BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration continues to increase the availability of free COVID-19 tests and this week will begin distributing over 2 million rapid tests for municipalities to provide to their residents. The Baker-Polito Administration has made these tests available to all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth, and to date a total of 264 municipalities have requested tests. Each municipality will determine how to distribute tests to their residents.
“This initiative builds upon the Commonwealth’s nation-leading efforts to make testing accessible for residents throughout the pandemic,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Along with vaccines and treatments, testing remains an important tool to manage COVID, which is why we will continue to ensure testing resources remain widely available.”
“Our Administration is pleased to work with municipalities on this effort to get more rapid tests to residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Rapid tests are an efficient and flexible way for individuals to protect themselves and their communities from the virus.”
Over the past six months, the administration has secured nearly 30 million rapid antigen tests for Massachusetts residents, municipalities, and a broad range of educational, health, human services, food banks, shelter, correctional, senior and low-income housing, and other community-based organizations. Today’s announcement marks the latest step in the Administration’s effort to provide COVID-19 tests for residents across the Commonwealth.
“The Administration remains committed to providing our residents with the tools to manage COVID-19 and testing is one key tool to combat the spread of COVID-19” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, “We will continue our aggressive efforts to provide these crucial tools, to ensure the safety and health of Massachusetts residents.”
Massachusetts is a national leader in vaccination rates with over 84 percent of eligible residents fully vaccinated and over half of adults boosted. COVID-19 tests are one risk-reduction tool Massachusetts residents have access to, along with vaccinations, that can protect individuals by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.
The tests are being distributed on a rolling basis over the next two weeks. For a list of the municipalities, please visit here.
The Department of Public Health advises residents to observe the following protocols to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID:
- Get vaccinated and stay up to date. The best protection against COVID-19 is remaining up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. That means being fully vaccinated and getting a booster. A fully vaccinated person is much less likely to get sick or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if they have their booster shot. https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine
- Take a test. Testing remains an important part of reducing the spread of COVID-19. Testing for COVID-19 is widely available in Massachusetts. https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing
- Get treatment. Residents who test positive should talk to their doctor right away about COVID-19 treatment options that are available for individuals who have mild to moderate symptoms. Learn more at www.mass.gov/covidtreatments