Many western Massachusetts residents hoping to get a COVID-19 test before the holidays

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up and new travel restrictions put into place this week, people in western Massachusetts may be looking for a place to get tested before leaving the state.

22News went to the Eastfield Mall Stop the Spread testing site Saturday morning and plenty of cars were lined up, some drivers said they were there as early as 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

Health officials say you should get tested for COVID-19 if you develop any symptoms of the virus, even if they are mild. You should also get tested if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

People traveling outside of the state should also get tested before returning to Massachusetts. There are a few Stop the Spread testing sites in western Massachusetts.

That includes Springfield where American Medical Response hosts a free testing site at the Eastfield Mall all week, starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. AMR is urging people to pre-register before coming to the Eastfield Mall which can help decrease wait times.

22News spoke with some people who were getting tested Saturday and they said they’re planning to stay home this year for Thanksgiving due to COVID-19 concerns.

“No plans! Just the five of us,” said Ashley Cunningham of Longmeadow. “Probably wear our pajamas and make something good to eat, our favorite meal and watch some TV, nothing special. Both my mom and my sister are high risk so we just want to make sure that we are all staying safe.”

A fine of $500 could result in failure to comply with the Massachusetts travel restrictions. Only Hawaii and Vermont remain as lower-risk states to travel to without quarantining or getting tested.

Other testing sites you can find this weekend includes Baystate’s Carew Street testing center open at 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Baystate Brightwood Health Center on Plainfield Street in Springfield will also be open Saturday only from 8:00 a.m. until noon.

More testing locations can be found on the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s site.

The Eastfield Mall testing site will be closed for the holiday this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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