Hundreds of Vermonters sign up to get tested at pop-up sites

Published: May. 14, 2020 at 4:38 PM EDT
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New pop-up testing sites are now available for all Vermonters whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not. Our Olivia Lyons went to one of the 11 planned test sites. She spoke with multiple people getting tested and one man even let her tag along as he was swabbed.

The Vermont Health Department says testing people who aren't sick is important because their results can come back positive. By knowing who is positive, the state can then alert other people.

"The information we have at the state level is the best way to get a grip on the virus is to test and then do pretty aggressive contact tracing for any of those folks who have tested positive," said Laura Overton of the Vermont Health Department.

Before, to go to pop-up sites, a patient needed symptoms or a doctor's order to be tested for the coronavirus. But at the 11 scheduled pop-up sites across the state, now anyone can get swabbed.

At the end, they are given information and told if it's positive they will get a call from the health department within 48 hours and if it's negative results are mailed.

"I have some pre-existing conditions and I figured the more I know, the more information I have, the better," said Jim Curtis of Brattleboro.

The Brattleboro pop-up testing site had about 360 people sign up and they were prepared to give out 400 tests.

The Vermont Health Department, a local EMS team and the National Guard were on hand. Lisa Barry of Guilford is one of the swabbers at the test site who volunteered to work.

"There are a lot of people coming through and I know they are going to need help and so I signed up. I think it's a great thing to have and a wonderful opportunity for people in the area to get tested," Barry said.

"Oh, it's important, very important and I'm 90 years old," said Barbara Kobak of South Londonderry.

But age isn't the only reason Kobak decided to get tested.

"The opening up of the country and also what I feel is it's something we should do not just for ourselves, but for the people that are around us," she said.

The pop-up test sites are scheduled for 11 different areas around the state over the next week. They run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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