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COVID-19 testing site now available at Strand Theatre in Upham's Corner

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Public Health Commission

Testing is available to anyone for free and regardless of symptoms.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, together with the Office of Arts and Culture, the Office of Health & Human Services, and the Boston Public Health Commission, today announced the Strand Theatre is now serving as a COVID-19 testing site. Testing is conducted by Brookside Community Health Center, in partnership with Brigham & Women's Hospital, Upham's Corner Community Health Center and Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center. Testing at the Strand Theatre is available to anyone at no cost and regardless of symptoms. 

“Bringing COVID-19 testing to the Strand Theatre is important to our efforts to expand access to testing in neighborhoods most impacted by the pandemic, and as we continue to work toward stopping the spread of this virus and ensuring all of our residents are healthy and safe,” said Mayor Walsh. “I encourage residents to take advantage of this resource and continue to be vigilant as we work through this together. Thank you to the Strand Theatre, Brookside Community Health Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Upham’s Corner Community Health Center, and Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center for your partnership in increasing our residents’ ability to get tested.”

The Strand, which is located at 543 Columbia Road in Upham’s Corner in Dorchester, is open for testing on Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. -  4:00 p.m. There is no registration, and testing is walk-up only. Individuals can get tested for free, and regardless of symptoms or insurance. Individuals arriving for testing should enter through the main entrance of the building and will wait in line inside the theater. Testing will occur outside at a mobile van in the back parking lot of the Strand. There will be no public parking available at the Strand during testing. 

“Our Dorchester zip codes continue to have some of the highest COVID-19 positivity rates in our City,” said Boston’s Chief of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez. “Expanding access to testing to this neighborhood is a critical step in helping us slow the spread of this dangerous virus and keep all Boston residents safe and healthy.” 

The City of Boston is partnering with community health centers to increase access to testing, particularly in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. More information about COVID-19 testing sites throughout the city can be found here. The City is also offering mobile testing sites that are available to anyone, regardless of symptoms and insurance coverage.

As of Sunday, January 17, 2021, there were 516,828 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents. The citywide positive test rate is 7.2%. In Dorchester, the current community positivity rate is 10.9% (02122, 02124) and 10.1% (02121, 02125). This new testing site will help address the consistently high rate of positive COVID-19 cases in Dorchester compared to other Boston neighborhoods. For more information on COVID-19 cases per neighborhood, visit here.

The City of Boston is encouraging individuals to get tested if they:

  • are experiencing COVID-like symptoms,
  • are at high risk for complications from COVID-19,
  • have been in contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19
  • have traveled recently, or
  • have gathered with anyone you don’t live with. 

Mayor Walsh announced the Get the Test, Boston Pledge, encouraging residents and businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting more people tested. This will help the City of Boston better understand and control the spread of the virus. 

Since closing for performances and events last spring due to COVID-19, the Strand has found innovative ways to stay connected to Upham’s Corner residents and the surrounding community. Last summer, it formed a partnership with Brighter Boston to pilot a youth summer jobs program, which offered employment and training in technical theater and event production to local teens. In the fall of 2020, the Strand also partnered with Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI) to project artwork by local musicians, dancers, and artists on the exterior of the building as part of their "Projecting Our Stories" initiative.

“This is a great example of why Boston’s arts spaces are so integral to our communities, and how they have really stepped up during the pandemic to address the needs of their neighborhoods,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture. “The Strand will continue to serve residents despite the closures and cancellations that we’ve had to face due to COVID-19.” 

For more information about COVID-19 in Boston, visit boston.gov/covid-19