Nov 17, 2020
Where to get a free COVID-19 test in Massachusetts
Free COVID-19 tests make it possible for Bay Staters to help slow the spread of coronavirus in Massachusetts, officials say, noting that the tests are available to even those who are asymptomatic.
"Getting tested is how you keep your family and yourself safe," Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in recent media appearances. "It's also how we track the presence of the virus in our communities and it helps us focus on our responses where they're needed.”
The virus can be spread by those who have no symptoms and are unaware they were exposed.
A positive test result provides vital information to allow patients to quarantine and protect vulnerable loved ones and neighbors from infection, and slow the spread of the virus. Slowing the spread allows businesses and schools to stay open and protects the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed.
Experts note that a negative result is important information, but does not provide protection: Wearing a mask and following physical distancing guidelines are vital to limit the virus' spread as well.
The infection positivity rate – the percentage of those who test positive – has been on the rise for weeks in Massachusetts and across the country.
“Boston’s COVID-19 numbers are increasing, and our public health data is clear: we need more residents to get tested,” Walsh said.
We are entering a critical time in this pandemic, and everyone who does their part will save lives and make a difference.
Massachusetts’ Stop the Spread initiative, which provides free testing at sites in 18 communities with higher COVID-19 case counts, has been extended through December.
In Boston, mobile free testing sites are available in a range of neighborhoods every day. Testing at the mobile sites is available to anyone, regardless of symptoms and insurance coverage.
Find the nearest testing site in Boston
Testing is performed by trained clinical teams at community health centers, hospitals, pharmacies and other sites.
Medically necessary testing, for instance for those who are symptomatic or have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID patient, is covered by health insurance and available at hospitals, pharmacies, doctors’ offices and other sites.
The free sites for asymptomatic residents offer an additional resource for the state’s health care system.
"We know that the virus is spreading among people who don't have symptoms and people who don't know that they have been exposed," Walsh said. "I'm encouraging you to get tested."
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