The first federally-supported COVID-19 Test-to-Treat site will open in Rhode Island, officials announced Thursday, offering the public immediate access to testing and oral treatment options from a medical provider.
Governor Dan McKee was joined by White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator and senior Counselor to the President Dr. Ashish Jha on Thursday morning to announce the clinic, which will open in the Olneyville section of Providence, hosted by the State’s nonprofit partner at Clínica Esparanza/Hope Clinic at 85 Eagle St.
There are more than 2,500 Test-to-Treat sites at local pharmacies and community health centers across the country, but Rhode Island's is a pilot and the first federally-supported clinic. Visitors can get a COVID-19 test and if it comes back positive, immediately receive an assessment from a medical provider and get oral antiviral treatments, such as the antiviral pill Paxlovid, prescribed. Paxlovid reduces the risk of hospitalization or death from the virus by about 90%, according to the White House, and is a key tool in the Biden Administration's response to the pandemic.
The site also offers vaccination. This is all offered free of charge to patients - paid for by federal reimbursement.
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The setup is aimed to serve the state's highest-risk populations.
"With today’s announcement, Rhode Island continues to be a leader in addressing COVID-19," McKee said. "Our first-in-the-nation Test-to-Treat model will provide critical COVID-19 treatment for Rhode Islanders who test positive in an easy and convenient way."
"The Biden Administration is thrilled to announce today that Rhode Island will officially launch the nation’s first federally-supported Test-to-Treat site, with more sites planned in the coming weeks across the country. These sites are critical to ensuring easy access to lifesaving treatments that are helping to prevent serious illness and saving lives," Jha added.
The clinic will be funded fully through the Biden Administration's FEMA Federal Public Assistance Program.