Free COVID-19 testing begins in Haverhill Wednesday as the Commonwealth honors the city’s request to launch a testing program.
As WHAV previously reported, Mayor James J. Fiorentini asked state Health Secretary Marylou Sudders to send in a rapid testing team. The request came as new coronavirus cases are expected to push the city into the state’s high-alert, “red” category when numbers come out this week. On Monday, Fiorentini’s Chief of Staff Allison Heartquist said two free testing sites will operate in the city, beginning Wednesday, from 1-6 p.m., in the city’s Locke Street parking lot, behind Butch’s Uptown restaurant. Testing is available every day except Sunday, from 1-6 p.m., through Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 7, the testing site moves to the Mount Washington neighborhood. Examinations take place every day, except Sunday, through Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 358 Washington St., in front of Somebody Cares food pantry.
Unlike other testing sites, no physician referral, identification, insurance or an appointment is required to receive the test, Heartquist said. Both walk-up and drive-up service is available. Participants receive results in one to two days.
Fiorentini confirmed this weekend that 20 new coronavirus cases are part of a “cluster” associated with Lakeview House nursing home, 87 Shattuck St., Haverhill. He said the state is checking every resident and staff member at the nursing home and five residents have been hospitalized. The news came on the heels of two Haverhill middle school students and a Haverhill student attending Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School were diagnosed with COVID-19. All three were said to be isolating at home.
The middle school students are a John Greenleaf Whittier School pupil, who attended classes without symptoms last Monday, Sept. 21, but became ill the next day, and a Dr. Albert B. Consentino student who was diagnosed last Friday, but also attended school on the 21st.