West Springfield testing site may close if city opens larger vaccination site

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WESET SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Every Sunday, residents seeking peace of mind have been able to go to West Springfield High School for a COVID-19 test.

“I don’t want to go to school, and having the risk of maybe being positive for COVID,” said Emma Towsley of West Springfield.

On top of the 24 hour or less turnaround time and small wait, residents have enjoyed having the drive-thru testing close to home.

“We waited before 30 or 45 minutes, now 5 minutes and we are out,” said Nancy Santaniello of West Springfield. “I have a new grandson so we just like to be safe, to be around him, so we come here every week to get tested to make sure we are okay.”

Testing sites continue to remain critically important and a critical strategy in keeping the coronavirus under control in our communities. West Springfield is one city that has done a better job limiting the spread of the virus.

West Springfield was moved from the state’s high risk to moderate risk category for COVID-19 infection. But as cases go down, the city found out their vaccine doses are also being cut, due to the state’s change in its distribution policy. So city officials are making plans to open a larger vaccination site that could vaccinate 750 people per day.

“With the momentum we’ve built here in West Springfield, I’d hate to lose that, so I’m hopeful when we propose our plan to state they will want to bring it back to West Side,” said Carly Kamossi, Chief of Operations of West Springfield. “So I get their approach, but we feel we know our residents best.”

Kamossi told 22News they would have to shift all their resources testing site to the regional collaborative to operate it. They are submitting the plan to the state on Monday and hope to have an answer before March 1.

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