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Hartford Hospital Shifting COVID-19 Test Site to Convention Center

October 27, 2020

Hartford HealthCare announced Oct. 27 a plan to relocate the Hartford Hospital COVID testing site to the Connecticut Convention Center in downtown Hartford. The move, effective Nov. 9, will increase testing capacity heading into the winter months and alleviates congestion around the current site at 560 Hudson St. The Convention Center testing location, at 50 Commerce Street, contains a larger footprint to handle the influx of people seeking COVID testing and more than doubles the number of tests that can be administered. Testing will be offered daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Today is a tremendous day forward as we fight the pandemic in Connecticut,” said Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeff Flaks. “This testing capacity will potentially allow us to take care of 4,000 people per week, seven days a week. Today is one of the greatest examples of collaboration and innovative thinking to protect the interests of all citizens of the state of Connecticut.” https://youtu.be/LPBjnaPKf78 The expansion of COVID testing to the Convention Center is a collaboration between Hartford HealthCare, the City of Hartford, LAZ Parking and the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). The groups sought solutions before the cold-weather months, with an eye on accessibility and safety. The location is centrally located near I-84 and I-91 and offers safe access to the parking garage. Hartford HealthCare has performed nearly 400,000 tests since March, creating a testing company within the organization. The Hartford Hospital site is now handling about 1,700 tests a week. Three stories of the center’s garage will offer protection and insulation to the hospital staff administering the tests, as well as those seeking testing. “Hartford HealthCare has been a national leader in COVID testing, rapidly building up one of the most accessible testing regimes in the entire country,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, shown above, with Flaks in the background. “In so many ways, HHC has been a leader in getting testing to the people who need it, where they are, when they need it.” Al Lazowski, Chairman and CEO of LAZ Parking,lauded the front line workers and had this message for the community: “I applaud the essential workers and the effort they make during this pandemic. Everyone has to their part. Your choices and your actions make a difference. With the efforts of this great partnership, we can and will do it.” Keith Grant, Hartford HealthCare's Senior Director of Infection Prevention, noted the advantage of improved testing while emphasizing proper precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. “In expanding capacity, we’re expanding capability." he said. "The turnaround for the PCR test is 24 hours. Social distancing, hand hygiene and mask-wearing is key. Get tested if you think you’ve been exposed.” Hartford HealthCare’s nine permanent testing locations are complemented by up to six mobile units deployed to areas of vulnerability like community centers, churches, homeless shelters and correctional facilities.