Testing sites busier with Delta variant on the rise

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While the CDC puts an emphasis again on masks indoors to combat the surging Delta variant, testing remains an important part of slowing the spread.

“Two of my family members have COVID and I’m asymptotic”, said Eric Lopez of Chicopee. “Right now, I want to be cautious so I don’t spread it.”

Especially given the evidence now that vaccinated people can be infected and spread the Delta variant. The stronger variant is a problem in Springfield, where statistics show many in Black communities are not vaccinated.

“Statewide over 60 percent, some pockets in the Black and brown communities, 20-25 percent, unacceptable,” said State Representative Bud Williams, the leader of the Black COVID-19 Coalition.

Drive-thru testing is still being offered by AMR at the Eastfield Mall parking lot. And it’s in Springfield, a city in Hampden County, that’s in the CDC’s substantial risk category for transmission.

AMR offers a nasal swab PCR test, which gets sent out to a laboratory to detect genetic material that is specific to the virus. It’s not as fast an an antigen test, but it’s more accurate, and you can still get a result within 24 hours.

You should get tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing any symptoms or were in close contact with someone who tested positive. Even if you’re vaccinated, if you test positive, the guidelines remain the same, isolating for at least 10 days after first displaying symptoms.

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