Hartford Health Care has rolled out several COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state to try and meet the needs of those seeking an appointment.
Sites were opened in Bridgeport, Torrington, New Britain, and Newington that allow patients to drive up to get a PCR test. The health care system announced 7 testing trailers would be opening around the state.
At the Bridgeport location, some patients told NBC Connecticut they had to wait upwards of 3 hours to get tested at other locations. Site organizers say they had more than 100 patients at the Bridgeport location and they're looking to boost that number to at least 200 patients per day.
Bridgeport's testing trailer was set to open this Friday but Hartford HealthCare and St. Vincent's Medical Center leaders said the demand from the community grew significantly within the last couple of weeks.
"We were seeing huge surges over in our emergency department. That was the driving force for getting this through," said Tiffany Rodrigues, director of initiative integration operations for the Fairfield region for Hartford HealthCare. "Every time we've opened up appointments, they've gone within an hour and a half."
Patients tell NBC Connecticut they appreciate new sites like the trailer after waiting an extended period of time to get tested.
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"This is definitely a great resource because I have to be tested weekly and the North Branch library is such a wait," said Firemena Bruno, who lives in Bridgeport. "It's like a 3-hour wait and sometimes you might be waiting that long and you're not even seen."
Other patients mention that they had struggles after trying at other testing sites and pharmacies.
"It's extremely frustrating to wait so long in testing lines or even to try and find a rapid test and people are busy," said Chelsea Leonard, who lives in Fairfield. "It's great to have a timed appointment that way you can just drive in like I did today and I only had to wait like 30 seconds before I got my test completed so that was pretty sweet."
Appointments are required at these testing trailers. If you do not have an appointment, patients are asked to use their smartphone to make an appointment online or click here.
If you do not have access to a smartphone or computer, you can call the Hartford HealthCare Community Care at 860-972-8100 or toll-free at 833-621-0600.