Pop-up testing site at UVM part of Burlington's 'Box it in' plan

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A new pop-up coronavirus testing site is now open on the University of Vermont's campus.

Sarah Lent is a UVM student who just got back to town from her home just outside of New York City. On Wednesday, she got a coronavirus test at a pop-up site in Burlington.

"I guess one of the out-of-state rules is that you can self-isolate for seven days and then you have to come get a test," Lent said.

She says she has isolated in her house with three other roommates who are also from out of state.

"We are definitely cooped up," she said. "It's hard because you want to get groceries and you want to see people you haven't seen in a long time, but you have to keep the safety."

It's a part of the city's "Box it in" plan which fast-tracks a self-quarantine by allowing people who are newly in Vermont to quarantine for seven days and then get tested.

"It hasn't been too bad because I'm with my roommates, so at least I have some company," Lent said.

At his Wednesday press conference, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced a plan to support those who are isolating at home and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Those self-isolating will pay for groceries online or over the phone and volunteers will deliver them.

"If you are coming back right now, all is not normal. This is-- these are unusual times," said Weinberger, D-Burlington.

The pop-up testing center at UVM is hosted by the state and had help from the Guard. No doctor's note needed, you just need to sign up online.

"The pop-up model is really offering broad access across the state of Vermont to asymptomatic community members who would like to get tested," said Heather Danis, the district director for the Vermont Department of Health.

And even though it is on the UVM campus, it isn't just for students.

"My husband is a plumber so he is in people's houses all the time," said Diana Sheltar of Essex.

"I just really wanted to know whether or not I had it because I could be asymptomatic. I have an older husband as well as an older father I want to be able to visit and not worry about passing on symptoms," said Robin Scott of Richmond.

"I came out because one of my friends had contact with someone that was COVID positive," said Morgan Howes of Morrisville.

As for students like Lent, she says she believes her friends will be following the protocols when they return. And now that she has been tested, she is waiting for her results so she can enjoy Vermont again.

"Hopefully, it will be nicer out so I can go out and do some fun things," she said.

Testing for UVM students continues through Tuesday, June 16. Champlain College students can be tested on June 9, 11 and 16.

Area residents, including students, can get tested by the Vermont Department of Health on June 3-6 and 17-19.

All tests are by appointment only. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on all dates.