NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — While Connecticut has had testing sites up and running for two years, some of those sites now offer something more. 

“We have ‘Test to Treat sites,” Connecticut’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said. “These are places you can go and get a test. If you’re positive, you can be seen by a clinician and get medication.”

The commissioner announced there are more than 40 ‘Test to Treat’ sites across Connecticut. They give qualified COVID-19 patients an oral antiviral medication.

“And what it does, is it really decreases your chances of ever having to be hospitalized should you have Covid,” Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford HealthCare’s chief epidemiologist said. “Or, if you are hospitalized, hopefully, minimizes the risk for severe morbidity or even mortality.”

Wu said only certain people should get the medication.

“If you are at risk, or if you are of a certain age, you probably should really consider taking this medication and you do have to take it within five days,” Wu said.

That is the important thing about antivirals. You have to take them quickly.

“The key to this is you have to be within five days of symptoms,” Juthani said. “So don’t wait a week or two to call your doctor or go get evaluated.” 

The hope is that making the medication so easy to get will help Connecticut save lives and keep people out of the hospital.

“What test to treat does is it offers one-stop shopping, and that’s not just something we strive for in medicine, but in all aspects of our life,” Wu said. “We like one-stop shopping. That’s why the Costcos do well.”

To find a ‘Test to Treat’ location near you, click here.