Monday, June 15, 2020
Pop-Up Testing Sites for Participants of Large Gatherings
Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the availability of pop-up COVID-19 testing sites throughout the Commonwealth for individuals who have recently participated in large gatherings. These free testing sites will be available at over 50 sites throughout the Commonwealth on Wednesday, June 17th and Thursday, June 18th. The Administration is urging anyone who has attended a large gathering in the past two weeks to get tested for COVID-19 at one of these sites. Test results will be provided to each participant confidentially, and participants are encouraged to share these results with their doctors.
A full list of all testing sites is available at www.mass.gov/gettested.
Social distancing, wearing face coverings, the frequent use of disinfectant and handwashing have been important to the Commonwealth’s efforts to decrease the number and rate of newly confirmed positive cases. COVID-19 can spread easily and quickly in large groups of people who are in close contact. Some people do not have symptoms but may have the virus and could spread the virus to others, including family members.
The Administration has worked with partners across the Commonwealth to provide these sites including Baystate Health, Berkshire Medical Center, Beth Israel Lahey Health, Brockton Community Health Center, Brookside Community Health Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, Community Health Connections, CVS, Fairview Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital, Lynn Community Health Center, Massachusetts General Hospital Chelsea, Outer Cape Health Services, Manet Community Health Center, and UMass Medical Center.
To date, Massachusetts has tested more than 700,000 people for COVID-19. On average, 10,000 individuals are tested each day, comprising 4.4% of the state’s population each month. The state currently has capacity at 45 labs to perform up to 30,000 COVID-19 tests per day, and its nursing home testing strategies have been replicated by states across the country.
The Administration continues to prioritize expanding access to testing, with a key focus of that strategy being ensuring access to testing in skilled nursing facilities, rest homes, and assisted living residences and other 24/7 staffed congregate care settings. On May 30, 2020, the Administration filed its required federal plan to expand COVID-19 testing under the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020. Massachusetts has received $374 million in federal funding from the Act.
This funding will help the Commonwealth implement a comprehensive testing strategy that includes:
Increasing lab testing capacity to 45,000 by the end of July;
Goal of reducing and maintaining a positive test rate to less than 5 percent;
Ensuring on-demand access to testing for all symptomatic individuals and their close contacts;
Increasing access to testing for vulnerable and high-risk populations;
Building a testing infrastructure to support a potential second surge;
Modernizing public technology infrastructure to provide real-time data on cases and testing; and
Operating a best-in-class contact tracing program.