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See and Do

COVID-19 Testing Pop Up in Southie

Just announced even more testing in the neighborhood with a pop up at Moakley Park.  See press release below:

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston’s pop-up COVID-19 testing site, in partnership with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, will now be offering COVID-19 testing in South Boston. This COVID-19 testing initiative will be available starting tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4 to Saturday, August 15 at Moakley Park on Old Colony Avenue near 1187 Columbia Road in South Boston. Testing will be available at no cost for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals by walk-up only. No appointment needed but registration is required for individuals to receive test results. For a quicker testing experience, residents are encouraged to pre-register at (617) 568-4500.

“Testing is one of the best tools we have to stop the spread and reopen safely, and we’re going to keep making sure it’s widely available here in Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “If you think you might be sick, or if you’ve been in a group without distancing or masks, get tested. Thank you to the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center for your partnership in making COVID-19 testing more accessible for more residents.”

“I encourage my friends and neighbors to get tested for COVID-19 to allow our public health officials to isolate and treat those infected by the virus.  Mass testing is one of the most important tools we have to limit its spread; along with contact tracing, wearing masks, physical distancing, avoiding crowds, and washing hands frequently,” said Councilor Ed Flynn. “I want to thank the South Boston Community Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and Harbor Health for providing this critical public service and outreach.”

“As we continue to tailor our COVID-19 response to meet the needs of our communities, one of the most critically important things we can do is to provide easy access to testing,” said Councilor Michael Flaherty. “Thanks to this unified effort between state and local government and our community health centers, we are better positioned to provide more widely available testing. I highly encourage anyone who thinks for any reason that they may need to be tested, to take advantage of this free resource. Please do not hesitate– for your own health and safety and for that of your community.”

The dates and hours of operation at Moakley Park on Old Colony Avenue near 1187 Columbia Road in South Boston are:

  • Tuesday, August 11th through Friday, August 14th: 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 15th:10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The pop-up 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 was located at the Washington Park Mall in Roxbury in June and most recently at the BCYF Jackson Mann Community Center in Allston. In Allston, over the course of 10 days, there were 3,205 COVID-19 tests conducted. Of 2,504 results received so far, approximately 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 pop-up and 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 July 27, 2020, there were 115,712 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents. Of 115,712 total tests of Boston residents, 12.5 percent have tested positive, which is down from 13.3 percent reported through July 20. 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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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.