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With COVID-19 cases declining, state closes mass testing sites

 

With nearly 70% of Connecticut's eligible residents vaccinated against COVID-19 and demand for testing declining, the state Department of Public Health announced Thursday that all mass testing sites in the state have closed.

“In large measure, Connecticut residents have stepped up and gotten vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their community, which has resulted in low rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths and lower testing demand,” Heather Aaron, the department’s deputy commissioner, said in a statement. “The state has provided free testing to all Connecticut residents, which was the right road to take. As of yesterday, we ended the contracting for testing, and we are grateful to all our health care partners and local health for the support in operating the mass testing sites.”

COVID testing will remain available throughout the state, particularly in areas where vaccination rates lag the state’s average vaccination rate, Aaron said.

Connecticut residents will be able to get tested at more than 230 locations, including many pharmacies, hospitals and urgent care centers. United Way/211 will maintain a complete list of testing sites on its website, and individuals can call 211 for additional help and information. In addition, DPH anticipates that COVID-19 testing will become increasingly available in the offices of primary care providers.

Testing will remain free for Connecticut residents.

Individuals with health insurance will have their insurance billed, but there will be no co-pays, deductibles or other out-of-pocket costs for anyone seeking a COVID-19 test. Uninsured residents are encouraged to call 211 or visit its website for a list of priority testing sites.

Coronavirus update

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office reported Thursday that 35 new cases of COVID-19 had been detected in the state out of 8,046 new test results, yielding a one-day positivity rate of 0.43%.

Six new hospitalizations raised the total number of patients hospitalized with the disease to 37. One additional death upped the state’s toll since the pandemic began in March 2020 to 8,279.

As of Thursday, 2,268,296 Connecticut residents had received an initial dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 2,087,263 of them had been fully vaccinated. Among those 65 and older, 95% had received at least one dose.

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