ARLINGTON — As communities statewide continue to work to reduce COVID-19 case numbers, Armstrong Ambulance has stepped up to provide access to testing.
“Testing is a key component of addressing this pandemic and ensuring those who do have the virus are aware and able to isolate to prevent others from getting sick,” CEO Rich Raymond said. “As a community EMS provider, we feel its part of our responsibility to help provide this testing and help stop the spread.”
Armstrong Ambulance has collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to facilitate testing in communities statewide. As the EMS provider for both Saugus and Medford, Armstrong Ambulance has also been providing more established testing opportunities in those communities as well.
Saugus continues to see a significant number of positive COVID-19 cases in town, and all residents are being urged by the state to get tested. According to the DPH’s weekly update on Wednesday, Sept. 23, Saugus had 34 positive cases identified over the last two weeks, with 2.1% of all COVID-19 tests coming back positive.
Armstrong Ambulance is providing community testing in Saugus in partnership with Fallon Ambulance, and is operating a drive-thru site at the Square One Mall on Essex Street, open Monday through Saturday from 2-7 p.m.
The testing site at the Square One Mall was opened in late August and will continue until at least the end of October. Each day, Armstrong Ambulance is testing about 200 people in Saugus. For more information about the testing site, visit the DPH’s website here.
Since the pandemic began, Armstrong has helped to test approximately 5,000 people.
In Medford, Armstrong Ambulance has also been providing testing to educators, visiting various schools to ensure all school employees had access to testing as schools reopen.
“We certainly view it as part of the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as EMS and the ambulance provider to multiple communities in the greater Boston area, we view it as part of our mission,” said Armstrong’s Director of Clinical Integration Ben Podsiadlo. “A critical piece in making this all possible has also been our coordination and partnerships with local communities, local public health departments, schools, DPH, and local public safety agencies.”
Testing has evolved since the beginning of the pandemic and is now easier to undergo than ever before. Instead of the deep nasal swab test those who got tested over the spring and summer may have experienced, now Armstrong Ambulance is able to offer a superficial nasal swab which only goes approximately one centimeter into the nose.
To learn more about Armstrong Ambulance, visit their website here.