CVS Health is opening a rapid coronavirus testing site Monday at the shuttered Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The drive-through site can do 1,000 tests daily.
The Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based pharmaceutical and health-care company will provide free Abbott ID NOW tests at the gaming property’s large parking lot. Positive results can be provided in five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes. The 1,000 tests daily is significantly higher than Rhode Island’s prior testing capacity.
The casino site was selected after careful review. CVS collaborated with state officials to select a location.
We worked with state government officials to identify sites that would be easily accessible and able to accommodate the flow of traffic and the space required for testing,” Christine Cramer, a spokeswoman for CVS, told Casino.org.
“In working with the state of Rhode Island, they identified the large parking lot at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island as a suitable location.”
She further explained that CVS applied what it learned from the pilot COVID-19 testing site opened last month in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
Rhode Island Moves Closer to Reopening Economy
Last month, Rhode Island’s Twin River casinos in Tiverton and Lincoln were shuttered until further notice to help minimize risk from the expanding coronavirus outbreak. The decision to extend the March 13 closure from a week to an indefinite amount of time was made by Rhode Island Lottery Director Gerald Aubin.
Today marks a giant leap forward in our efforts to combat this virus,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a statement on Monday. “Making testing rapid and readily available is the key to slowly reopening our economy, and today we are one step closer to that goal.”
Georgia is also offering a rapid results test via CVS at Georgia Tech. Testing is by appointment and health-care professionals from CVS’s MinuteClinic oversee tests.
Testing in Rhode Island and Georgia is in large parking lots that are easily accessible and able to accommodate multiple lanes of cars at one time, CVS explained in a statement.
“The average person will get their results in about 15 minutes after they’ve had their test,” Dr. Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health, said in the statement. “CVS Health is uniquely positioned to play a vital role in helping support both local communities and the overall health care system in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Civil Liberties Concerns over Rhode Island Screening
Rhode Island was the subject of civil liberties’ criticism when state troopers and Rhode Island National Guard soldiers started pulling over cars with New York state license plates to interrogate drivers and passengers. New York is the epicenter of the US outbreak.
National Guard members also knocked on doors in coastal communities to seek individuals who were recently in New York. Any individuals who had been out of state were ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks. Visitors also had to provide contact information.
More recently, anyone entering Rhode Island from another state for reasons other than work is supposed to self-quarantine for two weeks.
As of early Monday, Rhode Island has seen 25 fatal cases of coronavirus. The total number of cases in Rhode Island is 922.