BROOKLINE — Health Commissioner Dr. Swannie Jett wishes to provide residents with an update on the town’s COVID-19 testing site, and urge continued vigilance against the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the public health data released on Thursday, Dec. 3, the Town’s designation remains at “green,” indicating a “low risk” of spread in the community. The average daily incidence rate for the Town of Brookline is 9.7 per 100,000 residents, down from 10.8 last week.
As of Thursday, the Town reports 88 active cases of the virus in the community. There have been a total of 800 cases in Brookline since the start of the pandemic.
“Though we have seen a slight decrease in the number of new cases recently, we are still strongly encouraging all community members to continue to take the necessary precautions in order to prevent further spread of the disease,” Dr. Jett said. “Across the state, we are still seeing a significant increase of new cases each day, including in our neighboring communities. Along with wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, residents, especially those experiencing symptoms, should take advantage of the opportunity to get tested in Brookline so that we can have a clearer understanding of just how widespread the disease is in our town.”
Since the end of October, over 1,700 tests have been administered at the testing site in Brookline. Between Nov. 23-28, 867 tests had been administered at the testing site. Of those, 16 were positive, which represented 1.85% of all who were tested.
How to Get Tested
PCR swab tests are available at the Health Department building, 11 Pierce St., on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be made by booking online here. Residents may also call 339-201-5516.The testing program will continue through Dec. 30.
Members of the Brookline community may get tested at the clinic, and uninsured individuals who are symptomatic — or have been identified as close contacts of positive cases — can have their testing expenses covered by the Town.
Residents who are insured and are symptomatic will have their test expenses billed through their insurance provider.
In order to qualify as a close contact, community members must show documentation from the state or local Department of Public Health that indicates they have come into contact with a positive case. The Brookline Department of Public Health will email a letter to residents identified as a close contact which can be used to obtain testing for free at the Brookline site.
The cost of testing is $140 for asymptomatic individuals who have not been identified as close contacts of a COVID-positive person.
Free testing is also available through the state’s Stop the Spread initiative. For more information, click here.
COVID-19 Cases are on the Rise in Massachusetts
It is important to note that yesterday marked the highest number of cases of COVID-19 across the Commonwealth at 6,477 new coronavirus cases, the highest single-day total reported in the state since the start of the pandemic. This number includes an additional 680 cases from Dec. 1 that were not previously reported after a technical issue with the software used by that laboratory’s reporting vendor caused a delay.
Residents are strongly encouraged to avoid high risk activities, especially indoor social gatherings, and all Massachusetts residents are under orders from the Governor to wear masks at all times while in public.
Other COVID-19 prevention tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health include:
- Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing, maintaining a minimum of 6 feet from others, is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to:
- Avoid gathering in groups
- Maintain 6 feet from people outside your household
- Do not shake hands or hug
- Wash your hands often
- Those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands
- Wear a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces at all times.
- Face coverings should:
- Cover the nose and mouth
- Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with either ties or ear loops
- Permit breathing without difficulty
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage. Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use.
The Town encourages everyone to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town of Brookline’s COVID-19 resource page: BrooklineCOVID19.com
- Town of Brookline Official Website: www.brooklinema.gov
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov/covid-19
- Massachusetts 2-1-1 general COVID-19 information: Click here or dial 2-1-1 (24/7)
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov