DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Dedham officials are urging all residents to get tested for COVID-19 at a new testing site that will be opening next week following a spike in cases.
Fallon Ambulance will be providing free testing beginning Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Endicott Estate on East Street.
The site will also be open Monday from 8 a.m. to noon and Tuesday from 2 to 6 p.m.
Town Manager Leon Goodwin and Dedham Board of Health Chairwoman Leanne Jasset are hoping residents take advantage of this opportunity after the town was deemed high risk for the coronavirus with more than eight cases per 100,000 people on a daily average.
“Widespread testing is a critical step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Jasset said. “Testing will allow us to ensure that those who test positive are informed of the necessary steps to take to keep from spreading the virus to others. We will also be able to contact people who have been in contact with a positive case, which will help us to truly stop the spread as quickly as possible.”
Goodwin added, “Given the recent rise in cases in town, we encourage all of our residents to take advantage of this testing site. Results of the testing and the accompanying contact tracing will help local health officials better understand how the virus has spread throughout the community and evaluate any additional steps that may be necessary to lower the risk level in Dedham.”
Jasset said in a Thursday statement that the board believes the local uptick “is the result of two recent gatherings of young people in town, including a party attended by high school students, which have resulted in two clusters of positive cases.”
Gov. Chalie Baker mentioned Dedham cluster at his Thursday press conference, saying people in town “have acknowledged that that’s a function of some really irresponsible behavior on behalf of a bunch of young kids who got together to watch a bunch of Bruins playoff games.”
The rise in cases has already impacted Dedham Public Schools.
The Dedham Board of Health and the Dedham School Committee made the decision during a joint meeting Tuesday evening that students would no longer return to the classrooms on Sept. 21 as originally scheduled.
Students will still begin school fully remotely as planned on Sept. 16.
Phased-in in-person learning will be dependent on the trajectory of the virus in the community.
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