The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in profound ways and has impacted nearly every aspect of city life. Although we have made great progress since the spring in controlling the spread of the virus, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 positive rates for the last few weeks.
Currently, 7.1 percent of people who get tested are testing positive. Since anyone can be infected and spread the virus even if they don’t show symptoms, testing is a key part of stopping the spread.
I recently announced a new campaign called “Get The Test, Boston” that encourages all Boston residents to make testing a regular part of their routine. It also encourages employers to let their employees know about testing resources available to them.
The City of Boston is offering benefit-eligible city employees one paid hour every 14 days to get tested during their normal work hours. Several local businesses have also pledged to ensure their employees know how and when to get tested for COVID-19.
I encourage everyone in our city to look at the testing resources we have worked so hard to make available, and seriously consider getting tested to protect themselves and their communities as we work to stop this increase in cases. Here are some reasons why you should get tested:
If you are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath; if you are at high risk for complications from the coronavirus; if you have been in contact with someone who was infected with the virus; if you have traveled or have been in large gatherings.
The city is offering free testing for residents with or without symptoms through our mobile testing teams currently in East Boston’s Central Square and at Jubilee Christian Church in Mattapan through this Saturday. The teams change locations every couple of weeks to increase testing accessibility and availability, prioritizing neighborhoods that need dedicated testing efforts.
For locations and hours of the more than 30 testing sites please visit boston.gov/covid19-testing.
We are entering a critical time in this pandemic and everyone who does his or her part will help save lives and make a real difference. In addition to getting tested, residents should continue to wear a face covering or mask, stay six feet apart from others, wash your hands often with soap and warm water, and avoid crowds and gatherings.
Together, we will continue to keep our city and our communities safe.
Individuals and businesses that would like more information or to sign the pledge can visit boston.gov/testing-pledge.