COVID-19 testing

Health Care Systems Prepare for Testing Demands & Spike in COVID Cases

NBC Universal, Inc.

The uptick in people traveling for the holidays despite health warnings is leading to some concern from the medical community.

Nearly three days after Christmas and the line at the New Britain Community Health Center started to form nearly an hour before testing started.

"The line is usually insane and wraps around the block," said Stacya Byrd. "We made sure to come super early to avoid the long lines."

Byrd, her husband, and their four kids stayed at home for the holidays, all in an effort to keep family members safe.

"We're usually around a lot of family, we usually congregate and have a good time together every year, but it was extremely different this year," said Byrd.

Further down in the line, Aubrey Burnett patiently waited to get her test to check her status before she returns to her job in the food industry.

"I just kind of do it just to stay safe and keep my family safe because I don't want to expose them to anything," said Burnett.

Health experts are concerned there will be a spike in COVID-19 cases due to people ignoring social distancing practices during Christmas and the New Year.

Dr. David Banach is an epidemiologist with UConn Health and said the winter months are usually busy and now the added stress of COVID-19 is slightly alarming.

"January, February, specifically and the increase number of hospitalizations of COVID-19 coupled with our usually volume is, you know, creating some concerns among hospitals in the state," said Dr. Banach. "We saw a pretty substantial increase in early December of COVID-19 cases in the hospital."

Dr. Banach also mentioned that certain measures can help health systems and reduce the number of cases around the state.

"Doing things like avoiding large gatherings, wearing masks when you're indoors, when you're with people outside of your household and then the testing piece are all crucial right now," said Dr. Banach. "It's also important to remember that getting a test is important but the public must also remember to adhere to the state's guidelines."

Community Health Centers said it will be open for testing on New Year's Eve until 4 p.m., will be closed January 1 and will open again from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 2 and onward. Testing is available seven days a week.

Two additional testing sites are also being opened. One is in Norwalk and will be open seven days a week.

Another one will be at the CT Post Mall in Milford. It will open on December 30 and will be open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact Us