Gloucester cases jump; city offering more free test sessions

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff file photo. Test administrators give free COVID-19 tests in the parking lot of Stage Fort Park in Gloucester on Wednesday. The city is again partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to offer free COVID-19 testing to all residents at Stage Fort Park on Tuesday, Thursday and next Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in Gloucester has jumped again, and as a result the city is hosting three free COVID-19 testing clinics next week.

As of Friday afternoon, the status of positive COVID-19 cases in Gloucester were as follows: 56 active cases; 404 overall cases — 355 confirmed and 49 probable; and 322 recovered. That compares to Wednesday, when there were 44 active cases; 391 overall cases — 343 confirmed and 48 probable; and 321 recovered. The number of active cases jumped from 24 Monday to 32 Tuesday. The deaths of 26 residents have been deemed COVD-19 related. 

The city is again partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to provide free COVID-19 testing next week. Testing was offered Thursday and Friday at Stage Fort Park. on Hough Avenue.

“We are grateful to be able to work with DPH to provide a second round of free testing in Gloucester,” Mayor Romeo Theken said in a prepared statement. “Thank you to all who got tested this week as a way to help protect your entire community and we hope that those who were unable to attend will take advantage of this next clinic."

Next week's round of drive-through testing will again be at Stage Fort Park, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, Thursday Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 24. Testing is available and free for all, regardless of address; no appointment is necessary.

For the drive-by testing, vehicles will enter the park at its entrance by Stacy Boulevard, adjacent to the tennis courts, and will exit by the Cupboard Restaurant and onto Western Avenue.

Hough Avenue will be  a one-way road during all three clinics..

“This testing will be vital as we continue to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community, as it provides a clearer picture of how many cases there are at this time,” Gloucester Public Health Director Karin Carroll said. “We strongly encourage you to get tested if you haven’t already.”

Those seeking to be tested are asked to  participate in the weekday testing if possible so that those who work during the week can be tested Saturday. Participants are advised that wait times could be significant depending on attendance at each clinic.

Participants do not need to have symptoms to get tested, and test results will be provided to each participant confidentially. Participants will be asked for their name, date of birth, address, telephone number and email address in order to be contacted with their test results. Those who do participate are encouraged to share their results with their doctors.

Translators for multiple languages will be available at all the clinics.

In addition to these clinics, other testing options are:

CVS appointments can be made at www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing

AFC Urgent Care at 50 Dodge St. in Beverly will take registration for tests at www.afcurgentcarebeverly.com/

Testing fees at these locations may vary based on medical need and insurance coverage.

Additional testing sites can be found at www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing.

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