Boston: Mayor Walsh announces COVID-19 testing pledge

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston is launching "Get The Test Boston," a pledge designed to encourage residents to get a COVID-19 test. As part of this pledge, local businesses including the Boston Red Sox, Boston Main Streets, Rapid7, UNITE HERE Local 26, and Wayfair have committed to signing onto the pledge, and ensuring their employees know how and when to get tested for COVID-19. To better increase access to testing for City of Boston employees, Mayor Walsh today also announced the City of Boston will be offering benefit-eligible City employees one paid hour every 14 days to get tested during their normal work hours. Employees will receive regular compensation for their time spent testing, and will not be required to utilize their sick or personal time for one hour of testing.

"Boston's COVID-19 numbers are increasing, and our public health data is clear: we need more residents to get tested," said Mayor Walsh. "We are entering a critical time in this pandemic, and everyone who does their part will save lives, and make a difference. I'd like to thank the companies who have already signed onto the testing pledge, and I encourage every resident in our city to look at the resources we have available, and seriously consider getting tested to protect themselves and their communities as we work to stop the further spread of COVID-19."

Boston and the country are facing an increase in COVID-19 rates. As of October 24, 2020, the Boston positivity rate is at 7.8 percent, compared to 6.2 percent the prior week. A key part of stopping the spread of COVID-19 is testing, which is why Boston has expanded access to testing.

The City of Boston is encouraging all residents to consider getting tested for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms. Residents should get tested if they:

  • Are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, like fever, cough, or shortness of breath, among others

  • Are at high risk for complications from COVID-19

  • Have been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19

  • Have traveled or been in large gatherings

The City of Boston offers free testing at its two mobile sites, available to all regardless of symptoms, currently in Central Square in East Boston, and Nubian Square in Roxbury. As announced by Mayor Walsh in May, these mobile sites change every few weeks to help fill any gaps in testing availability, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing.

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Other neighborhood testing sites have varying policies regarding the availability of testing for those showing no symptoms and insurance coverage. Because of this, residents are encouraged to call ahead via their listed contact numbers on the website to check their availability, and policies on asymptomatic testing and insurance coverage. Together, Boston now has over 30 active testing sites across the city. Residents can find them on Boston's testing map online. Residents who live near neighboring municipalities can also find a list of testing throughout the Commonwealth online.

Mayor Walsh is encouraging businesses and employers throughout Boston to join the City in increasing access to testing, by making sure their employees know when to get tested, how to get tested, and have access to the resources they need to take care of their own and their communities' collective public health. Businesses can take the pledge to #GetTheTestBoston, and provide the resources employees need to get tested, stop the spread of COVID-19, and avoid a setback in Boston's reopening process. The City also encourages individuals to take the pledge to demonstrate their commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

"Thank you to Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston for being the model in increasing testing access and encouraging more Bostonians to get tested," said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Carlos Aramayo. "We are proud to sign onto Mayor Walsh's 'Get The Test Boston' pledge to ensure our workers safety and to help keep our community safe."

"We know how important it is to share crucial public health information, and we're proud to sign onto the City of Boston's testing pledge," said Rapid7 CEO Corey E. Thomas. "We are committed to sharing the COVID-19 testing resources with our employees, and will continue to do our part to make sure we keep our city, employees and communities safe."

Individuals and businesses can sign onto the pledge in the following ways:



  • Take the pledge

    • Get tested for COVID-19, even if you don't have symptoms.

      • Especially anyone who may be experiencing COVID-like symptoms

      • Especially those at high risk for complications

      • Especially people in close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19

      • Especially anyone who has traveled or been in large gatherings

    • Share locations for COVID-19 testing (in Boston, and across the Commonwealth), and which ones are free, including for asymptomatic individuals, such as Boston's mobile testing sites.

    • Share #GetTheTestBoston on your social media, and encourage your network to get tested.

    • Practice public health guidance: wear a mask or face covering, wash your hands and clean your surfaces, keep 6 feet of distance and avoid large gatherings (especially parties).

Businesses including the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Boston Main Streets, Bunker Hill Community College, Drift, Greater Boston Labor Council, MassChallenge, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, Rapid 7, Rise Construction Management, Roxbury Community College, Stop & Shop, Flour Bakery & Cafe, Myers & Chang, Sociedad Latina, Weber Shandwick, Soleil Restaurant, Emerson College, Boston Children's Hospital, TD Garden, The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, UNITE HERE Local 26, and Wayfair have already signed onto the pledge. If businesses or individuals would like more information, or to sign onto the pledge, visit

Filed Under: Government, City

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