Wallingford facility to boost virus testing capacity in the area

Wallingford facility to boost virus testing capacity in the area

WALLINGFORD — The new coronavirus testing facility Yale New Haven Hospital hopes to open at Masonicare Health Center next month will process as many as 228 tests a day, seven days a week.

Construction crews began to place trailers on the Masonicare campus at 67 Masonic Ave. this week. It will be among 40 test sites that Yale New Haven runs in Connecticut and Rhode Island, said Dana Marnane, a hospital spokeswoman.

Yale opted to locate its latest testing site at Masonic because it has a good working relationship with the eldercare facility’s operator and to shore up the virus testing network in the area, Marnane said.

Test centers in Meriden include MidState Medical Center, 435 Lewis Ave., Hartford HealthCare Urgent Care, 482 South Broad St., and Community Health Center, 134 State St.

Wallingford has a single testing site, a CVS pharmacy at 891 N. Colony Road, according to the state’s website. The Community Health Center offers testing in town occasionally, according to its website.

Cheshire has two CVS testing sites at 581 Highland Drive and 905 S. Main St., plus a Hartford HealthCare facility at 1008 S. Main St., according to the state site.

Wallingford’s access to major roadways — Interstate 91 and Routes 15, 5 and 68 — was another factor in Yale choosing to partner with Masonicare, Marnane said.

Masonic patients and staff will probably not use the Yale-New Haven site because the organization has separate testing set up already, said Ann Collette, a spokeswoman for Masonic.

“It will serve as an additional testing option should employees require it,” Collette said.

Masonicare had a run of 24 confirmed COVID-19 cases within 24 hours about two weeks ago.

At the new Wallingford site, patients should have their RT-PCR test results back within 48 hours, Marnane said. The nasal-swab test is quick to administer. It can provide same-day results and typically is accurate enough to not require retests.

Marnane declined to say how much the new facility will cost or how many people it would employ.

nsambides@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @JrSambides

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