New London sets up several testing sites after state Dept. of Public Health issues city COVID alert


NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The state Department of Public Health issued a COVID Alert for the city of New London Thursday due to a recent spike in COVID positive cases here in the city.

In response, local officials are working with the state to set up more testing sites, including one at the Community Health Center of New London. There will be a few throughout the area this weekend.

Saturday, Oct. 10:
• Jennings School, 50 Mercer St., New London – 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 11:
• New London High School, 490 Jefferson Ave., New London – 12 p.m. – 4 p.m

Monday through Friday (until further notice)

• Community Health Center, 1 Shaws Cove, New London – 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (drive-thru)

FULL LIST: COVID testing sites in New London

Health officials liked what they saw at the Community Health Center’s test site Friday: cars lined up as people waited to get tested for coronavirus. At this site, you don’t need a doctor’s note, and you don’t need to be experiencing any symptoms. You just need to provide contact information.

Between Sept. 20 and Oct 3, there have been at least 115 new COVID-19 cases, with 70 just last week. The state also reported that there have been 109 new confirmed cases in New London County in the past 24 hours with one death.

The mayor says most of the positive cases have been in or near the downtown area, and they have been community-based transmissions through social gatherings, not institutions like city buildings or schools. One example is Connecticut College, which tests students twice a week and found a cluster of four or five testing positive.

Mayor Michael Passero said, “The data overwhelmingly shows that the positive testing are coming from these social gatherings and family gatherings.”

Of course, with more tests, there will be more positive cases. But that’s the idea. Health officials want to know who is positive. That way, they can take precautions to help stop the spread.

“We believe if people find out what their status is, then they can take even further precautions to limit exposing other people,” Mayor Passero said.

The mayor doesn’t believe it will help if the governor allows local leaders in the state’s hot spots to push back Phase 3 reopening.

The mayor said, “If you can simply go one mile to the neighboring town and they haven’t rolled back Phase 3, then there’ll be no protection available to the people of New London.”

When asked about that, Governor Ned Lamont said, “Yeah we thought about that. We’re noticing in those places where we have a flare-up it tends to be localized. Tends to be in a town or a city.”

The governor says there has been success when the state sends in help with testing and tracing.

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