NEW Health, a federally qualified health center and an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center, has opened its Charlestown COVID-19 testing site to all Charlestown and North End residents.
The site first opened May 18 at 15 Tufts St. in the Bunker Hill Housing Development, the largest public housing development in New England, in response to Charlestown having the lowest amount of COVID-19 testing of any Boston neighborhood. Testing was available for all residents who had at least one symptom and a referral from their primary care provider. The testing has now expanded to all residents of Charlestown and the North End, without a referral and even if they are not showing any symptoms. Proof of residency is required.
The testing site is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon, and appointments are required to reduce crowds and wait time. Testing is conducted both by walk-up and drive-through. Appointments can be made by calling 857-238-1100. A telehealth visit is conducted prior to the onsite testing visit, both of which are covered by all major health insurance providers; if patients have no insurance or insurance does not cover, the tests will still be provided.
“Our mission is to improve the quality of health and life for the residents of Boston’s North End, Waterfront and Charlestown, and this critically-needed testing site reflects that,” said NEW Health CEO James Luisi. “I am proud of our staff and the community coming together during these trying times. We also plan to establish an additional testing site in the North End in the coming weeks.”
The Charlestown testing site was possible thanks to a $60,000 grant from the Boston Resiliency Fund and $305,000 from the CARES Act. The site has conducted about 100 tests since opening, with a goal of expanding to 15 tests per day.