AUGUSTA — The Augusta Armory at 179 Western Ave. is scheduled to host drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics throughout this week.

The testing is part of an effort by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to make PCR testing more available to area residents.

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are considered highly accurate and reliable, involving a technique that can amplify small amounts of virus DNA to help diagnose COVID-19 infection.

PCR drive-thru testing is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, and vaccination clinics are set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The clinics are part of a collaboration between the Maine DHHS, Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Maine Emergency Management Agency and Maine National Guard.

“Vaccinations will continue to be administered on a walk-in basis, with all vaccine types available for all eligible ages,” said Jackie Farwell, director of communications for the state DHHS. “The PCR testing clinic will be drive-thru and by appointment only. Appointments currently remain available.”

Appointments can be made online at Click on “Sign up for an account” and use agency code “AugustaComm.”

The state’s community vaccination line offers additional assistance with making an appointment. Call 1-888-445-4111 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

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