Results from major COVID-19 testing initiatives at senior citizen buildings in Everett have shown virtually no cases in those buildings – with only a small amount of cases reported at the 66 Main St. building.
In the past two weeks, major testing efforts with mobile units have taken place at 66 Main St., Glendale Towers, Whittier Drive and Golden Age Circle – all of which are senior citizen buildings. While more testing is still needed there of more residents, Public Health Nurse Sabrina Firicano said the results were stunning.
She said 66 Main St. had two positive cases reported, and the three Everett Housing Authority (EHA) senior locations had no cases out of about 70 people tested.
“Cases that came out of that were very, very low, which was shocking to me,” she said. “Not everyone was tested because you have to sign up. But we did not have any cases for the testing at the three EHA buildings. That was amazing and shocking to me.”
The only cases that came out of the testing were the two at 66 Main St.
“You would think it would be a lot higher and I previously thought it would be a little higher,” she said. “I thought there could have been a lot of asymptomatic individuals that would test positive. I was shocked.”
Those results parallel the findings at senior citizen buildings in Chelsea too, where mobile testing was done in late April and early May – with results coming back very, very low. In that testing, out of 384 tests in senior buildings, there were only 11 confirmed cases. That also shocked City leaders there as they expected the buildings to be a hotbed for activity.
Both testing efforts were championed by Sen. Sal DiDomenico, who said he has been in close contact with Gov. Charlie Baker and Health Secretary Marylou Sudders regarding more testing resources for senior buildings in his district – particularly in Everett and Chelsea.
“In talking with Secretary Sudders, we were able to work with Cataldo Ambulance and Cambridge Health Alliance to get test kits for the senior buildings and 66 Main St.,” said DiDomenico. “We’ve tested all our senior buildings in the city. That was done through our office. There was a long-term care facility that was hesitant to participate in testing. I knew there had been at least 20 cases there. We were able to get Secretary Sudders to call them personally and they decided to participate. Now all of the patients and staff there have also been tested.”
Meanwhile, Firicano said they want to do more testing and will return with the mobile units soon, but this time will make sure everyone who wants to be tested has an appointment and registration before the unit arrives.