This Monday, Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced that all Massachusetts residents will now have access to COVID-19 tests. Many Bostonians are feeling relief. The public testing brings hope to the entire Boston community, namely African-Americans. Information has been released by the city indicating that African Americans made up 40% of Boston cases. Because of this, the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury is scheduling rapid COVID-19 testing for residents.
Walsh says the hope is this will solve some of the racial disparity as Whittier serves a large number of African American patients. “A big part of ensuring equity is making sure communities have access to screening and testing.”, Walsh said.
Similarly, Mayor Walsh announced that he has assembled a Health Equities Task Force to deal with racial and ethnic disparities in regards to the coronavirus. Furthermore, Walsh confirmed that cases in Boston doubled in the past week. Also, he claims another surge is on the way and that city medical staff is prepared.
Boston is making further efforts to aid in the fight against COVID-19. This weekend, the city re-opened the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to serve as a temporary field hospital. There are 500 beds reserved for the homeless and an additional 500 to serve as overflow patients from local hospitals.
In contrast, Mayor Walsh has stated, “we are still in the very beginning of this surge”.
COVID-19 Tests Info
Whittier is asking residents to schedule COVID-19 tests by phone. Appointment times will be available Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The recommendation before scheduling an appointment is to ensure you have a fever and either a cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. Have your photo I.D. on you at your appointment.
For a full list of Boston resources, check out our guide for residents.