The city of Boston today announced the distribution plan for free home rapid antigen test kits for all residents of the city. The initial distribution began last weekend with the delivery of test kits to many branches of the Boston Public Library and the community centers of the Boston Center for Youth & Families. The free test kits are currently available at BCYF Community Centers on Paris Street in East Boston, Hyde Park on River St., Mildred Ave. in Mattapan and Tobin in Mission Hill and Shelburne in Roxbury and in the branches of the Boston Public Library in. available in Brighton, Copley Square, Codman Square, East Boston, Grove Hall, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury and South Boston with plans for additional sales locations including all BPL and BCYF locations. Resident of boston If you are looking for a testing kit, you may also be able to get kits for your immediate family based on availability. The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) also coordinates the distribution plan with the Office of Emergency Management, Boston Public Schools, and other city departments.
Last week, state officials announced they would deploy 2.1 million kits across the country. With these state kits and the city’s initial purchase of test kits earlier this month, the City of Boston will have more than 260,000 kits available for distribution across Boston. Each kit contains two tests, giving residents over half a million free rapid tests.
As part of the delivery strategy, the city is working with the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) to reach out to the families they care for. Each of the approximately 55,000 BPS students receives a home test kit with two tests to ensure that they can safely start school after the winter break. BHA will provide test kits for its 17,000+ residents, and Age Strong Boston and the Disabilities Commission will help connect seniors and Bostonians with disabilities to this resource.
The additional distribution of test kits will take a targeted approach to target specific vulnerable populations. The city will coordinate with service providers, community partners and vaccine equity partners to ensure direct and timely distribution.
“At the start of the holiday season, we have to rely on tests, vaccinations, and other safety practices to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy. Under the direction of Dr. Ojikutu and working with agencies from across the city, we will help our communities be together and celebrate safely. I am grateful to Governor Baker for his quick action and to all of our city officials for their hard work in getting these test kits into the hands of our residents, ”said Mayor Michelle Wu.
“We are distributing these kits with a focus on communities and populations with higher COVID-19 rates and obstacles to testing, including people who cannot afford to buy these kits in stores,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “The rapid antigen test is an important containment strategy to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Access must be fair. “
In line with state and national trends, Boston is seeing increases in case numbers and hospital admissions, making containment and prevention efforts more important than ever this holiday season. Mayor Wu and Dr. Bisola Ojikutu urge all residents to get vaccinated and boosted. If you are exposed to COVID-19 or have upper respiratory symptoms, please get tested immediately, regardless of vaccination status. Information on clinics and vaccine availability can be found at https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-health-commission/covid-19-vaccine-boston. For more information on where to find a free rapid test kit in your area, see https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-health-commission/free-covid-19-home-test-kits.