Coronavirus testing expanding in Danbury
DANBURY — COVID-19 testing could be coming soon to houses of worship and other Danbury locations.
Several places across the city are offering testing for free to people without symptoms of COVID-19 thanks to a partnership between community agencies, health care providers, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Our residents have worked very hard during the past few months to control the spread of COVID-19 and I encourage everyone to protect themselves and their families by scheduling a test at one of the testing sites throughout Danbury,” Kara Prunty, acting director of health, said in a statement.
Getting that test may become easier with a plan to offer free testing at places of worship and to bring testing services to vulnerable populations.
The Connecticut Institute for Communities is offering this service through a partnership with the state.
The aim is to test those from groups that have been hard hit by the virus, including the homeless, low-income residents, people of color and those who live in high-density areas, said Katie Curran, with the Connecticut Institute For Communities.
Community Health Center
Testing available 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; appointment required, mobile testing offered
8 Delay Street; 475-241-0740; Website: www.chc1.com
Connecticut Institute for Communities
Testing available five days a week beginning July 13; appointments recommended by calling 203-456-1413
3 to 5 p.m. Mondays, 8:30 to 10:30/11 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays at 120 Main St. rear parking lot
Tuesdays and Thursdays at pop-up sites to be scheduled
Weekend dates to be scheduled at houses of worship
AFC Urgent Care
Testing available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
Locations: 76C Newtown Road (contact number 203-826-8434); 100 Mill Plain Road (contact number 203-826-2600); 2 Main St. (contact number 203-826-2140)
Testing available seven days a week by appointment only
47 49 Lake Ave. Ext; 203-778-7471; Website: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic
DOCS Urgent Care
Testing available seven days a week by appointment only
1 Padanaram Road; 203-456-8086; Website: www.docsmedicalgroup.com
Testing available at primary care offices
Contact your doctor
“That’s why testing is so important, doing more to reach out to those communities,” she said. “It’s part of our mission and we’re really happy we’re able to work out this partnership with the state in these testing efforts.”
The organization has tested homeless individuals staying at the Super 8 Motel, as well as older residents at Danbury Housing Authority sites, Curran said. Testing was done at congregate housing in Bethel and Ridgefield. The plan is to return monthly, she said.
The goal is to test people where they are most comfortable, Curran said. For immigrants, that may be their places of worship, she said.
“We’re finding, particularly with the immigrant community, that people feel most comfortable if the communication goes through a pastor or someone else and that people feel comfortable testing in that way,” Curran said.
Congregations interested in setting up testing should contact Curran at CurranKa@ct-institute.org or 203-743-9760 x121.
The Community Health Center, Inc. is launching a mobile team to bring free testing to hard-to-reach communities. The service is recommended for facilities or organizations that intend to provide testing services to their clients or members. Results would be available within two to four business days.
Facilities interested in scheduling a testing event should contact Anika McPherson at McPherA@chc1.com.
The health center and Connecticut Institute for Communities are offering free testing at their locations, regardless of ability to pay, insurance or immigration status.
The institute has hired a separate testing team, with five people collecting swabs, Curran said. The plan is to hire additional registration staff to move people through quickly, she said.
The organization can conduct about 200 tests in two hours, Curran said. If patients call 203-456-1413 for an appointment, staff tries to schedule them on the same or next day.
Of the 1,385 tests the institute has offered, 12 percent have come back positive, Curran said.
Testing is available seven days a week at the three AFC Urgent Care facilities, as well as DOCS Urgent Care.
The CVS on Lake Avenue Extension is offering testing seven days a week by appointment only.
Nuvance Health’s primary care physicians provide in-office testing.
Danbury was once considered a hot spot for cases and was Connecticut’s first connection to the virus when a New York resident who worked at Danbury and Norwalk hospitals tested positive.
But over the Fourth of July weekend, the city went three straight days with no additional cases. One case was reported Monday and another positive test on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,972. No city residents have died from the virus in more than a month.
Connecticut is fairing better than much of the country, where cases are rising rapidly in some states. No deaths connected to the virus were reported in Connecticut on Tuesday.
“Although the state of Connecticut has recently reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in the country, it is important that our residents continue to practice social distancing, use facial coverings, participate in contact tracing, adhere to self-quarantine recommendations, and get tested if there has been an exposure,” Prunty said.
For information on testing locations, visit the city’s website.
This story was updated with a corrected schedule for testing at the Connecticut Institute for Communities.