Tufts Partners With Somerville, Medford on School Testing Program

The testing partnership with Tufts University is part of the phased school reopening plans in Somerville and Medford

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Details on a new coronavirus testing initiative at public schools in Somerville and Medford will be unveiled Thursday by city officials and Tufts University representatives.

The testing partnership is part of the phased school reopening plans in Somerville and Medford, which are aimed to meant to make classrooms safer by limiting the spread of the virus. Tufts is located in both Somerville and Medford.

Representatives including Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn and Tufts University President Anthony Monaco will detail the program during a Zoom press call at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Somerville is among Massachusetts' growing list of communities considered high-risk for contracting the coronavirus, marked in red on the state's community-level risk assessment map. Medford, considered moderate risk, is shaded yellow.

Somerville officials will hold a virtual Town Hall to talk about details of the new program at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Somerville received the designation earlier this month despite the city's cautious approach to reopening. the city entered Phase 3 of the state's reopening process weeks after the vast majority of the state, saying its case averages were too high.

Massachusetts' weekly community-level data on the coronavirus pandemic, released last week, showed 77 communities considered at the highest risk for transmitting COVID-19, an increase of 14 from the week prior. A new report is due to be released Thursday.

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