PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS) – Rhode Island is rolling out an aggressive coronavirus testing program that Gov. Gina Raimondo said Wednesday will help stamp out future outbreaks of the disease.
Aggressive testing is important as she anticipates ending her stay-at-home order and starting a phased reopening of the economy this weekend.
The state is already testing about 3,000 people per day and has tested a higher proportion of its population than any other state, the Democrat said at her daily news conference.
“When it comes to testing we’re doing 3 1/2 times better than the rest of America,” she said.
The goal is to test about 10,000 people per day by July and 20,000 people per day by September, using tests that can return results within 48 hours, so schools and colleges can reopen.
She also announced the creation of an “outbreak response team” that can be on the ground within four hours at the location of a potential outbreak to conduct further testing and contact tracing.
She also proposed an early-warning testing system to regularly screen asymptomatic people at congregate care sites like nursing homes and of high-risk groups like health care workers.
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)