Lined up bumper-to-bumper, four lanes wide, vehicles entered the CVS rapid testing site in New Haven Saturday.
The drive-thru testing site, located at the Gateway Community College campus on Sargent Drive, opened Friday. It’s one of only a few sites in the country using the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 tests. Other sites like it are located in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Georgia.
Governor Ned Lamont was instrumental in bringing the site to Connecticut. He said he spoke with CVS officials just ten days ago to facilitate the agreement. Saturday, he was on site to see first-hand how the process was working.
“We’ve got hundreds of cars here. They’re all run on a schedule and they’re all going to be tested,” he said. “Hopefully the vast majority are going to get the relief knowing they’re not inflicted with COVID.”
The process is streamlined and offers almost immediate results. Once on site, people go through stations in their vehicles. They register, get swabbed and then receive results. Officials say a positive result takes about five minutes. A negative one could take slightly longer.
“Getting the testing results in less than 15 minutes is how we’re gonna lick this virus,” said Lamont.
There is no charge for the test and a doctor prescription is not required, but people with symptoms must first resister through CVS.com. People with underlying conditions and first responders will be prioritized.
“I think the first 100 tests every day are for our first responders to make sure they’re safe and the people they are working with are safe as well,” said Lamont.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker also visited on Saturday. He thanked the governor for bringing the site to New Haven and explained the benefits of testing more people and getting results quickly.
“Testing is so critical to us in beating the virus,” Elicker said. “If we don’t know in the future where the virus may have additional outbreaks, if we don’t know what’s going on, we can’t respond to it adequately.”
Until further notice, the site will be open seven days a week, with up to 750 people per day being tested. According to the CVS website, tests are limited to residents where the testing is being performed. People must present a valid government-issued ID at the site in order to be tested.