Parents struggling to find COVID test appointments as students head back to school

BOSTON — COVID-19 testing has been more of a challenge for some parents.

Some of the popular drive through locations are not open and parents say places like CVS and Walgreens are harder to book appointments.

Boston 25 News saw families filling in all day long.

They require an appointment here so there have not been any lines.

The state said there are hundreds of locations right now where families can get tests.

Tracy Sockalosky brought her daughter to Project Beacon in Framingham to get tested for COVID-19.

“She is not quite 12 so in order to go back to school the school requires all of the students have a COVID-19 test to prove they are healthy and safe,” said Sockalosky.

Sergio Fagherazzi is a Boston University professor who spent some time in Italy with his family this summer.

They were in Framingham for a test, too.

“For my wife and kid it was more difficult,” he said. “We tried to book at CVS and it was all booked for a week. Then we found this place here.”

Mary Burke said it was harder to find openings.

“We did have to search a bit online before we left,” she said. “We did it at at CVS in Brookline when we left. We couldn’t find any appointments there today,” she said.

On social media, several parents were sharing their frustrations about finding easy COVID testing. One person was surprised there are not more testing sites.

A spokesperson with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services shared this written statement:

“Throughout the pandemic, Massachusetts has been a national leader in COVID-19 testing, with over 26 million tests conducted and nearly 500 testing sites across the Commonwealth, including 29 free Stop the Spread testing sites (for symptomatic and asymptomatic testing). Testing is one of several tools the Commonwealth has used to keep COVID-19 in check and testing data is clear that Massachusetts’ nation-leading success in vaccinations has protected our residents and everyone should get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.”

CIC Health is also continuing to offer testing.

“CIC Health continues to offer testing at our public sites in Cambridge and Newton and free testing at our State- sponsored Stop The Spread Sites in Fall River, Greenfield and Lowell,” Rodrigo Martinez, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer of CIC Health said in a statement. “Additionally, we are supporting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by facilitating testing for schools enrolled in the state’s school testing program during the 2021-2022 school year.”

Some parents telling us they have managed to find openings with a little research. “We are just hoping everyone is able to stay in school because that’s where kids need to be,” said Sockalosky.

The state says currently there are 466 testing sites open in the state. They are also encouraging families to reach out to their local health departments because there are resources to help some people get home testing kits.