BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts is launching a “Stop The Spread” coronavirus testing initiative in eight of the hardest hit towns in the state.

Free testing sites will be available in Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlboro and New Bedford. Those cities make up 9% of the state’s population, but 27% of the positive tests in Massachusetts over the last two weeks, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.

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The testing will begin Friday and will last through the middle of August. Some locations will be brick and mortar facilities, while others will be mobile.

“Testing will remain a crucial tool in the months ahead,” Baker said at his daily briefing Wednesday.

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The governor said the eight communities were chosen based on data. They are places where there is an elevated spread over the last two weeks, high positive test rates over the last two weeks, declining test volume since the end of April and an elevated total spread.

“Increased testing within these communities will help to identify new cases of COVID-19 and help stop community transmission. It will also provide people with a certain sense of comfort if they do believe they have been exposed or otherwise need to be tested,” said Baker.

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For more information, visit the state’s website.