Pawtucket, Central Falls COVID-19 News

Testing Site Change

The rapid testing site for Pawtucket and Central Falls residents has been relocated to 91 Dexter Street in Pawtucket, a short distance from its original site. In a joint statement, Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien, Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa, CVS Health, the BEAT COVID-19 initiative, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), and the Health Equity Zone (HEZ) have announced that the rapid testing site for Pawtucket and Central Falls residents has relocated to 91 Dexter Street in Pawtucket. Residents can continue to call 855-843-7620 to schedule appointments.

This comes after RI College’s Blackstone Valley site is readying to open for school.

“The CVS Health rapid testing site has been integral to combatting the coronavirus pandemic in Pawtucket and Central Falls,” said Mayor Grebien, “Together, we will continue to ensure that our residents have easy access to testing. I would also like to recognize Rhode Island College for allowing us to use their site for the past few months.”

“We have been so grateful to CVS Health and Rhode Island College for allowing us to use the space at 934 Dexter Street and are thankful that a testing site will remain local at the new location on Dexter Street in Pawtucket,” said Mayor Diossa.

“Working with the BEAT COVID-19 Initiative to support community-based testing in Pawtucket and Central Falls is an important part of our comprehensive COVID-19 testing strategy,” said Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President, Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health. 

Jeanne Cola, Executive Director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the backbone agency for the PCF HEZ, said, “We are incredibly grateful for the rapid testing that CVS is bringing us. It’s free, fast and there are no questions asked.”

The site will remain an extension of the BEAT COVID-19 initiative, a one-of-a-kind grassroots system that gives people in both Pawtucket and Central Falls – who otherwise might not feel comfortable getting tested or have access to a primary care doctor – access to testing, information about how to be safe while sick and protect their family and community, and resources to overcome hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Any resident of the two communities who experiences loss of taste and/or smell, fever, a bad cough, or other symptoms is urged to call 855-843-7620 as soon as those symptoms begin. People who are exposed to someone with COVID-19, work in a high-risk occupation located in Pawtucket, or live in a neighborhood that has had many people infected should also call 855-843-7620 today to schedule an appointment for a free coronavirus test.

The call line operates 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Residents needing assistance can speak to BEAT COVID-19 representatives in four languages; English, Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole, and Portuguese.

Dr. Michael Fine transitions

Dr. Michael Fine

Dr. Michael Fine, former director of the RI Dept. of Health, who had been chief medical officer at Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, had joined Pawtucket and Central Falls

devote “all of his energies to the public health of both cities”. Fine led the cities’ strategy to combat the coronavirus in the two cities, with direct and daily coordination with the RIDOH to increase the collective covid-19 response, at the end of May of this year.

In a statement from the city of Pawtucket, Dr. Fine now transitions to working only with Central Falls. “Dr. Michael Fine, The BEAT COVID-19 initiative thanks Dr. Michael Fine for his leadership, expertise, and role in establishing a one-of-a-kind, culturally-responsive model serving the communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls. We understand that Dr. Fine was looking to focus on personal endeavors and his prior work in Central Falls. The two Cities look forward to continue working together with the Rhode Island Department of Health, HEZ, and other local organizations as we work to minimize the effects of the coronavirus.

Number of People COVID-19 Tested and Number of People with Positive Tests in Rhode Island Cities and Towns

Comparing data, by city…

(click to enlarge)

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