City of Cambridge Begins Distribution of Over 21,000 At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits to Individuals and Families in Need

The City of Cambridge today announced it has begun distribution of over 21,000 at-home test kits to prioritized high risk and disproportionately impacted populations in Cambridge. The City received this allocation of iHealth Labs COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Each kit contains two tests and delivery is underway to various community partners that serve the identified populations. These partners include Cambridge Housing Authority, Fresh Pond Apartments, and other affordable housing providers, as well as agencies serving our unhoused community, and non-profit service providers who serve individuals and families in Cambridge who are facing financial hardship and who may be unable to access testing. 900 kits were also bundled for senior citizens who receive packages from the Cambridge Police Department as part of their Secret Santa for Seniors Gift Drive that delivers gift bags to elderly members of the community.

After receiving its delivery from the Commonwealth on Friday, December 17, the City and Public Health Department began working with ProEMS, the Public Works Department, and Police Department on the logistics of bundling and distributing the tests. All kits will be delivered to the partner organizations by the end of the week so that they can quickly distribute the kits.

“We want to thank the Commonwealth for making these tests available to help individuals and families of our community living below the poverty level,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale in a joint statement. “As soon as we learned of Governor Baker’s announcement, City staff and our partners got to work planning for how and where these test kits would be distributed to ensure our most vulnerable residents had access to these tests ahead of the holidays.”

The City created multilingual instructions to accompany the kits as well as a list of best practices and tips for when and how to use the tests, what to do if the test is positive, etc. that are being distributed with the kits to ensure community members are able to access these materials. This information, as well as an instructional video for how to perform the tests, are available at www.cambridgema.gov/hometest.

While this allotment of at-home test kits provided by the Commonwealth are targeted toward those in need in our community, the City is actively exploring options for when it might be able to procure additional at-home tests and how those would be made available to Cambridge residents to supplement its free PCR testing program.

The City of Cambridge continues to monitor COVID-19 data closely and will make adjustments to COVID-19 testing and mitigation strategies as needed.

The City of Cambridge currently offers free COVID-19 PCR testing 5 days per week for people who live or work in Cambridge. Walk-in testing is offered 4 days per week and appointment-only testing is offered on Saturdays. More information is available at www.cambridgema.gov/testing.

The City of Cambridge continues to monitor COVID-19 data closely and will make adjustments to COVID-19 testing and mitigation strategies as needed.

As a reminder, all residents 5 years of age and older are encouraged to get vaccinated and get a booster dose, when eligible. To find a vaccine location near you, visit https://vaxfinder.mass.gov. Additionally, the City’s mask mandate for indoor public places remains in effect.

For more information and regular COVID-19 updates, please visit www.cambridgema.gov/covid19 to sign up for daily City of Cambridge email updates.

Page was posted on 12/20/2021 3:47 PM
Page was last modified on 12/20/2021 4:22 PM
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