BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is urging people who attended protests in the last two weeks to get tested for coronavirus at one of 50 pop-up facilities the state is setting up this week.
Locations can be found on the state’s website. The sites will be open Wednesday and Thursday.
The announcement came after thousands of protesters around the state and country have been marching following the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis Police.
“We’re urging anyone who has attended a large gathering over the last two weeks to get tested for COVID-19,” Baker said.
“Thousands of people have been congregating in large groups over the past several weeks to exercise their first amendment rights. We certainly support people’s rights to express their views peacefully. But we need to keep up our fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 here in Massachusetts.”
The pop-up sites are open to everyone, and Baker encouraged protesters to get tested even if they are not showing any symptoms of coronavirus. Some of the sites are by appointment only and others are walk-in.
“If you’re healthy and feeling fine, you should consider getting tested anyway,” said Baker.
Similar testing sites were set up last week in Boston. Health officials said nearly 1,500 people were tested, but results have not yet been released.
“Anytime you have a big group that gets together like that it can be risky in this environment, and we would like to see what some of that data shows,” Baker said.
As of Sunday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state is 101,276 and the confirmed death toll is 7,467.
The state is currently in Phase Two of its reopening plan.
“Our progress to date is encouraging, but it doesn’t mean the virus has left town,” Baker said.