The Baker Administration Announces The Stop The Spread Initiative

The Baker administration announced the launch of free COVID-19 testing sites across eight Commonwealth communities from July 10 to August 14. 


The “Stop the Spread” initiative is a date-driven effort to reduce the prevalence of the virus in areas with above state average case totals and positive test rates, as well as experienced a decline in testing levels since April 


The initiative will take place in Fall River, New Bedford, Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn and Marlborough. They will be open to all residents of Massachusetts, not just those from the eight communities. 


“While the Commonwealth has made progress on reducing the overall positive test rate, there are still communities where the number of positive tests is above the average of the rest of the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. 


“Focusing our efforts to increase testing in these communities will help identify new cases and stop the spread,” Baker continued. “Residents of these communities, even those who are asymptomatic, are urged to take advantage of these new sites.”


The statewide positive test rate over the past two weeks is approximately 2%, but in these eight communities, 8% of tests have been positive.


“This initiative will provide widespread testing in easy to access community locations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “If you live in these communities, please get tested to protect your family, loved ones and neighbors from COVID-19.”


Total testing in these specific communities has declined 39% since April and the total cases as a percentage of population has nearly doubled the state average.


“Increased testing within these communities will help to identify new cases of COVID-19 and break the chains of community transmission,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “As we move into the summer, we will continue to closely monitor positivity and testing rates across the Commonwealth.”


Residents may visit to find testing locations.