Peabody Reveals Coronavirus Free Rapid Test Distribution Plan

·2 min read

PEABODY, MA — Peabody will send most of its allocation of state-purchased coronavirus rapid tests that residents in need — including Citizens Inn, Peabody Housing Authority, Peabody Council on Aging — with a limited amount of those remaining being available to city residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt said the plan is in concert with the state's design that the free rapid tests go toward residents in most financial need.

"With the holiday season upon us, the availability of free rapid testing gives residents yet another tool to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy," Bettencourt said.

The tests come from the 2.1 million state-purchased tests being sent to what Gov. Charlie Baker called the 102 "high-need communities across the commonwealth."

Tests that remain after the majority are distributed to social service providers will be available at Peabody City Hall and the three branches of the Peabody Institute Library starting Monday. No reservations will be taken for these tests.

Tests can be completed at home with results within 15 minutes. Residents do not need a cell phone or computer for any part of the tests, which can be used for anyone age 2 or older regardless of vaccination status or symptoms.

Anyone who tests positive must isolate in their homes for 10 days and notify close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Those who need assistance with self-quarantining can call the Peabody Health Department at 978-538-5926.

"We are very glad to have another tool to help our residents protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID as we head into the holiday season," Peabody Director of Health Sharon Cameron said. "We always urge people to get tested if they've had a known exposure or if they are experiencing symptoms of any kind. We also encourage people to get tested before they gather for their holiday celebrations, even if they are without symptoms and even if they've been vaccinated."

Cameron said testing is one component to combat the pandemic, especially amid the current surge in cases.

"It remains very important for people to stay home when sick, mask up when in indoor public spaces, and, most importantly, get vaccinated," Cameron said.

(Scott Souza is a Patch field editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)

This article originally appeared on the Peabody Patch

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