A new stand-alone facility to test patients for COVID-19 opened Wednesday in Somerville, Massachusetts.
The drive through testing unit in the parking lot next to Somerville Hospital will open as a testing center for COVID-19, the disease which has caused the coronavirus pandemic.
The testing center on Crown Street will be open only to patients within the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) system. Patients must call their primary care providers prior to being screened.
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"Providing a stand-alone testing location supports multiple public health goals," Dr. Assaad Sayah said. "Increased ease of testing, limiting risk of incidental infection and preserving hospital resources for the most ill patients."
Endrea Fonseca said she was turned away from the testing unit because her husband was not showing all the symptoms.
"My husband has some symptoms and we are scared. So this is why we come," she said.
Fonseca said she and her husband left to get tested elsewhere.
"We went to the Everett hospital and they sent us here and now we have to call a phone number and after that, I don't know," Fonseca said.
Fonseca and her husband were eventually tested in the emergency room at Somerville Hospital and are awaiting results which could take two to four days.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said the new testing site is still lagging behind.
"We really should be testing a thousand per day but suffice to say we are far behind. That's really the federal government who botched us," Curtatone said.
Another second stand-alone testing site is set to open in Shrewsbury under a tent outside of a CVS on Route 9.
The site is not yet open to the general public, and when it does, it will only be for people who've been ordered a test by a medical professional.
On Cape Cod, drive-thru testing has been made available for anyone with a doctor's order. Two sites have been made available for the procedure, including Falmouth Hospital in Falmouth and Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.