On October 13, two 60-foot trailers will be delivered to the Buffum Street Parking Lot and will become Lynn Community Health Center’s expanded COVID-19 Testing Site. The health center’s current site, located in the Element Care Parking Lot at 9 Buffum Street, uses tents from the City of Lynn Fire Department to protect patients and staff from the elements. The more permanent structures will make it easier for the health center to offer testing services through the winter.
“COVID-19 is still a serious concern in our community and is likely to remain so for a long time,” said Dr. Geoffrey Pechinsky, Chief Medical Officer at LCHC. “The 7-day average positive rate in Lynn is 7.9%, significantly higher than the state rate of 1.1%. We are working very closely with the City to encourage people to get tested any time they feel unwell or are concerned about exposure. Some people, for example those whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure, should get tested regularly. We are happy to do repeat tests as needed.”
The Off-Street Parking Commission and the Lynn City Council have both approved the use of the parking lot for the new site. The trailers will be set up along the Blake Street side of the lot directly across from the health center. Patients will enter the site through the gate across from the Mulberry Street alleyway and enter the first trailer for registration. They will exit the first trailer and proceed to the second trailer for testing. After their test they will exit the second trailer and leave the site through the gate across from the LCHC entrance. Patient movement will be one-way through the site, with plans in place to support social distancing at all times. The site will take up 30 parking spaces.
The site is scheduled to open later this month with the capacity to conduct up to 500 tests per day. “We have structured our staffing and operations to meet the demand for testing as it rises and falls in the community,” said Kim Eng, Chief Operating Officer at LCHC. “We are currently conducting between 150 and 200 tests per day, but at our peak in August we conducted well over 300 tests per day. We anticipate our numbers will rise again as more people return to work, combined with the onset of cooler weather and flu season.”
Until the new site opens, LCHC will continue to offer COVID-19 testing at 9 Buffum St. 7 days a week. You can walk in for a test or call 781-581-3900 for a scheduled appointment–visit www.lchcnet.org for testing hours. Anyone can receive a test regardless of symptoms or exposure, and you do not have to be a patient of LCHC or a Lynn resident to get a test.