Boston is ramping up its daily diagnostic testing of residents, to more than double tests in the last two weeks.
The city's averaging 1,100 tests conducted per day, up from an average of 680 tests conducted per day the prior week, and the aim is to reach an average of 1,500 diagnostic tests per day of residents, according to a city press release.
Testing efforts are being prioritized in each neighborhood, particularly of populations most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.
"Testing helps people get the care they need and avoid passing the virus on to others," said Mayor Marty Walsh. "Increasing our testing efforts allows our public health experts to better track the outbreak and it will continue to be essential in our progress toward recovery. Public health models tell us that the more testing we can do, the more we can reduce our positive infection rate, giving us the data and confidence we need to move forward safely."
The city is looking to increase testing at community health centers, as it is currently offering testing in five hospitals and 18 health centers, and soon testing will be available at the Brookside Community Health Center. Patients of the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center (SJHC) will be sent to the Brookside Community Health Center because SJHC does not have enough outdoor space for their own testing site. Individuals experiencing homelessness are being prioritized to be tested. And the city is also ramping up an antibody testing initiative.
As of May 6 there have been close to 28,000 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents, which is about 4 percent of the city's population.
Residents will not be charged for testing regardless of insurance or immigration status, and call the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050 for help with health insurance applications, navigating Boston's health care system, and with questions. Resources and information about COVID-19 are available online.