COVID-19: Testing, tracing and spreading out in Boston

Testing at nursing homes

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, the city has announced that it plans to test every resident of the city’s nursing homes and assisted living complexes. They hope the program will be a pilot for the rest of the state. From the city:

Through the project, the Broad Institute in partnership with the Cambridge Public Health Department will initiate screening to identify any possible infection among residents and healthcare workers in the seven nursing homes and assisted living facilities located in the City of Cambridge, with the goal of providing an early-warning system


The tests will be supplied and conducted staff of Broad Institute, a joint MIT/Harvard research program. EMTs from Pro EMS, Cambridge’s ambulance provider, will obtain samples.

The Globe reports that 27 residents of nursing home for veterans in Western Massachusetts have died, at least 20 due to the coronavirus, and 62 others, have tested positive. The home is being investigated for mishandling the outbreak.

Contract tracing

Partners in Health reports that it is in the midst of hiring contact tracers and case investigators “ to reach out to those individuals who have been in touch with COVID-19 patients, counsel them on testing and quarantine, refer them for testing, and connect them to necessary resources throughout their quarantine.” So far, more than 2,000 people have applied for the 1,000 jobs.

Click here for an FAQ on the programs.

Spreading out

From the Globe

Beginning Friday at dusk, three roads will be closed to vehicular traffic and opened for pedestrian use, according to a statement from the Baker administration. Recreational use on the following roads will begin Saturday at dawn:

  • William J. Day Boulevard between Farragut Road and Shore Drive in South Boston
  • Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway in Jamaica Plain
  • Greenough Boulevard between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street in Watertown

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