A new mobile COVID-19 testing program has been rolled out in Everett and will provide free testing through the summer Monday through Friday in an initiative from Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
In collaboration with Fenway Health, residents can report to the mobile sites to be tested after making an appointment, and it’s a move by the state to increase testing in areas that were hot spots during the surge.
“These locations will remain the same,” said Public Health Nurse Sabrina Firicano. “The governor’s initiative to stop the spread is running from July to Aug. 14. We don’t know if it will be extended. We are part of eight cities and towns selected for more testing. We worked with (Department of Public Health) and we know it was important to resident and the mayor to get more testing. We did get a lot of questions as our cases are going down and we’re not as much of a hot spot. It’s not so much that we are a hot spot now, but in the surge we were a hot spot and we were so close to Chelsea. In general, we want to get the access out there for testing. A lot of residents just want to know.”
For the most part, results are coming back in 24 to 48 hours of the tests.
Firicano said many residents do need to be tested before going back to work, or heading off to vacation and they can provide such certification.
“We have seen more requests for letters stating the results because residents need it for work,” she said. “If an Everett resident needs a letter to go back, we can provide that so they can show documentation. Others are requesting a letter to travel and they need it in hand to show at the airport or wherever they are going. It’s important to provide that.”
The tests are done by a nasal swab and are very quick, taking place under a tent with the mobile van nearby. An appointment is required for the testing by contacting the City, and then reporting to the mobile location. They are open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but are looking to expand to 3 p.m.
The daily sites include:
•Monday – Glendale Park
•Tuesday – Sacramone Park
•Weds. – Lafayette School
•Thursday – Maddie English School
•Friday – City Hall Parking Lot
For the most part, cases in Everett have been on the downside, with a few days this month that logged no new cases at all. Firicano said overall there have been 1,795 confirmed cases, but now 1,608 of those cases have made full recoveries.
“We have had two days of no new cases and that was encouraging and exciting to see the numbers go down after having our numbers so high at one time,” she said. “It was great to see it at zero.”
There is also good news on the percent positive numbers, specifically because as the testing is increasing, the numbers of positive tests continues to decrease.
“We’re seeing more testing done and there is less positive cases in those tests,” she said. “At CHA Everett, we’re seeing that hospitalizations are down and individuals are being discharged out of the ICU…We’re headed in the right direction. We have to be cautious and make sure to wear masks and continue to social distance as much as possible.”
She said there could be even more testing becoming available for Everett residents in Everett over the coming weeks.