Vermont care provider to cease PCR COVID testing

BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Southwestern Vermont Health Care has collected over 110,000 COVID-19 virus specimens between January 2021 and now. Today, after nigh-countless hours, staff at the center is celebrating the declining need for PCR coronavirus testing – and ceasing those tests themselves.

“Our work to provide testing to the community was one of the greatest efforts in our organization’s history,” said Chief Medical Officer Trey Dobson, MD. “We are grateful to the many dedicated employees whose hard work significantly diminished the spread of the virus and limited hospitalizations and deaths in our region.”

Southwestern Vermont Health Care has announced that it will cease offering PRC coronavirus testing at its COVID Resource Center, effective at noon on Friday, July 1. The center cited a decrease in coronavirus cases, as the stabilization of the supply of rapid antigen tests readily available for public use. It also noted that federal funding for centralized testing has ceased.

The center commended the work of its staff in collecting test results over the course of the pandemic. Employees have worked outdoors in harsh weather, and taken on responsibilities and hours far outstretching the requirements of their jobs, in order to continue operating testing in Vermont.

That said, an end to the service for now does not equate to PCR testing being off the table should things take a turn for the worse.

“If cases go up again or if home tests become scarce or other needs arise, we will be here for the community,” Dobson said. “We have an incredible team and can reopen the service quickly when it’s needed.”

Southwestern Vermont Health Care will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. Those are available from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting July 5. The center will offer vaccines as long as there is a visible need.

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