City of Cambridge Announces Dates for COVID-19 Testing in The Port and Cambridge Housing Authority Senior Housing

The City of Cambridge announced that mobile testing will begin in The Port neighborhood today, Tuesday, May 19, and in all Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) senior buildings on Wednesday, May 20, expanding the City’s mobile testing capabilities among more vulnerable populations. The initiative, which is being funded by the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and coordinated by the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD), is a collaboration with the Broad Institute, the Cambridge Fire Department, Pro EMS, and other city partners.

“As part of our efforts to support our residents, this expanded testing capacity will allow the City to reach more of our most vulnerable populations and provide a convenient testing option in one of the most impacted neighborhoods in the community,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale in a joint statement. “We want to thank MIT for their commitment to The Port neighborhood and our vulnerable populations. This new pilot program will allow more Cambridge residents to have easy access to free testing, which will in turn help us reduce the spread of the coronavirus.”  

“The more testing that we can conduct in our City, the more information we will have to better understand the infection rate at a given point in time and continue to mitigate the spread of COVID1-19,” said Claude A. Jacob, Chief Public Health Officer. “Testing in The Port and in senior housing is critical given data that indicate higher infection rates among people of color and seniors.”

Testing in The Port is being conducted by Pro EMS and will take place at the Pisani Center, which is located at 131 Washington Street, and will be offered to 1) residents of The Port and all other Cambridge residents, and 2) individuals who are homeless and those who live in congregate settings such as single room occupancy facilities (SROs) and sober houses. Testing is voluntary and free of charge.  Details of the testing include:

Testing in The Port: Testing at the Pisani Center will be by appointment only and run from 12-8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, Thursday, May 21, and Saturday, May 23, as well as Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of next week (May 26, 28, and 30). Appointments can be made by phone at 617-665-3795 or online: https://covid-test.appointlet.com/s/cambridge.

For those experiencing homelessness and who live in congregate settings: Testing at the Pisani Center will be by appointment only and run from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, Thursday, May 21, and Saturday, May 23, as well as Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of next week (May 26, 28, and 30). Appointments will be scheduled by Cambridge service providers, who support and work with those who may be experiencing homelessness or live in congregate settings.

Testing in CHA senior housing will take place as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 20, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at 15 Lambert Street
  • Thursday, May 21, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at 5 Temple Street, 7 Temple Street, and 55 Essex Street (contingent upon completion of testing 15 Lambert Street).

Residents were alerted that testing at CHA senior housing sites would begin this week, and appointments are not necessary at these locations. Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics from the Cambridge Fire Department – with logistical support from the Cambridge Police – will conduct the testing, which is voluntary and free of charge.

Results of the testing will be reported to the Cambridge Public Health Department, and staff will call residents with their results. The City of Cambridge has had a strong partnership with the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, as well as Pro EMS. With support from the Cambridge Fire and Police Departments, they have provided three rounds of rapid testing in all seven skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, as well as in a number of homeless shelters throughout the city. Cambridge was among one of the first municipalities to work with the Broad Institute and to implement a rapid testing pilot program. 

The City is committed to identifying new resources to help residents and businesses navigate this difficult time. For more information and to sign up to receive updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19

Page was posted on 5/19/2020 9:43 AM
Page was last modified on 5/19/2020 3:29 PM
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