NEW BRITAIN – Hartford HealthCare and the Connecticut Airport Authority partnered to add a second covid-19 testing site to Bradley International Airport, which opened Monday. It will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
“We’re delighted to be partnered up with Bradley Airport, the Airport Authority and the state of Connecticut in this moment,” said Jeffrey A. Flaks, president and CEO, Hartford HealthCare. “Today there is unprecedented demand for testing.”
This will be Hartford HealthCare’s ninth permanent center across the state.
“Doing it in advanced of Thanksgiving is a critical need that we’re helping meet across the state so we can facilitate and support safety in all communities under all circumstances,” Flaks said.
“We at Hartford HealthCare have certainly prepared for this,” said Dr. Jim Cardon, chief clinical integration officer and cardiologist, Hartford Healthcare. “There is no question that the increased demand has continued to push us to continue to expand and we are fortunate to have partners like this to be able to find areas where we meet what the community is looking for.”
The site will work like most of the other drive-thru sites. Patients will drive up, check in, come through the testing line, and stay in their vehicle. A Hartford Healthcare testing associate will then do an interior nasal swab of wiping the front of your nose and then put that in a specimen collection before the patient drives off.
“Tracking these tests so we can make sure we know where they are, that they’re there so we can get the results in a prompt way is really important,” Cardon said. “So as your sample is taken we aggregate those tests and send them off to our multiple lab partners. Those tests are then accessed in there, run and those tests are given back to us electronically and then we result those tests back to the folks. We are seeing turnaround time in the 24-36 hours for the most part. There are always some outliers, but in general our turnaround time has dramatically improved.”
Testing at the airport is a popular option with travelers in an effort to avoid the 15 day quarantine period by being able to provide a negative covid test, according to Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E. and executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “However with the in terminal (testing) location we limit only to passengers who are traveling that day and we’ll continue to leave that restriction in place.”
The added testing site will be open to not only air passengers, but to anyone in the community in need of testing, but Bradley will still be restricting activity in the terminal.
“One of the things that we continue to struggle within the travel and tourism industry are the travel advisories that exists in many states, and we understand the reasons why those travel advisories are in place, but we felt it was very important to push for a testing option and that’s why about a month and a half ago we introduced testing here at Bradley airport,” Dillon said. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with HHC; a name like that associated with Bradley just does wonderful things for us, they’re the top certainly in the healthcare field and we’re certainly thrilled with this partnership.”