Wednesday, August 19, 2020

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES FREE COVID-19 TESTING IN MATTAPAN


MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES FREE COVID-19 TESTING IN MATTAPAN

The site is in partnership with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center


BOSTON - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the City of Boston's COVID-19 mobile testing site, in partnership with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, will now be offering COVID-19 testing in Mattapan. This COVID-19 testing initiative will be available starting Thursday, August 20 to Saturday, August 29 at Jubilee Christian Church on 1500 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan. Testing will be available at no cost for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. No appointment is needed but registration is required. To pre-register, please call (617) 568-4500.

"Our mobile testing teams have played a role in increasing both the capacity and the access to testing in our neighborhoods. We are offering testing to anyone who wants it, at no cost and regardless of symptoms," said Mayor Walsh. "We are going to continue to bring testing wherever is needed, and I encourage everyone to get tested regularly. Knowledge is power in this situation, for individuals and for our community."

The dates and hours of operation at Jubilee Christian Church on 1500 Blue Hill Avenue, in Mattapan are: 

Thursday, August 20 and Friday, August 21: 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 22: 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 25 to Friday, August 28: 2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 29: 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

This testing initiative was announced by Mayor Walsh back in May as a way to help fill any gaps in testing availability, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. The site has previously been located in Roxbury, Allston and South Boston. In South Boston, there were 3,067 COVID-19 tests conducted. Of 2,838 results received, less than 1% tested positive for COVID-19. 

"We are glad to be partnering with the City of Boston to provide pop-up testing sites throughout the city," said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center president and CEO Manny Lopes. "Testing is one of the ways that we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and by offering accessible testing at sites in Boston, we are able to minimize the spread especially among our most vulnerable populations. For 50 years, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center has served residents of Boston regardless of status and we will continue to do so, even in the face of new challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic."

In addition to the City's mobile testing sites, COVID-19 testing is available at over 20 locations across the city. Mobile testing sites also continue to be available at select locations, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. Individuals can call the Mayor's Health Line with any questions using 617-534-5050. For a complete list of all testing sites, visit here

The City of Boston has been partnering with community health centers to increase access to testing, particularly in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. As of Monday, August 10, 2020, there were 139,119 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents. Out of 139,119 total tests, 10.9% have tested positive, which is down from 11.6% reported through Monday, August 3. For all Boston residents, the positivity for tests decreased slightly from 2.8% for the prior week (July 28 to August 3) to 2.6% for the current week (August 4-10). The latest numbers of cases by Boston neighborhoods are available here.

Mayor Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund Steering Committee have dedicated over $1,720,000 to expand COVID-19 testing and conduct culturally appropriate outreach and education to community health centers across City of Boston neighborhoods, including Bowdoin Street Community Health Center, Codman Square Community Health Center, The Dimock Center, DotHouse Health, Mattapan Community Health Center, Uphams Corner Community Health Center, Whittier Street Community Health Center, Charles River Community Health, Fenway Health, Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center, Harbor Health, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, South Boston Community Health Center, NEW Health Charlestown, South End Community Health Center, and Brookside Community Health Center. The Fund has also supported telehealth services and equipment at those community health centers as well to connect testing to safe treatment options at home.

Resources and information about COVID-19 are available online. Resources available on boston.gov and through City departments include support for renters and homeowners; small businesses; free meals for Boston students; free toiletries for Boston students; support for older residents; information on homeless shelters; resources for those in recovery or those who have a substance use disorder; and mental health resources. More information on Boston's reopening can be found at boston.gov/reopening.

For additional questions or programs, please visit our coronavirus website or call 3-1-1, Boston's 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.

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