Westbrook will re-open its COVID-19 test facility at the Public Safety Building as early as next week.  

The reopening was spurred by the recent federal rule that all employees at workplaces with 100 workers or more must be vaccinated or tested weekly.

“Reopening our testing site will provide a valuable regional resource, making it easy for community members and businesses to protect one another with appropriate and free testing,” Mayor Mike Foley said.

The test site will be a good resource for the School Department and for local families, Superintendent Peter Lancia said.

“Having the testing site open in the city will be a tremendous help to families, children and staff who have been exposed to COVID or are exhibiting symptoms,” Lancia said. “Faster diagnosis helps prevent spread.”

As of Oct. 3, the CDC reported a total of 1,681 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, up about 1,000 since October 2020.

“The city continues to have positive cases on a weekly basis, but many of those cases that we are seeing are breakthrough cases,” said Fire Chief and City Health Officer Andrew Turcotte. “The good news is that most of these cases present with mild symptoms and very few hospitalizations. I am also not aware of any recent fatalities.”

Turcotte doesn’t have data on the number of city employees¬†who are vaccinated, but anecdotally, he said, it “appears that a large percentage currently are.”

“Additionally, we are proud of our vaccination rate here in the city, which currently is at (about) 90%, which is one of the highest in the state, according to the CDC’s website,” Turcotte said.

The test site at 590 Main St. will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Tests will be given by appointment only through the solvhealth.com website. More details will be available soon, Turcotte said.

The site, which administered 35,000 COVID tests from July 2020 to March 2021, closed as the city introduced a vaccination site at the Community Center, which no longer operates.

The test site handled over 100 patients per day from all over the state and from five continents, according to Turcotte.

Turcotte said he wants to remind residents that the vaccination has helped keep fatalities low.

“We must continue to remain vigilant as new variants emerge and again, I implore those who are not vaccinated to seriously consider vaccinating. I also urge folks who are teetering between vaccinating and not, to talk to their physician and review reputable websites such as the CDC and the WHO.”

Turcotte also reminds folks to wear masks.

“Continue to wear masks when in and around large gatherings and stay home if you are sick,” he said.

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