Tufts University to provide free COVID-19 testing for abutters
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MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Oct. 6, 2020; Updated Oct. 9, 2020)—Tufts University is launching a free COVID-19 community testing program for neighbors in Medford and Somerville who live on select streets close to the university’s Medford/Somerville campus. A limited number of asymptomatic tests will be available each week during the program, which launches Tuesday, Oct. 13 and concludes at the end of Tufts’ Fall semester in December.
“The testing program was developed to support Tufts neighbors during the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Anthony P. Monaco, Tufts University president. “We appreciate Medford and Somerville’s continued collaboration to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus, and keep both the Tufts campus community and host communities safe. This is one more way in which the university, Medford and Somerville are working together to support each other through this pandemic.”
The tests, which take roughly 10 minutes, will be conducted by appointment in Breed Memorial Hall at 51 Winthrop Street in Medford on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Only qualifying community members with appointments will be permitted to enter the testing facility due to social distancing and other health considerations. Any residents under the age of 18 – including the children of neighbors with appointments – cannot be tested or enter the testing facility.
Qualifying neighbors may schedule an appointment at www.communityrelations.tufts.edu/community-testing-program/.
Only neighbors who reside on select streets abutting the Medford/Somerville campus and meet other criteria are eligible for this testing program. The complete list of streets and criteria are below.
“We are very thankful to Tufts University for opening up asymptomatic testing for residents in the Tufts area,“ said Breanna Lungo-Koehn, mayor of Medford. “The availability of community testing will allow us to continue to track and monitor cases within our community, especially asymptomatic spread, and will hopefully provide some peace of mind for residents in the shorter term. We look forward to continuing our weekly conversations and check-ins with Tufts staff to continue our joint goals of keeping our communities safe and healthy.”
"We're appreciative that Tufts is stepping up and making it easier for Somerville residents who live near campus to get tested for COVID-19 and adding to the options that the community already has for testing,” said Joe Curtatone, mayor of Somerville. “Robust testing is a key part in containing this disease, so anything that can be done to make testing easier and more convenient is a boost for public health.”
In order to qualify for a test, neighbors must satisfy the following requirements:
- Must be 18 years or older.
- Must be asymptomatic for COVID-19.
- Must make an appointment at least one day in advance. Anyone who arrives at the testing facility without an appointment will not be tested.
- Must fill out a consent form.
- Must be wearing face covering over mouth and nose.
- Must bring a photo ID and/or a utility bill with your address.
- Must live on one of the eligible streets, listed below.
Parking at the testing facility is extremely limited and will only be available to individuals who have a handicapped parking permit. Public metered parking is available a short distance from the testing facility on Boston Avenue in Medford. A staff member will greet community members arriving for their appointments to check them in.
More information about the testing program can be found on the frequently asked questions page here. Neighbors with additional questions or concerns may contact the Tufts University Office of Government and Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-3780.
Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should contact their primary healthcare provider.
Tufts has one of the nation’s most comprehensive COVID-19 testing program for students, both those who live on- and off-campus and are attending classes in person this semester. The program includes twice-weekly COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and quarantine and isolation protocols, as well as requirements that students wear face coverings, observe social distancing guidelines, and practice good hand hygiene. Testing results are posted publicly and updated daily at the Tufts COVID-19 dashboard.
More information about the university’s COVID-19 response can be found here.
The testing program is available to neighbors who reside on the following streets (Updated October 9):
Boston Ave. (between Alewife Brook Parkway and Harvard St)
Brookings St. (Charnwood Rd to George St)
Capen St. (from North St. to Winthrop St.)
George St. (Winthrop St. to College Ave)
North St. (from Boston Ave to Powder House Blvd)
Pearson Rd. (from Dearborn Rd. to Warner St.)
St. Clements Rd.
College Ave. (between Powder House Circle and Boston Ave)
College Hill Rd.
Hillsdale Rd. (between Conwell Ave and Sunset Rd.; remainder of the road is in Medford)
North St (between Powder House Blvd and Boston Ave)
Packard Ave. (between Professors Row and Broadway)
Powder House Blvd. (between North St. and Powder House Circle)
West Adams St.
West Quincy St.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged