coronavirus in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced that a new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing site will open tomorrow, July 21st, at the Rhode Island Convention Center, located at 114 West Exchange Street in Providence.

This site will replace the current testing site at Rhode Island College (RIC), according to RIDOH. Today is the last day of testing at RIC. The testing site at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) will also be phased out in the near future.

Testing at the Rhode Island Convention Center will happen in the parking garage. This will allow testing to happen even during inclement weather. The testing site will be a drive-up site. Signage will direct people to the site. The access road connecting West Exchange and Sabin Streets will be restricted to test site traffic and emergency vehicles only. Because of the low clearance in the garage, trailers, RVs, and other oversized vehicles cannot be accommodated at this time. The site will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tests are available by appointment only.

This location change will increase Rhode Island’s testing capacity. The Rhode Island Convention Center site will have capacity to do 1,500 tests a day. The RIC and CCRI sites were equipped to handle 600 tests a day each.

Like the RIC and CCRI testing sites, the Rhode Island Convention Center testing site will be for symptomatic people and certain asymptomatic people. People who are symptomatic can get a test scheduled for them by a healthcare provider. People who are asymptomatic can schedule a test if they work in a high-contact profession. Examples of people who work in high-contact professions include barbers, child care workers, clergy, cosmetologists, first responders, gym and exercise trainers, healthcare professionals, personal care services (nail technicians, massage therapists, tattoo artists, estheticians, cosmeticians, manicurists, body piercers, and tanning facility staff), public transit drivers, and restaurant workers. Asymptomatic Rhode Islanders who have recently traveled to a place with an elevated positivity rate can also be tested. To schedule a test, visit People can make appointments as of noon today.

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH will provide a broader update on testing at Wednesday’s press conference.

More information about COVID-19 testing, including information on all the different places people can get tested, is available online.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.