Dozens turned away from state’s drive-thru testing site hours before it closes

The Stop the Spread site in Framingham is open until 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but test-seekers who arrive hours before closing are being turned away.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Dozens of Massachusetts residents seeking a free COVID-19 test are being turned away from the state’s drive-through test site in Framingham hours before the site’s advertised closing time, Boston 25 News has learned.

A spokesperson for the COVID-19 Response Command Center said Friday morning that the policy for the Commonwealth’s free Stop the Spread test sites is to administer tests to people who arrive before closing, but the local site can make adjustments for weather and other factors.

The testing site at Walsh Middle School in Framingham is listed on the state’s website as being open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. However, Boston 25 News visited the site four times in the past nine days, each time arriving between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and was turned away each time.

The police officers working a detail at the opening of the school’s driveway offered varying reasons for the closures, each time referencing either the long line, that the testing staff needed to leave right at 1 p.m., or a lack of capacity.

A Command Center spokesperson said capacity is not an issue and the state is not running out of tests at its Stop the Spread sites offered in 18 communities. The state averages between 60,000 and 70,000 tests per day and has the capacity to conduct more than 100,000 tests per day, the spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, the spokesperson told Boston 25 News that the command center would coordinate with Framingham officials so that people would not be turned away again. On Thursday, Boston 25 News arrived at 11 a.m. to find the entrance coned off.

Stay with Boston 25 News as this situation develops.

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