NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - CVS opened what it's calling a "rapid COVID-19 testing site" in New Haven.

CVS Health announced the appointment-only site on Friday morning.

It's happening at the former Gateway Community College at 60 Sargent Dr., an easily accessible location from both Interstates 95 and 91. 

Governor Lamont and Mayor Elicker visited the site on Saturday. 

"Testing is so critical is to us beating the virus," Elicker said. "the reason for that is we don’t know in the future where the virus may have additional outbreaks, if we don’t know what’s going on we can’t respond to adequately."

"To be able to get the testing results in less than 15 minutes is how we’re going to lick this virus," Lamont said. 

The first appointments started at 9 a.m. Employees worked four lanes of vehicles.

As Channel 3 has been reporting, a doctor's order is required to be tested for the coronavirus.

According to Gov. Ned Lamont, the testing is open to people who experience certain COVID-19 related symptoms and risk factors outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as those who meet other requirements such as state residency and age guidelines.

Patients must also register online and schedule a time slot. The website can be found here.

Anyone without an appointment will not be tested. Walk-up testing is also not being offered.

Patients are required to wait in their vehicles. CVS team members will check their registrations and direct them on where to go.

The process should take about 30 minutes from the collection of the swab to the delivery of the results.

Patients then drive over to next door Jordan's Furniture to await their results.

"If you test positive, that’s a different set of instructions, because you want to make sure you self-quarantine and the necessary steps and as what to do if any of the symptoms get worse. And if it's negative, you made an effort to come all the way here with the symptoms, it's still important to follow social distancing and other guidelines," said Emmanuel Kolady, CVS Health, senior vice president. "Once you leave here, you leave with a clear set of instructions on what to do whether you test positive or negative.”

Using a new system called the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test, CVS Health said it plans to conduct up to 750 tests per day, seven days a week.

Brian Foley of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said he got tested on Thursday afternoon during a trial run.

"You drive through the lines, there’s people there to greet you," Foley said. "The swabbing is very easy. They give you paperwork saying 'this is how you swab yourself.' They talk you through everything, you put it in a bag. [The] swabbing doesn’t hurt.”

“While a vaccine does not yet exist for this virus, one of the ways we can mitigate its impact is through increasing our testing capacity,” Lamont said. “Not only will this new testing site significantly increase the number of people being tested, but the speed at which we can get results will aid in our effort to prevent further spread of this disease. Public-private partnerships like this will only strengthen our state in the fight against the coronavirus. We appreciate the community outreach that CVS Health is doing here in Connecticut as their work is quite literally saving lives.”

The site is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

CVS launched similar testing sites in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Georgia.

Stay with WFSB for continuing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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