Rhode Islanders continue facing long waits for COVID walk-in testing

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE)- Eager for COVID tests, Rhode Island residents face some of the very same frustrations they encountered in 2021. Long waits for COVID tests and often tardy results continue into the new year.

Monday afternoon, hundreds gathered in line at the Central Falls state-run testing facility– out of the old Rite Aid. Oftentimes, the line would leak out of the facility and around the corner. The site offers both PCR and rapid testing.

“A little bit overwhelming just the fact that so many people that are vaccinated are coming down with it,” said Exeter resident Sarah Martin Monday.

At the Cranston Parcade and Chapel View Storefront sites, there were only a few individuals being tested. These two sites require appointments.

“[The Central Falls testing site] was the only site available,” said Martin. She continued, “Other than Block Island, this is the only one in Rhode Island that I could find.”

Approximately 25,000 residents are being tested each day in the Ocean State since the new year, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Central Falls, alongside 24 other state-run testing sites, continues to manage the rise in testing demands.

“We’re back to square one in 2022,” said James Ernest of Warren, who received a test in Central Falls. He continued, “I think that we learned from 2021 and we have more of these sites setting up quickly.”

According to RIDOH’s website, Block Island Fire Rescue Barn as well as T.F. Green Airport also do not require appointments prior to testing, like Central Falls.

Categories: Cranston, News, Regional News, Rhode Island