Boston aims to increase test sites, expand capacity after hours-long wait times

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s team met on Monday to talk about increasing the number of COVID testing sites, expanding capacity, and speeding up operations.

People who waited for hours on Monday said they’re hoping the situation improves in the coming days. Some of the longest wait times were reported at the Anna Cole Community Center walk-in testing site in Jamaica Plain. Many families with young children braved the bitter cold to get a PCR test completed before Boston students officially return to school on Tuesday.

“We’ve been experiencing coming back two or three times hoping it would be shorter, but it hasn’t been,” said Abrigal Forrester. “This is ridiculous!”

Others who were experiencing symptoms said they wanted to find out if they were COVID positive as soon as possible.

“I’ve been a little symptomatic, and I have an infant at home so I want to make sure I’m not passing anything to him,” said William Lynch.

Many of the folks in line said they had been unsuccessful at finding an at-home rapid test in stock in area stores. Those who were turned away before making it into several testing sites were prepared to wait it out again on Tuesday.

“There were people who were waiting here for hours,” said Ana Wolf. “I think they should say it closes at a certain time and have their employees be here for another hour so everyone gets accepted.”

A spokesperson with Mayor Wu’s office sent the following statement to Boston 25 News:

“It’s unacceptable that our residents are waiting hours to get a test to stay safe and protect their families. Our team met today to ensure that we are increasing the number of test sites, expanding capacity, and speeding up operations at each of our sites across the city. Today, we opened a free COVID testing site in Allston at the West End House, and we will continue to expand our testing capacity, which will require collaboration with state and federal leadership.”