Due to a shift in strategy and focus in the State’s COVID-19 response, Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are announcing their plan to consolidate State-run COVID-19 test sites.
As the pandemic evolves, the State’s testing strategy has become more targeted. Rhode Island is focused on bringing COVID-19 testing to the most vulnerable groups of people in the State. Mobile and pop-up testing has been implemented in places where it is needed the most, like schools, communities with low vaccination rates, travel destinations, and in places where outbreaks have occurred.
By the end of the month, State-run, larger-volume test sites will be consolidated. The State will maintain 25 fixed test sites throughout Rhode Island to ensure all residents have access to free and convenient COVID-19 testing. Rhode Islanders also have the option to get tested at retail pharmacies and medical offices.
“The Department of Health and all of our local partners made testing a priority early into the pandemic, which made a world of difference,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Please continue to get tested even if you are vaccinated and have symptoms. Testing will continue to be an important way to keep Rhode Islanders safe as more and more Rhode Islanders across age bands get vaccinated and will help RIDOH identify emerging variants in our communities.”
Throughout the pandemic, the State has led the nation in COVID-19 testing rates per capita and maintained capacity for large-scale asymptomatic testing. As vaccination rates have increased, demand for COVID-19 testing has decreased. At the height of its testing volume in April, the State was testing 125,000 people per week. The State is now testing approximately 50,000 per week. Even with these decreases, the State maintains the ability to ramp up capacity if needed.
“The COVID-19 positivity rate in Rhode Island has gone down and vaccination rates are among the highest in the nation,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “But the pandemic is not over, and Rhode Islanders need to remain vigilant. COVID-19 testing will continue to be a critical tool in identifying disease and preventing outbreaks.”
Saturday, June 26, will be the last day of testing at the following sites: • Barrington Shopping Center: 180 County Rd. Barrington, RI 02806 • Dorrance Street: 79 Dorrance St. Providence, RI 02903 • Park Holm Senior Center: 1 Eisenhower St. Newport, RI 02840 • Stop & Shop Newport: 199 JT Connell Hwy Newport, RI 02840 • K12 CCRI- Newport: 1 John H. Chafee Blvd. Newport, RI 02840 • K12 Pastore Campus: 19 Foster Rd. Cranston, RI 02920
Sunday, June 27, will be the last day of testing at the following sites: • New England Tech-East Greenwich: 1560 Division Rd. East Greenwich, RI 02818 • New England Tech-Warwick: 2480 Post Road Warwick, RI 02886 • North Providence Mineral Spring: 1967 Mineral Spring Ave. North Providence, RI 02904 • Rhode Island Convention Center Parking Garage: 114 West Exchange St. Providence, RI 02903 (walk-up PCR location at the ticket booth on Sabin Street will remain open) • Smithfield VFW: 47 Farnum Pike Smithfield, RI 02917 • Stop & Shop Cottage Street-Pawtucket: 368 – 398 Cottage St. Pawtucket, RI 02860 • Walnut Hill Plaza: 1500 Diamond Hill Rd. Woonsocket, RI 02895
If you are not fully vaccinated, you should get tested weekly. If you are fully vaccinated, you should get tested if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or you are returning from out-of-state travel. Vaccinated travelers are still encouraged to get a COVID-19 test between five and 10 days after out-of-state travel. For a full list of COVID-19 test sites, visit covid.ri.gov/testing.
Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!