coronavirus testing

As Testing Lines Grow, Frustration Mounts

With nearly 33,000 tests conducted in a 24-hour period, lines have swelled and health care networks are working to keep up with demand.

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With the state’s COVID-19 infection rate rising, testing site lines have lengthened.  Multiple hour wait-times have become the norm.

The testing site on the Western Connecticut State University campus is one of 15 sites operated by Community Health Care, Incorporated. Tuesday the site stopped taking cars at 3 p.m. to keep up with the demand. Joanne Anthony said on Monday she waited in line at this site for four and half hours to be tested.

“It was a nightmare. An absolute nightmare,” she said.

Anthony is 75 years old and has had respiratory symptoms this week. She and her husband say they arrived at the testing site in Danbury at 9 a.m. and didn’t get tested until 1:30 p.m.

“Waiting and waiting. Moving up one car length and then waiting some more,” said Anthony describing the experience.

“The line of traffic wound into the parking lot and around the perimeter of the parking lot,” said her husband Richard.

The situation is not isolated to this testing site, nor is it limited to certain health care networks. As the COVID-19 infection rate has risen in recent weeks, the volume of people being tested at all sites has swelled. According to the most recent numbers from Governor Ned Lamont’s office nearly 33,000 tests have been performed in the last day.

Hartford HealthCare said it has devoted hundreds to the effort of staffing the sites, trying to keep up.

“We have more than 220 individuals committed from Hartford HealthCare for manning those testing stations,” said Chief Clinical Officer Ajay Kumar, MD.

Hartford HealthCare said it is addressing the issue and will devote even more people and resources in the coming days.  The City of New Haven will be increasing testing as well.

Meanwhile, some people who’ve waited in bumper to bumper lines to be tested are feeling frustrated with their experience.

“It would make me not want to go through a COVID testing site again,” added Richard Anthony.

For those who are planning to get tested there is some advice. Print up registration forms in advance, arrive early and be patient.

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