Warwick opens no-appointment, rapid COVID test site
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – A new COVID testing site opened in Warwick, but it’s different than many of the others. It’s a rapid test site and no appointment is necessary.
The new test site is located in the shops at Greenwood and is part of a continued effort to increase testing options for communities across the state.
For Cranston resident Joe Flaherty, getting tested for COVID as soon as possible was a priority.
“I recently visited my mother in a nursing home,” Flaherty said. “She was in a COVID unit. In fact, she passed away this morning.”
Flaherty’s elderly mother lost the battle to COVID Wednesday morning. He says she tested positive about a week ago and saying goodbye to her was worth the sacrifice.
“It’s been a tough year,” Flaherty said. “She’s been in a nursing home and basically isolated in her bedroom. It finally caught up with her.”
Although Flaherty has no symptoms, he needed to get tested and fast. When he heard about the no-appointment site in Warwick, he decided to try it out.
“This was real quick. They made it pretty simple,” Flaherty said.
The site is one of the few of its kind. Rhode Island National Guard Major Robert Jacavone says there is a similar site in Barrington. It’s been so popular, they decided to extend it to February 6th.
“What we’re finding is, it’s more convenient to people if it’s in their communities rather than having to go downtown or make an appointment,” Major Jacavone said. “The more barriers we take down like making appointments to get tested, the better.”
The Department of Health says the state’s testing team is actively working on setting up more sites similar to this model. All you have to do is walk up, take the BinaxNOW test, wait for about 15 minutes in your car and head into the results room where they’ll call your number.
“This will last here as long as there is demand for it,” Major Jacavone said. “As long as Mayor Picozzi wants it or the Department of Health wants it here.”
The site is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They do ask that anyone who shows up is asymptomatic. If you have symptoms, go to portal.ri.gov and make an appointment.
The Department of Health says the state currently operates 14 general public test sites, 13 K-12 and child care test sites and an increasing number of community testing events.