WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Despite pleas from government and healthcare officials, more than a million people have already taken to the skies nationwide for the holiday. But here in Connecticut, it seems like people are heeding the warnings — air travel is down 65 percent from this time last year.
Still, airport officials are expecting more passengers than they have seen in months. That means the massive new testing site that opened on airport grounds Monday is already seeing huge demand.
Bradley’s not seeing the kind of lines some other airports have reported. Instead, their lines are actually outside, over at the new testing center.
“We’re approximately seeing 65% less passengers this Thanksgiving season,” said Connecticut Airport Authority Spokesperson Alisa Sisic.
For health officials worried about community spread from family gatherings, that might be good news. But traffic is still up nearly 40 percent from last month. With almost every state now on Connecticut’s travel advisory, the new testing site is part of the plan to keep the virus at bay as much as possible.
“Something that’s convenient during the holiday, Thanksgiving week,” said Sisic.
Hartford Healthcare’s new COVID testing site was open for business in Bradley’s Lot 3 by late morning Monday. An hour in, there were several long lines of cars snaking around the grounds. But wait times midday stood at only about an hour.
“The demand for it has been quite high,” said Sisic of the airport’s first COVID site. “This new testing site is adding capacity.”
The site open to everyone, but, for travelers who need a negative result in three days or face two weeks of quarantine, the smart move is to drive through.
“You would just take your car or if someone is picking you up [they’d] drive you to the site.”
Bradley is expecting most of its passengers to come through Tuesday and Wednesday. The new testing site is open daily 11 am to 7 pm.