Additional COVID-19 testing site to open on Saturday, more to follow

BURLINGTON — A pop-up site in Colchester will be open on Saturday, May 9, to offer COVID-19 virus testing for workers on the frontlines of Vermont’s pandemic response, the Vermont Department of Health announced on Friday. The specimen collection site is one of several to be opened around the state in the coming days for health care workers, first responders (EMS, fire and law enforcement), and childcare providers currently serving essential workers.

Last week, Gov. Phil Scott announced the state will significantly increase and strengthen its testing and contact tracing programs in order to quickly identify, contain and suppress cases and outbreaks of COVID-19.

Saturday’s clinic will be at the Vermont Public Health Laboratory, 359 South Park Drive in Colchester. This clinic is by appointment only and is not open to the general public.

Healthcare workers, first responders and child care workers currently serving essential workers can make an appointment by calling 802-863-7223 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday.

Organized by the Department of Health and the state’s Enhanced Testing and Contact Tracing Task Team with support from the Vermont National Guard and EMS agencies, the clinics are designed to increase current testing volumes five-fold to meet the goal set by Governor Phil Scott to conduct 1,000 tests per day.

“These clinics are an important part of our efforts to limit the spread of the virus and keep Vermonters safe and healthy,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “Testing and comprehensive contact tracing are absolutely essential to public health and to Restart Vermont.

The state has been putting into place pop-up, drive-through and other facilities around Vermont to help ensure as many Vermonters as possible can be tested. The Health Department will open additional pop-up testing sites for these frontline workers next week in Bennington, Brattleboro and Hartford.

Members of the public also have an increasing number of locations around the state at which to get tested. The Health Department encourages all Vermonters with even mild symptoms to contact their primary care providers to get referred to a nearby testing site.

People who do not have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 to be connected with a local community or hospital-connected clinic for referral to a test site.

“We are making great strides in slowing the spread of the virus, but our progress is fragile,” said Dr. Levine. “Each of us must remain committed to practices that keep us all mutually safe – by keeping that six-foot space between each other and wearing a mask or other face covering anytime you are out and are near others.”

For up-to-date information and guidance for staying healthy and preventing the spread of COVID-19 go to: healthvermont.gov/covid19.

 

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