(WTNH) — So many people are looking to get tested for COVID-19 before the holiday. The extra precaution is causing a run on at-home tests and a backlog on results. The state is expanding its testing sites to try and meet the high demand.
A free Sema4 testing site in Hartford on the corner of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street is one of 23 run by the State Department of Public Health.
The Pouch family wants to be careful before going to see family out of state for Christmas.
News 8 asked, “Did they say anything about when you might expect test results?” Mary Pouch answered, “In 24 to 48 hours.”
The line up to the testing tent wrapped around the empty gravel lot. AnnMarie Hill and her 10-year-old waited an hour to get tested.
“I drove in Bloomfield, West Hartford, there was nowhere to get tested so I found out about here and came here,” Hill said.
Her daughter was exposed to COVID and unfortunately, it’s not the first time.
“This is like the eighth time or ninth,” said Kaitlyn Hill.
The state is pausing enforcement around testing mandates for government office workers and educators, hoping to free up capacity for the general public who feel sick.
Kathy Droney of West Hartford is thankful for that. Her husband tried to find an at-home test for their daughter and struck out.
“She has a stuffy nose, no other symptoms, but cannot go back to school without a negative test,” Droney said.
The state is adding seven new sites like the one in New Haven on Sargeant Drive. It’s a saliva test. Other sites that swab the nose come online next week.
Local pharmacies are also continuing to test and Pope Park in Hartford has a free CVS Minute Clinic, but you need an appointment because of the spike in demand.
What if your results aren’t in on time? Health providers say stay home or mask up.
“If you have a very immunocompromised person in your household, there is certainly nothing wrong with continuing to do that to add an extra layer of precaution,” said Dr. Manisha Juthani, the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.
The Biden Administration announced they are getting at-home tests for any American who wants one. Connecticut officials are looking at supplying at-home tests for residents like other states do, but right now, the focus is on expanding testing capacity.
Many clinics like the one in Pope Park have been extended through the end of January.
Spokesperson Chris Boyle from the State Department of Public Health says, “We really advise people to go to 211.org or call 211, it’s a very easy platform.”
The Pouch family has a backup plan if their results from the Hartford clinic aren’t back in time. They were able to find rapid tests online for $18.
Here is a list of testing sites in Hartford:
- Charter Oak Health Center (21 Grand St): Tuesday-Friday, 8:30am – 5:00 pm
- Community Health Services (500 Albany Ave) (For CHS patients): Tuesday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
- CVS Arroyo Center (30 Pope Park Drive): Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am – 3:30pm
- St. Francis Hospital (125 Woodland St): Tuesday-Friday and Sunday, 8:30am -12:00pm
- Sema4 (1161 Albany Ave): Tuesday and Thursday 11:00am – 7:00pm, Wednesday and Friday 11:00am – 2:00pm
Here is a list of vaccine clinics in Hartford:
- Charter Oak Health Center (21 Grand St) (Ages 5-17): Tuesday-Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm
- Charter Oak Health Center (39 Grand St) (Ages 18 ): Tuesday-Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm
- Trinity Health (131 Coventry St): Tuesday-Friday, 9:30am – 3:30pm
- Hartford Health Care (85 Seymour St): Tuesday-Friday, 9:30am – 1:30pm
- Hartford Health Care Mobile Clinic (1229 Albany Ave): Tuesday, 2:00pm – 6:00pm
- Charter Oak Health Center (20 Battles St): Wednesday, 10:00am – 2:00pm
- Hartford Health Care (590 Park St) (Ages 12 ): Wednesday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
- Charter Oak Health Center (21 Grand St) (Ages 18 ): Sunday, 8:30am – 2:30pm
The Hartford Yardgoats also have testing sites. Here’s a calendar: