City of Cambridge Partners with Broad Institute on Pilot Project for COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Homes

Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale today announced that the City will partner with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard on a pilot project to test for COVID-19 in nursing facilities. Through the project, the Broad Institute in partnership with the Cambridge Public Health Department will initiate screening to identify any possible infection among residents and healthcare workers in the seven nursing homes and assisted living facilities located in the City of Cambridge, with the goal of providing an early-warning system. The one-week project will begin immediately and could serve as a pilot for the rest of the Commonwealth.

All residents and health care workers in the seven facilities would be tested twice in a three-day span, regardless of whether they are symptomatic. The results would provide the City of Cambridge with rapid information about infection rates among those who are most at risk for serious illness upon contracting COVID-19.  
 
“The research institutions in our City are at the forefront of the global effort to contain the coronavirus, and we have an extraordinary opportunity to partner with them to help protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Mayor Siddiqui and City Manager DePasquale in a joint statement. “This pilot program will hopefully become a model for testing in nursing facilities and eventually the broader community, allowing us to better identify and contain outbreaks before they impact these facilities and the community-at-large.” 

In an accompanying Emergency Order issued by the City of Cambridge today, City Manager DePasquale and Dr. Assaad J. Sayah, MD, Commissioner of Public Health, indicated that all Cambridge’s nursing homes to participate in the program. The seven facilities are: Cambridge Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, Neville Center at Fresh Pond for Nursing & Rehabilitation, Sancta Maria Nursing Facility, Cadbury Commons, Neville Place, Cambridge House, and Youville House Assisted Living.

"We are faced with an unprecedented public health emergency, which calls for unprecedented action in taking care of those who are most vulnerable to disease and death caused by COVID-19," said Dr. Sayah. "This rapid testing program has the potential to protect Cambridge residents living in our nursing homes and effectively and efficiently determine positive cases, care for and quarantine our loved ones and their caregivers, and mitigate further spread of this virus by isolating all other home residents."   

The tests will be supplied and conducted by Broad staff and samples will be obtained by trained EMTs from Pro EMS, Cambridge’s contracted ambulance provider. The samples will be tested at the Broad Institute’s lab, a state reference lab..

The City and the Cambridge Public Health Department continue to work closely together to identify resources to reinforce the City’s response and preparedness activities. For more information and updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page.

View Memo on Rapid Pilot for COVID-19 Surveillance Testing of Cambridge Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities 

View Emergency Order Allowing The Broad Institute to Provide Covid-19 Tests and Manage Covid-19 Surveillance Testing at all Nursing Home and Long Term Care Facilities Located in the City ff Cambridge

Page was posted on 4/10/2020 9:22 AM
Page was last modified on 4/14/2020 7:09 PM
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement


Service Requests

Enter a service request via Commonwealth Connect for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc., click here