Long Lines at JP Testing Center, MA Reports Highest # of Daily Cases, Hospitalizations Past Threshold, BPS Hands Out Test Kits

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With the omicron variant running rampant causing COVID-19 cases to peak again, testing centers such as the Anna Cole Community Center are seeing very, very long lines.

Even before Christmas, Massachusetts reported, by far, it's highest amount of positive cases during the pandemic with 10,997, according to worldometer.

In Jamaica Plain, people were lined up well before the Anna Cole Community Center in Jackson Square was open on Sunday and Monday. As of Tuesday night, Boston.gov listed operation hours for the Anna Cole Center as: Sunday noon to 3 pm, on Monday and Thursday 2 to 7 pm, and 3 to 7 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. Also, the center will be closed Dec. 30 and 31, and Jan. 1.

Jamaica Plain News reached out to the city to see if operation hours will be increased, and whether there will be more testing sites in Jamaica Plain and the rest of the city.

As of Dec. 27, the Boston Public Health Commission's (BPHC) COVID-19 dashboard reported there have been 102,162 cases throughout the pandemic, with 88,805 (86.9%) of those recovered, and 1,503 deaths (1.5%).

BPHC stats show there's been significant increases in six categories of metrics used to determine the status of COVID-19 in Boston.

The positive tests metric for all of Boston (7-day moving average) says how many new cases are being reported each day and how quickly COVID-19 is spreading.

  • The city's goal is to be at 67.9 positive tests or less per day (10 cases per 100,000 residents). As of Dec. 20, there were 634 per day (93.3 per 100,000) residents.
  • The threshold for concern is 339.7 positive tests per day (50 cases per 100,000) residents, and as of Dec. 20 the threshold was at 339.7.

Statistics for adult COVID-19 hospitalizations (7-day moving average) explains the burden that Boston hospitals are facing. It includes the total number of adult hospitalizations among Boston and non-Boston residents for COVID-19.

  • As of Dec. 22 there were 272 per day and the threshold is 200 per day.

As of Nov. 30, 456,043 Bostonians were fully vaccinated, which is 67.1% of the city's population.

Due to the surge, last week Mayor Michelle Wu announced new COVID-19 restrictions, which includes starting on Jan. 15, individuals will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter certain indoor spaces in Boston, including dining establishments, bars, nightclubs, fitness locations, and indoor entertainment.

The Boston Public Health Commission also began offering free rapid, at-home test kits to Boston residents while supplies last. And the kits went very fast throughout the city. As of the announcement, there were no locations in Jamaica Plain providing free test kits. Click here to find a free test kit site.

All Boston Public Schools students were also sent home with two at-home test kits on their last day of school prior to December break, which many people greatly appreciated.

Mayor Wu provided some statistics about the test kits.

BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius provided details about the at-home test kits.

Click here for a list of upcoming vaccine clinics for children 5 and up.