Several COVID-19 testing sites no longer require appointments

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – As the Dunkin’ Donuts Center transitions from a rapid testing site to a mass vaccination clinic, officials opened a new testing location to fill that need.

That new site is located on Dorrance street and this time around, it does not require appointments.

“There’s just such a large capacity and there’s such a need and it’s so spread out throughout the community where it won’t create congestion,” Major Robert Jacavone with the RI National Guard said.

Major Jacavone says you’ll take the test at the entrance on Dorrance Street and then wait 15 minutes in your car. Just a block over on Weybosset Street is where you’ll get your results.

“The goal with the BinaxNOW test is to get it down to the community level, into the schools, school nurses, even large businesses,” Major Jacavone said.

He says that goal is more than attainable as the state has a supply of close to a million BinaxNOW tests. That makes it that much easier to change not only the Dorrance Street site, but several sites to no-appointment.

According to the RI Department of Health’s portal, 10 of the 25 sites no longer require appointments. Most of those are BinaxNOW options while PCR locations still do require appointments.

On Dorrance Street, Major Jacavone says he doesn’t anticipate the change will cause crowds.

“We’ve spread everything out, so it shouldn’t cause traffic jams or massive crowds like you saw at the Convention Center,” Major Jacavone said. “We are still expecting with the variants coming in that there should be a spike in the coming weeks.”

The possibility of variants is why he says people should utilize the sites and walk in once a week to get a rapid test.

“There are plenty of businesses here at the ground level,” Major Jacavone said. “There are apartment buildings, there’s the school, Johnson and Wales, Roger Williams, and so this is a place where a lot of people already are. That’s the idea; it’ll serve a high-density community that’s within the town.”

The Dorrance street site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You do have to find your own parking.

Over at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, work is underway to transition the site to a mass vaccination clinic. Officials recently announced that site is set to open next Thursday.

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