By Mayor Martin J. Walsh
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in profound ways, and has impacted nearly every aspect of city life. Although we have made great progress since the spring in controlling the spread of the virus, Boston has been facing an increase in COVID-19 positive rates for the last few weeks. Currently, 7.1 percent of people who get tested are testing positive. Since anyone can be infected and spread the virus even if they don’t show symptoms, testing is a key part of stopping the spread.
I recently announced a new campaign called “Get The Test, Boston,” a pledge that encourages every Boston resident to make testing a regular part of their routine. It also encourages employers to let their employees know about testing resources available to them. The City of Boston is offering benefit-eligible City employees one paid hour every 14 days to get tested during their normal work hours. Several local businesses have also committed to signing the pledge, to ensure their employees know how and when to get tested for COVID-19.
I encourage everyone in our city to look at the testing resources we have worked so hard to make available, and seriously consider getting tested to protect themselves and their communities as we work to stop this increase in COVID-19 cases. Here are some reasons why you should get tested:
If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, like fever, cough, or shortness of breath
If you are at high risk for complications from COVID-19
If you have been in contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19
If you have traveled or have been in large gatherings
The City offers free testing for residents with or without COVID-like symptoms through our mobile testing teams currently in East Boston’s Central Square and at Jubilee Christian Church in Mattapan through Saturday, November 14. The teams change locations every couple of weeks to increase testing accessibility and availability, prioritizing neighborhoods that need dedicated testing efforts. For locations and hours of the more than 30 COVID-19 testing sites we have in the City, including these mobile sites, please visit boston.gov/covid19-testing.
We are entering a critical time in this pandemic, and everyone who does their part will help save lives, and make a real difference. By following the safety guidelines, everyone can minimize the spread. In addition to getting tested, residents should continue to wear a face covering or mask, stay six feet apart from others, wash your hands often with soap and warm water, and avoid crowds and gatherings.
Together, we will continue to keep our city and our communities safe.
Individuals and businesses that would like more information or to sign the pledge can visit boston.gov/testing-pledge. You can also share #GetTheTestBoston on social media to encourage your network to get tested.
Martin J. Walsh is the Mayor of Boston.