elorza providence

City of Providence Announces Local COVID-19 Test Site Efforts

The Providence Community Health Centers and Clinica Esperanza Offer Testing in Frontline Communities, Additional Sites Being Considered


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced that Providence will host the State’s first drive-up and walk-up COVID-19 test site in partnership with The Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC) and the State of Rhode Island at Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School at 65 Gordon Ave. In an effort to increase opportunities for local and accessible testing, the City is also working to support Clinica Esperanza in Olneyville that currently offers drive-thru COVID-19 testing to Providence’s frontline communities.

“As we continue to see the spread of COVID-19 throughout our state, it is critical that everyone have access to the medical tests and care they need,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “That’s why we are working with our community partners to provide care that is easy to get to and offered in multiple languages. Residents are encouraged to reach out for an appointment if they believe they are sick; tests are free and personal information will remain confidential.”

As part of collaborative efforts with PCHC, drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing will be provided beginning Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in tents in the parking lot of Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School, across the street from PCHC’s Prairie Avenue clinic. Testing is available to symptomatic PCHC patients with a referral from their primary care provider and an appointment.  Instructions on how to access the sites will be provided at the time the appointment is made.  Patient in-take and testing will be conducted by PCHC staff with the goal of completing more than 40 tests a day upon launch. In an effort to increase accessibility, bilingual personnel, materials, and signage will be available at the site. PCHC encourages its existing patients to call their health center for an appointment, new patients to call 401-444-0404 for assistance and to find more detailed clinic information can also be found here.

PCHC President and CEO, Merrill Thomas is “excited to be able to provide this much-needed community testing. Providing the necessary care in a culturally appropriate way and in a safe environment for the city’s residents is what we have done for over 51 years.”

Local primary care facility Clinica Esperanza, with the support of United Way and the Rhode Island Foundation, launched drive-up COVID-testing this past week, in addition to expanding access to care for the clinic’s most vulnerable patient population. Drive-up testing is available three days a week by appointment only on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. Clinica Esperanza encourages patients to call their COVID-19 line at 401-408-0238 and to visit their website to find more detailed information.

Clinic Coordinator Morgan Leonard noted that “Clinica Esperanza/ Hope Clinic is dedicated to continue serving the uninsured and highly vulnerable community of Providence, and all of Rhode Island, during these unprecedented times using linguistically appropriate and culturally attuned care through Continuity of Care Clinic, CHEER (walk-in clinic) and our recently established Covid-19 testing site.”

All additional testing support has been supplemented by supplies from the State of Rhode Island. The City continues to work closely with the State and the National Guard to identify opportunities to establish and expand COVID-19 test sites. Those interested in partnering with the City should contact Deputy Chief of Staff Theresa Agonia at tagonia@providenceri.gov.

Both of these sites will offer multilingual services, free testing and all personal information will only be used for healthcare related need. Residents are also encouraged to keep a daily contact journal and should have the journal ready to provide for contact tracing should they test positive for COVID-19.  For more information on COVID-19 and best practices you can share, residents can visit our website, call to connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visiting www.PVD311.com or downloading the PVD311 mobile app on your smart phone for 24/7 access. Residents can register to receive CodeRED emergency notifications by phone, email, text, and/or mobile alerts for the latest updates from the City and to reach out to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 Hotline at 401-222-8022 (211 after hours) should they have additional questions.