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HomeNewsState Sen. Needleman: Covid-19 Testing in Our Area, Staying Safe This Thanksgiving

State Sen. Needleman: Covid-19 Testing in Our Area, Staying Safe This Thanksgiving

By State Senator, Norm Needleman.

Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 has returned to Connecticut with a vengeance, infecting thousands each week. With community spread seen in a majority of the state, it is more important now than ever before for us to focus on preventing further spread of the disease and limiting the potential harm we experience. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and end-of-year holiday season quickly approaching, we must take the steps we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

Wearing masks in public and remaining socially distanced remain vital to our efforts to limit disease spread, as is proper handwashing and hygiene. If you think you’ve been exposed, or you are feeling symptoms that may correlate to a COVID-19 infection, testing is another important way to limit spread. If you have reason to be tested, please try to remain quarantined until you receive your test result. All of us play a role in protecting our communities.

Staying Healthy And Safe This Thanksgiving

With millions of people expected to travel and visit family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s more imperative than ever for us to keep a close eye on COVID-19 precautions. If you can avoid traveling and spend the holiday with loved ones in your immediate home, medical professionals recommend doing so, but I know many folks will still drive or fly to see family and friends.

If you do, it’s important to keep an eye on the COVID spread in the area you’re traveling to. This tool, https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu/ developed by researchers at Georgia Tech University, uses COVID-19 infection rate data by county to show the risks of infection various events may hold. Prevalence rates vary by region – a 10-person event in Middlesex County currently has a 12 percent chance of an attendee having COVID-19 and spreading it, for example – but the odds change depending on location and number of attendees.

Especially for college students and others traveling, it is important to quarantine before leaving for home to limit potential exposure to COVID-19. Many colleges and universities are imposing several-day quarantines on students to prevent them from potentially contracting COVID-19 and bringing it back to their homes, many also testing students as they return from campus. That’s good advice for everyone to follow – before traveling, try to limit your outside exposure, especially for close contacts. When traveling, try to remain masked and socially distant from others whenever possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise against anyone infected with or potentially exposed to COVID-19 from visiting any in-person gatherings, as well as those who live with someone who is infected or exposed. Older adults and people with certain medical conditions at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and those living with them should also try to avoid in-person gatherings.

While holiday get-togethers can be hard to limit, the CDC recommends limiting attendees to allow space between people from different households and to prevent overcrowding. If outdoor events are possible, they are safer than indoor ones; increasing ventilation inside by opening windows and doors, if possible, or by putting central air and heating on continuous circulation, can make indoor events safer. Mask-wearing, hand-washing and possibly planning ahead, such as asking guests to avoid contact with people outside of their households, will help limit spread, though no measures are enough to entirely prevent the virus’s spread.

If you need help finding the nearest testing site near you, you can visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus, type in your zip code, and press ‘Go.’

If you live in a densely populated area, congregate housing, or in a town experiencing an outbreak, please visit www.ct.gov/prioritytesting and follow the same process to find a testing site that offers no-cost testing.

For even more resources on testing in Connecticut, you can visit https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/communityresources.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in contact of someone who has tested positive, you should get tested and self-quarantine at home. For more information on getting tested, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/covidalertCT/homepage.
 
I’ve compiled a list of in-district testing sites below, locations where you can receive a test if you need one. Many of these sites may require pre-screening or doctor’s notes before testing is made available. Please contact your preferred testing site before visiting as information frequently changes. Unless otherwise advised, please wear a face mask and socially distance when undergoing testing.

Colchester

 
Drive-through testing event at Colchester Town Hall, 127 Norwich Avenue, Wednesday November 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Anyone can be tested, including minors. No doctor’s note or Colchester residency needed to access a test.

Clinton

 
CVS Pharmacy – 17 West Main Street, Clinton

All tests by appointment, required pre-registration here: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing. No order from health care provider required; no walkups; individuals with symptoms, health care workers and older adults prioritized for testing, though individuals without symptoms who have been exposed can be tested depending on capacity.

Tests available to those 12 or older, though parental consent required for those under 18.

East Hampton

 
Community Health Center Pop-Up Testing event, Friday, November 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Hope Church, 230 East High St. No appointment required, walk-ups accepted; all ages, symptomatic or asymptomatic.
 
CVS Pharmacy – 54 East High Street

All tests by appointment, required pre-registration here: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing. No order from health care provider required; no walkups; individuals with symptoms, health care workers and older adults prioritized for testing, though individuals without symptoms who have been exposed can be tested depending on capacity.

Tests available to those 12 or older, though parental consent required for those under 18.

Old Saybrook

CVS Pharmacy – 519 Boston Post Road

All tests by appointment, required pre-registration here: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing. No order from health care provider required; no walkups; individuals with symptoms, health care workers and older adults prioritized for testing, though individuals without symptoms who have been exposed can be tested depending on capacity. Tests available to those 12 or older, though parental consent required for those under 18.

Community Health Center COVID-19 Testing Site – 154 College Street, Saybrook Point

Available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; individuals must be in line by 3:30 p.m.
No appointment or health care provider order required; all ages tested, symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Portland

Community Health Center Pop-Up Testing event, Saturday, November 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Portland Public Library, 20 Firestone Avenue. Requires no appointments, accepts walk-ups, all ages allowed, no symptoms needed

 

 

Sharon Challenger
Sharon Challenger
I am a professional Scenic Artist and have also worked as a Systems Analyst and Senior Programmer Analyst for the Travelers and Yale University. Education: Post University, Wesleyan University and Yale University School of Drama.

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