The operation hours for the Anna Cole Community Center COVID testing site have been expanded starting January 9. Starting Sunday, January 9, operating hours will be:
Monday-Thursday: 12 to 7 pm
Friday: 12 to 5 pm
Sunday: 9 am to 4 pm
Expansion of operating hours will hopefully decrease the very, very long line that people had to stand in outside in freezing temperatures for the last two weeks or so, if they wanted to get tested. Mayor Michelle Wu had said the long wait was "completely unacceptable" and had vowed to improve the process. For comparison, previous operation hours were for three hours on Sunday, five hours on Monday and Thursday, and four hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. The testing center will continue to not operate on Saturday.
Boston Mayor Michelle remained outside during her early morning visit on Tuesday to the Margarita Muniz Academy. Wu visited to understand the school experience regarding COVID during the recent surge. Wu said "it's been a very difficult time" for school communities, students, staff, school leaders, and administrators during the recent surge of the omicron variant. Wu said the variant has "effected everything that needs to logistically happen." Wu was joined by At-Large Boston City Councilors Erin Murphy and Ruthzee Louijeune, BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, and Muniz Headmaster Dania Vazquez
Cassellius said there are three key things they're looking at to make sure of safe operations: a) staffing b) health and safety in the schools c) operational effectiveness of schools.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the hours-long wait for people to get tested at the Anna Cole Community Center was "completely unacceptable" on Sunday night. Wu was responding to a tweet by Heshan Berents-Weeramumi, who was standing in line at 11:50 am when he was at the edge of the Stop & Shop Supermarket up Centre Street, past the Mildred Hailey Apartments, and past the Jackson Square MBTA stop. https://twitter.com/wutrain/status/1477823459765936128
Berents-Weeramumi was tweeting his frustration at Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, detailing his wait as he slowly progressed in line, and later tweeted at 3:13 pm that he had finally made it out of the testing site. https://twitter.com/wheresmyporsche/status/1477734714731646978
Wu said that she would huddle with her team right after the Boston City Council inauguration on Monday morning to expand testing and improve the experience at each site. The long line on Sunday was not an outlier at the Cole Center.
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.
Jamaica Plain nonprofit Ecumenical Social Action Committee (ESAC) has been granted emergency foreclosure prevention funds to distribute to Boston homeowners who have been financially affected by COVID-19. “In conjunction with the city of Boston, ESAC is able to help those who qualify, halt the path to foreclosure," said Peg Drisko, Executive Director of ESAC. "This program benefits the homeowner, the neighborhood as well as the community at large." The grant money is only available to Boston homeowners. Homeowners should reach out to Steve Bennett, Foreclosure Prevention Manager 617-524-2555 ext. 108 for more information about how ESAC can help.