COVID-19 test site open in Westfield

The testing site for COVID-19 at 57 Union St. where healthcare workers can be seen in full PPE. Cars were seen pulling into the parking lot and being directed towards the tent for testing. (PETER CURRIER PHOTO)

WESTFIELD- Baystate Health began testing members of the general public April 20 in a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at 57 Union St. 

The testing site, which is located in the parking lot behind Baystate Health’s outpatient facility on Union Street, has been active since April 15 but only began testing the general public Monday according to Baystate Noble Hospital spokesperson Maura Tobias.

Vehicles could be seen pulling up to the tent while healthcare workers directed them through. The workers in the tent wore full sets of personal protective equipment (PPE).

As of Monday morning, the City of Westfield had 247 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Baystate Health has not disclosed how many tests have been administered in the city. 

Tobias said that the 57 Union St. testing site is the only ambulatory testing site in Westfield. There are four others across the Baystate Health system, including 298 Carew St. in Springfield, 164 High St. in Greenfield, and 85 South St. in Ware. An additional testing site will open on Wednesday in Springfield. 

The Baystate spokesperson said that the test will be covered by health insurance, so there will be no co-pay if one gets the test.

In order to be tested, a person must be symptomatic, have an order from their primary care physician or urgent care provider, be over 12-years-old, and have made an appointment ahead of time. 

The minimum age was selected as 12-years-old because that was decided to be the age that most children could withstand the rather invasive nasal swab test while the setting is limited.

Appointments can be made by calling 413-795-TEST. 

The classic symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, runny nose, and in most cases a fever. More severe cases may also have shortness of breath and  pneumonia. Other reported symptoms include a loss of the senses of taste and smell.

Anyone who believes that they have contracted COVID-19 or have been exposed to coronavirus, should self-isolate and call their doctor for further advice. 

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