HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A popular COVID-19 testing site in Western Massachusetts will be closing next month.

The Curative COVID-19 testing site at Holyoke Community College will close up shop at the end of the year. But the holiday season has just begun, and other testing sites seeing the demand going up.

“The demand continues post Thanksgiving. We are seeing an uptick and an upwards of 10-15% of positivity rate at our site,” Patrick Leonardo, American Medical Response Eastfield Testing Site told 22News.

Back in November Curative announced all testing locations will be closed as the need for testing declines and at-home testing is more readily available. Fast forward to December. The so called ‘triple-demic’ continues to emerge in Western Massachusetts communities.

Not too far from HCC in Holyoke the city of Northampton seeing an uptick of respiratory illnesses including the flu and COVID. COVID community levels in most of Western Massachusetts are still low according to the CDC with the exception of Franklin County at a medium level, and as more holiday gatherings are around the corner heath experts say get tested.

“It’s better to know if you are heading into that group with some sort of illness. COVID can be very asymptomatic now because people have been vaccinated. So proactive testing will let you know to stay home. before heading out and exposing others,” said Leonardo.

Mask wearing and washing your hands often are also other ways to mitigate spread of illnesses.
Curative will continue testing through the end of this month at HCC, and the AMR testing site at the Eastfield is open seven days a week.

“HCC was more than happy to provide our facilities over the last two and half years so people in the community could get tested,” said Narayan Sampath, HCC vice president of Administration and Finance. “As a community college, it is our responsibility to be there for the residents of neighboring cities and towns in any way we can. We owe a lot to our facilities and campus safety departments, who worked closely with Curative and the Holyoke Board of Health to make it happen.”

Curative will continue testing through the end of this month in parking lot R at HCC, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Testing hours may vary during the holiday season.

If you are looking for a COVID-19 site near you, the state’s website has a tool to find the nearest COVID-19 testing.