On Monday, August 3, 2020, Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) joined state and local leaders to announce the creation of a free COVID-19 testing site in South Framingham, an area that has experienced rising coronavirus case rates in recent weeks. The site, part of the state-wide Stop the Spread network, is designed to expand testing coverage to communities of color and immigrant populations who are currently at high risk of infection.
"Framingham is a large, diverse city that is as vulnerable to a rise in cases of COVID-19 as any other area of the state, and I felt very strongly that its residents have access to testing," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "I'd like to thank the Administration, Mayor Spicer and Fallon Ambulance Service for working together to make this testing site a reality."
"I am grateful to DPH, Dr. Wong, and all those who worked to make this testing site happen," said Representative Maria D. Robinson (D-Framingham). "With Framingham as the heart of Metrowest and home to many essential workers, it is absolutely necessary that our residents can get tested here in the city."
"I am grateful to everyone who worked together to make this possible," said Representative Jack P. Lewis (D-Framingham). "Special thank you to Senate President Karen Spilka and Dr. Sam Wong for their steadfast advocacy."
"Testing with quick reporting of results and contact tracing is essential to keep the coronavirus under control in our communities," said Representative Carmine L. Gentile (D-Sudbury). "This free testing site will help us prevent another surge in Framingham and MetroWest and I am very thankful to see its opening!"
Greater support for the Framingham area was necessary to address a rise in cases and a lack of testing access for residents who work as frontline workers. Located at Joseph P. Keefe Technical High School, the site will be open from 2:00 to 6:00 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, beginning August 5 and running until August 14. The site will be drive-through, with parking available, and no appointments necessary. To expand access to testing more broadly, including to low-income and essential workers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic, testing will be open to all and free of charge. The site will also feature interpretation services.
"The "Stop the Spread" initiative is a data-driven effort to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 in communities that are above the state average in total cases and positive test rate and have experienced a decline in testing levels since April," said COVID-19 Command Center Director and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. "We monitor trends in each city and town and Framingham's 14-day average positive test rate has increased over the last two weeks. We appreciate the City of Framingham's collaboration to get this testing site launched quickly for the benefit of its residents."
"From the Governor's office to Senate President Spilka to Framingham's Legislative delegation, this has been a team effort. I appreciate the leadership and support in making free COVID-19 testing a possibility in Framingham," said City of Framingham Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer. "The City has begun to see a slight uptick in our cases, and the new free testing will remove barriers and encourage more residents to be tested."
"This free COVID-19 testing comes at a good time," said Dr. Samuel Wong, director of the Framingham Public Health Department. "As Mayor Spicer mentioned, Framingham's cases have begun to increase slightly, and by having free testing, open to all without an appointment, people can take action and further protect others."
"Fallon Ambulance is proud to partner with the Commonwealth of MA and the City of Framingham in the Stop the Spread campaign," said Patrick "Sean" Tyler, president and CEO of Fallon Ambulance Service. "Providing easy access to molecular, RT-PCR COVID19 tests is a key strategy to stopping the spread. We are proud to support the community and do our part in stopping the spread."
This action is the latest in a series of state-wide initiatives to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The site represents one more step taken by civic and medical leaders in the Commonwealth to serve the needs of all residents through the duration of this public health crisis.
For more information on the specifics of the testing site, please call 508-532-5470.