RI and MA expand testing efforts amid mounting concerns
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Department of Health is adding three new COVID testing sites that are expected to add 700 new appointment times. Meanwhile, Massachusetts plans to bring rapid testing to schools.
The efforts come as local residents say getting a test is easier said than done.
Leigh-Ann Dolman recently found out her colleague tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s scary, especially for parents, or someone like me who has older parents,” she said.
But getting tested has been a challenge.
“I kind of was scrambling to get a test somewhere,” she said.
Dolman says she booked an appointment with CVS days in advance and got a confirmation email an hour beforehand, only to arrive and be told they were out of supplies.
“I was so upset yesterday because I felt like, ‘what do I do?’” she asked.
Dolman ended up finding another testing site listed by the health department, but the line was so long, she worries people will give up on getting tested.
“The line of cars was out the parking lot of the building and down the street, and there was actually a cop outside directing traffic,” she said. “So people will just get in that line and drive away.”
Governor Baker says long lines are an issue and is concerned people are getting tested ahead of Thanksgiving and ignoring guidance.
Rhode Island is adding testing sites, including at McCoy Stadium, but struggling with contact tracing and long wait times to get a test and to get results processed.
“You can get it but it might take a few days,” said Governor Raimondo. “And that’s why we need to fix it.”
Overall, delays mean it could take weeks for people to find out.
“My doctor actually told me that a lot of people go through their entire quarantine before they ever get their results back because sometimes the labs are backed up, or they can’t get a test right away,” Dolman said.
She says it should be easier for people trying to help keep the pandemic under control.
“I’m trying to be a proactive part of society and get my test done, and do the right thing, and I had trouble doing that,” Dolman said.