Test to Treat Site

How ‘Test to Treat' Sites Work

There are now more than 40 'test to treat' COVID-19 sites in Connecticut.

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There are more than 40 'Test to Treat' sites in Connecticut, the state's Department of Public Health announced last week.

The nationwide initiative provides one-stop-shopping for COVID testing, and if the patient is COVID positive and eligible, they can also receive treatment.

“In order for COVID-19 treatments to work, they must be started early, within five days of when your symptoms start,” said Dr. Manisha Juthani, DPH Commissioner, in a press release. "The Test to Treat initiative provides eligible patients faster and easier access to potentially life-saving treatments.”

Physician One Urgent Care in Groton is one of the Test to Treat sites. The providers there walked NBC Connecticut's Siobhan McGirl through the process.

First, a patient will be taken to an exam room and tested for COVID-19. If the test comes back positive, the patient is evaluated to see if they are eligible for one of two anti-viral drugs used to treat COVID-19.

"The patient needs to meet a risk factor. It could be age, it could be a medical comorbidity that would qualify for the medication," said Lisa Shakun, a physician assistant at Physician One Urgent Care. "It's also after a provider evaluation, going over the patient's past medical history."

The state's public health commissioner said that Test to Treat Sites should help curb the impact of COVID-19's next wave of cases.

"For people who are at risk for more severe outcomes of this disease, this medication will help prevent people from ending up in the hospital," said Commissioner Juthani. "Strain on our healthcare system has really been the thing that determines how much of an impact COVID-19 has on our society."

If the patient is found to meet the criteria for treatment, the provider at the Test to Treat site is able to fill a prescription for them on-site.

"They walk out of the clinic with the prescription in their hand," explained Shakun.

Test to Treat sites aim to ease access, but they are not the only option for treatment. People can be tested and treated by their own health care provider, who can also prescribe antiviral pills.

To find a Test to Treat site near you, click here.

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