BOSTON (CBS) — A mobile testing site opened Monday for people who have coronavirus symptoms but no health insurance in Boston. Brigham and Women’s Hospital set up the site in Hyde Park, one of the emerging coronavirus hot spots in the city.
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“We saw the direction it was heading in and we wanted to get in the community right away,” said Bernard Jones of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “We always talk about trying to deliver care where people live and I think this is an extension of that.”
Health care workers can stand in a plastic testing booth which conserves personally protective equipment, and patients who have symptoms can walk up and get swabbed.
“You don’t need to be a Brigham patient to come here. You pay no money at all to get tested, and we don’t ask about immigration status,” said Jones.
Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo said, “So for instance, if you’re for some reason undocumented and you’re afraid of getting or don’t have a primary care doctor you can actually just show up to the sight get tested.”
Volunteers are also handing out masks, hand sanitizers, gift cards, educational pamphlets and, for those who qualify, boxes of food.
“Even folks just walking by who don’t want to get tested or screened, we’ll hand them a mask and that in turn, hopefully, will make a difference in the spread of the virus,” Jones said.
Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, Roslindale, Roxbury, and East Boston have more coronavirus cases than the rest of the city.
The testing site will be set up in Hyde Park until Thursday. Then it will pack up and head to another impacted neighborhood.
“We’re hopeful in fact, that steps like this will mitigate those hot spot flaring up more than they need to.”
On Sunday, trucks equipped with speakers drove around Boston reminding residents to keep their distance from others and wash their hands often. The trucks focused on areas hardest hit by the coronavirus and broadcast the message in seven languages.
“It’s really imperative that we remember that everybody is doing their absolute best in these situations. I’m very proud of the districts the way they’ve responded the resilience they’ve shown,” added Arroyo.