There have been 18,000 more coronavirus tests administered in Connecticut since Wednesday.
With delta variant concerns, lots of people are looking to get tested. NBC Connecticut checked in with some at a South Windsor walk-in clinic.
“The appointment I booked online at like 2 in the morning. It literally only took me like two minutes to do,” said Katerina Llano of Windsor, who hasn’t been feeling well.
Even though she’s vaccinated, Llano said she’d rather be safe than sorry and not risk spreading the pesky delta COVID-19 variant.
“We can tell you anecdotally that we are hearing that the volume of folks who are coming in and seeking a test is increasing in many places,” said Lisa Tepper Bates, president and CEO of United Way of CT.
The state’s 211 call center, run by the United Way of CT, is picking up lots of calls asking about coronavirus testing sites.
“Over the past two weeks 211 CT has had more than 33,000 inquiries regarding testing. That is up 120% over the previous two weeks,” said Tepper Bates.
Hartford HealthCare’s executive vice president Dr. James Cardon says if you are vaccinated, but have symptoms, getting tested helps understand your risk of spreading the virus.
“If you’re potentially carrying, you would want to take extra precautions for those at risk.”
If you’re looking to get tested for the coronavirus, whether you’re vaccinated or not, you can check with your provider or call 211.
A trained specialist can help you find a testing location near you in more than 150 languages.
You can also go online to 211ct.org
Annie Scully with the United Way of CT explained the process.
“You’ll see towards the top of the home page, it says, ‘Looking for COVID-19 test sites or vaccine clinics.’ Right in that search bar, you can actually populate the name of your city or your town.”
Scully typed in her hometown zip code and clicked view testing sites, which gave a list of locations near her.
Entering your zip code at ct.gov/coronavirus will take you to this same list.
“You can scroll through individual cards of the testing locations or you can click pins on the map to find a location that’s best for you,” said Scully.
Like a location? Make sure you select “more details.”
It lets you know if you need an appointment or approval from a doctor to get tested at that location.
“We hope it will help individuals across Connecticut access the information to find the most appropriate testing location,” said Scully.
But how difficult was it to find an appointment?
NBC Connecticut’s Caitlin Burchill used the 211 website to look for appointments in Manchester and Meriden Thursday.
Local CVS and Walgreens were booked for the day, but had lots of openings for Friday.
Urgent care appointments in the area were booked too, but for some locations, you can give them a call and they’ll let you know about how long you’d have to wait if you dropped by as a walk-in.
Lots of appointments were available for Thursday in Milford, New Haven, Guilford, and Wallingford through Yale New Haven Health’s site.
But what about those big testing sites? Will they come back?
“Just the sheer number of people who need to be tested is much, much lower than in the past,” said Cardon.
He says Hartford HealthCare is watching case numbers closely, but at this point he doesn’t believe they’re going to need to host major testing centers again.
“While the drive-thrus, although very effective when you’re trying to do a whole bunch, we think this is still going to be in small numbers we think we can handle in usual locations,” said Cardon.
Community Health Center’s mass vaccination sites closed at the end of June.
Right now they’re only testing their patients, but a spokesperson says if the state needs them to step up again, they could do so.
“I think the testing partners that we have are doing the best they can to accommodate people as quickly as possible, but the wait can be an hour or more if they go to a walk-in and there are others there seeking treatment,” said Tepper Bates.
Once you’re able to make an appointment, wait times for rapid test results seem speedy. Expect at least 24 hours for a PCR test result.