Asymptomatic testing site opens at Dunkin’ Donuts Center

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Coronavirus testing efforts continue to ramp up across the state.

Governor Gina Raimondo announced increased capacity at several testing sites and a brand new site specific to asymptomatic people. She says these efforts are to provide people with more options and better access as many have struggled to get appointments or have had to wait long period of time to get tested.

“I haven’t been feeling well for the last couple of days,” Kevin Leon of Providence said. “I’ve been trying to get tested and there haven’t really been options for me to do so without an appointment.”

Kevin Leon said he first tried a walk-in appointment at a clinic in Cranston, but he was told it’s first come, first serve and that the line starts at 5:00 a.m. and the clinic opens at 8:00 a.m.

“I think it’s just a little bit ridiculous the fact that they have to wait outside being sick for three hours and that they only admit the first 30 people,” Leon said.

Instead, he lined up before opening at the Convention Center where he said the process was much quicker.

“It hasn’t been long,” Leon said. “I don’t think I waited for more than 20 minutes.”

The Convention Center testing area has been completely transformed from the roads to the field hospital to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center new testing site.

Captain Mark Incze with the National Guard says it’s been quite the effort getting things running.

“Nothing gets done alone, everyone is a specialist and knows how to do pieces of the pie,” Capt. Incze said. “When we come together and work together it’s the only way it’ll get done.”

That includes setting up a new testing site inside the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The site is specific for asymptomatic people and requires an appointment. It uses the BinaxNOW tests, which provide results in 15-minutes

“You just follow the tape on the floor that will lead you right into the center of the Dunk where a soldier will pick you up, walk you through the instructions,” Capt. Incze said. “We have a waiting period there and you’ll get your results before you leave.”

The Governor says they’re running about 500 tests a day at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center with the goal to reach 2,500 by Monday.

Outside of the arena, the state is running about 2,500 symptomatic tests per day. The Governor says they had an original goal to reach 3,000 by the end of the two-week pause, adding that they will surpass that number.

“There’s more capacity than ever to get a test,” Governor Raimondo said. “Even if two weeks ago you were waiting for days or you couldn’t figure it out, it’s better now and I’m asking you to give it a try.”

The Governor also announced more testing at McCoy Stadium testing site. She says they’ve increased capacity there by a third.

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Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Rhode Island