April 18, 2020
By Margaret Leonard
NEW HAVEN - With the opening of a “rapid COVID-19 testing site,” the state’s capacity to test high-risk patients and first responders has increased by 750 tests per day.
The CVS Health testing center, at the former Gateway Community College at 60 Sargent Dr., is easily accessible from Interstate 95.
Using a new system called the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test, CVS Health said it plans to conduct up to 750 tests per day, seven days a week.
"Our MinuteClinic providers join countless other heroic health care professionals across the country and around the world in forming the first line of defense against this devastating virus," said Troyen Brennan, MD, chief medical officer and executive vice president of CVS Health.
"Thanks to our partnerships with state officials and the utilization of advanced technology, our providers will be able to test large numbers of people...and make real-time decisions about treatment and appropriate next steps."
Because of limited supplies, and in accordance with CDC guidelines, testing is limited to high-risk patients and first responders. Limitations also mean testing will only be done by appointment. The New Haven site only provides same-day scheduling.
Steven Mansfield, director of the Ledge Light Health District, said he got tested on Thursday during a trial run. He is happy to report (and is allowing us to say) his test was negative. Had his test been positive, there is a specific set of instructions he would have been told to follow: the necessary steps to self-quarantine and what to do if symptoms get worse.
Those who schedule tests will need to show proof of identity, birthdate and in-state residence. Only Connecticut residents will be tested at the Sargent Drive site. Rhode Islanders must be tested in Rhode Island.
To schedule a test online, go to https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
Here’s what to expect at the test site.
The patient will be asked to show email or text confirmation of the test appointment.
While, the patient remains in their vehicle, a sample of nasal secretions will be collected by carefully inserting the swab into the nostril exhibiting the most visible drainage, or the nostril that is most congested if drainage is not visible. The swab is inserted approximately 1 inch into the nasal passage. In many cases, the patient will be asked to perform this swabbing themselves.
Patients should have their mobile phones with them to be contacted by the provider.
From the start of the appointment, it is approximately 30 minutes to receive test results.
For more information, please visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.