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Four new N.H. public COVID testing sites are open, and word is starting to spread

Brianna Rys of Concord stands in front of the COVID-19 testing tent
Alli Fam
/
Brianna Rys of Concord seeking out a COVID-19 test at the new public testing site in Manchester.

After rolling back public testing sites this summer, the state of New Hampshire has opened four new public testing sites in Manchester, Nashua, Claremont and Newington. The four sites are operated by ClearChoiceMD, All testing is free, paid for by the state.

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Demand for testing dropped earlier in the year. But this fall, between the Delta variant-driven surge and students returning to school, a spike in demand for COVID-19 testing has strained many health providers.

But officials say the new sites aren't seeing much foot traffic. The Manchester clinic is averaging around 80 tests a day, with a staff of four.

These clinics are good for patients who can easily walk in, says Dee Gallagher, a paramedic at ClearChoiceMD who works shifts at the site. It’s the opposite of the other, longstanding clinic Gallagher works at in Tilton, where patients sometimes wait for several hours.

But Gallagher is hopeful more people will come to the Manchester clinic as information about it spreads. Gallagher says that process has already started because many schools are directing families here.

Brianna Rys of Concord has three kids. Rys is a now-frequent visitor to the Manchester site. Ever since her husband tested positive for COVID earlier in the month, she’s brought her three kids to the clinic, all of whom also subsequently tested positive and are too young to be vaccinated. While her kids' cases were all mild, she says “remote learning, not by choice” has been a struggle.

She herself has remained COVID-free, but has come in for weekly testing to keep track of her own status. And each time, she says, the experience has been positive, no pun intended.

PUBLIC TESTING LOCATIONS

  • Manchester - Across the street from the JFK Coliseum and Hunt Memorial Pool 
    • 303 Beach Street
  • Claremont - River Valley Community College
    •  1 College Place
  • Newington - Fox Run Mall
    • 50 Fox Run Road 
  • Nashua - St. Joseph’s Hospital Parking Lot 
    • 261 Lake St.
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