phased out in the near future.
Testing at the Rhode Island Convention Center will happen in the parking garage. This will allow testing to happen even during inclement weather. The testing site will be a drive-up site. Signage will direct people to the site. The access road connecting West Exchange and Sabin Streets will be restricted to test site traffic and emergency vehicles only. Because of the low clearance in the garage, trailers, RVs, and other oversized vehicles cannot be accommodated at this time. The site will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tests are available by appointment only.
This location change will increase Rhode Island’s testing capacity. The Rhode Island Convention Center site will have capacity to do 1,500 tests a day. The RIC and CCRI sites were equipped to handle 600 tests a day each.
Like the RIC and CCRI testing sites, the Rhode Island Convention Center testing site will be for symptomatic people and certain asymptomatic people. People who are symptomatic can get a test scheduled for them by a healthcare provider. People who are asymptomatic can schedule a test if they work in a high-contact profession. Examples of people who work in high-contact professions include barbers, child care workers, clergy, cosmetologists, first responders, gym and exercise trainers, healthcare professionals, personal care services (nail technicians, massage therapists, tattoo artists, estheticians, cosmeticians, manicurists, body piercers, and tanning facility staff), public transit drivers, and restaurant workers. Asymptomatic Rhode Islanders who have recently traveled to a place with an elevated positivity rate can also be tested. To schedule a test, visit portal.ri.gov. People can make appointments as of noon today.
Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH will provide a broader update on testing at Wednesday’s press conference.