Red Zone: Winthrop Partners With State on COVID-19 Testing Initiative

Special to the Transcript

The Town of Winthrop has been moved to the Red Zone designation, the highest level of risk by state officials due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases.  Winthrop joins 21 other communities, including Revere, Chelsea, Lynn and Everett that also have been moved to the Red Zone.  While Boston has not been designated in the  Red Zone, East Boston has the highest infection rate in the City and the highest percentage of residents testing positive.  As of this week, East Boston is at 11% for those being tested positive for the virus.

Residents wait in line in their cars for the drive-thru COVID-19 test currently being offered
at the E.B. Newton School parking lot at 45 Pauline Street.

 The Town of Winthrop is taking multiple steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health had notified  Winthrop officials of eight new cases on Friday and one additional resident affected by COVID-19 on Tuesday . The new Winthrop totals as of Tuesday are as follows: 350 confirmed cases: 24 deceased, 22 isolated and 304 recovered.

The Town of Winthrop has reactivated its Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday, Aug. 26, in order to centralize the response effort to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. Those with questions about the COVID-19 situation in town are encouraged to call the COVID-19 information line at 617-539-5848 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email [email protected]

In response to the recent designation by the state as a “high risk” community, Winthrop officials have partnered with state leaders to establish “Stop the Spread” testing site seven days a week at the E.B. Newton School, as well as additional limited “pop-up” sites. Testing is free for all at each testing site in Winthrop. The testing at the E.B. Newton School and the pop-up sites will continue through at least Sept. 12.

Testing will be available at E.B. Newton School in Winthrop on the following days and times until further notice:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 2-7 p.m. (drive-through)

Tuesday and Thursday from 2-7 p.m. (walk-up)

Testing providers are able to provide information in English and Spanish.

Additional pop-up testing location details will be provided as soon as they are available.

“The only way to truly stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community is for everyone to get tested, learn their results and take the appropriate steps if they test positive,” Public Health Director Meredith Hurley said. “Testing lets us know where the virus is in our community, who is carrying it even without symptoms, and who’s at risk of contracting the virus through close contact with those that have it.”

The virus that causes COVID-19 primarily spreads through the exchange of respiratory droplets that find their way into the air when people breathe, cough or sneeze. Spread can be significantly limited through the use of face coverings when in public, and through the practice of social distancing — remaining at least six feet away from people who don’t live in your household at all times.

“Residents who live with or have close contact with more vulnerable members of our population — such as their elderly parents and grandparents or individuals with compromised immune systems — are especially encouraged to get tested,” Town Manager Austin Faison said. “Still, everyone should get tested regardless of their risk factors so that we can have a fuller understanding of how far COVID-19 has spread in our community and put a stop to it so that we can all stay safe and healthy.”

Between August 2 and August 15, Winthrop’s average daily COVID-19 incidence rate per 100,000 residents was 11.37, trending higher than the community’s previous case count period.

Winthrop officials Urge all Residents to get Tested for COVID-19 at New Testing Sites; Launch WinthropCOVID19.com

Information Portal

The Town of Winthrop is taking multiple steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The town has launched a new information portal to keep residents informed about the COVID-19 pandemic, and is urging Winthrop residents to protect their loved ones and fellow community members by getting tested for COVID-19 at newly established testing sites in town.

WinthropCOVID19.com has been created as a one-stop resource that will keep residents informed about the ongoing outbreak, with regular updates meant to keep residents informed and halt the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The website provides testing information and a variety of resources including a COVID-19 tip form that residents can fill out with any concerns they have about the spread of COVID-19 in the community so that public health officials can further investigate. That form is accessible online.

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