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Free COVID-19 Testing Kits Available at Select BCYF and Community Health Centers Ahead of Thanksgiving

BPHC reminds residents how to stay healthy and safe during the holidays 

BOSTON – November 20,2023 – Ahead of the holidays, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is distributing 10,000 free rapid COVID-19 testing kits at several BCYF community centers and community health centers around the city. The public can also pick up information about how to stay healthy and safe during the busy holiday season. Resources are available while supplies last. All BCYF community centers will be closed on Thursday, November 23 in observance of Thanksgiving, so BPHC asks residents to plan accordingly. A full list of participating locations is available at the end of the release. 

Staying up to date on COVID-19, RSV, and flu vaccines is an important strategy to reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization, especially during the holiday season when colder temperatures and more time spent indoors with loved increases the risk of getting sick, as well as possibly passing along an illness to an older adult or family member who could be at increased risk of severe infection.  

"Respiratory viruses, like COVID-19, the flu and RSV, will continue to pose a challenge this holiday season,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “We are giving out test kits and other resources to ensure that residents have the tools they need to stay safe and healthy.”   

In addition to testing kits, health education materials with safety and prevention tips on COVID-19, the flu, and RSV are also available in 12 languages (Arabic, Cape Verdean Creole, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Pashto, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese). This initiative is part of BPHC’s Education and Community Engagement team’s effort to ensure people can easily access resources and trustworthy information to support their health and wellness during the holiday season. These materials are particularly valuable to those who have questions and concerns about illness, prevention, or vaccination but don’t have regular access to health care providers or experience other barriers.  

BPHC is proud to partner with Boston Centers for Youth & Families and the city’s network of community health centers to make testing and vital health information more accessible. As we continue to navigate the spread of upper respiratory viruses like COVID-19, the flu, and RSV during the holiday season, working closely with partners in community and government will be essential for meeting the needs of residents.  

"BCYF centers are in the heart of Boston neighborhoods and have been an important resource for Boston families since the start of COVID," said Marta E. Rivera, Commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth & Families. "We are happy to once again help distribute test kits and keep our families healthy during the holiday season." 

BPHC operates two standing clinics where COVID-19 and flu vaccination are available. Walk-ins are welcome. No proof of insurance is needed; however, individuals may be asked about their insurance status for record- keeping purposes. Insurance will not be billed for any vaccination, and vaccinations will be provided regardless of insurance status.  

Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building – 2302 Washington Street, Roxbury 

  • Open Thursdays through Saturdays from 12-6pm. 
  • Site will be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for the holidays. Normal hours of operation will resume on Saturday, November 25.  

Boston City Hall – 1 City Hall Sq, Room 115 

  • Open Mondays from 7am-1pm and Wednesdays from 12-5pm.  
  • Site will operate from 10am-2pm on Wednesday, November 22 and will resume normal hours of operation the following Monday.  

The updated COVID-19 vaccines are also available at local pharmacies, community health centers, and through primary care providers. To find a COVID-19 or flu vaccine site near you, visit the CDC’s Vaccine Finder. If you do not have health insurance, are unsure about your coverage, or if co-pays are a barrier, call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.   

Similarly, following the recommended respiratory virus safety steps, is an important strategy to reduce risk: 

  • Staying home when sick. 
  • Consider wearing a mask when: 
    • If you must leave the house while sick 
    • If you are going to be in crowded indoor spaces  
    • And/or, if you are at high risk of severe illness 
  • Having COVID-19 rapid testing kits available at home to test if you have symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • There are also walk-in and by-appointment testing sites throughout the City.      
  • Seeking treatment from your trusted healthcare provider if you test positive for COVID-19 or flu and are at high risk for severe disease.  
  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Regularly disinfecting and cleaning high touch surfaces. 

Older adults, adults aged 65 and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant people, and people with chronic medical conditions are among those at higher risk for severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Residents should do their best to keep their own stock of test kits to ensure at-home testing is available throughout the holiday season, and to test before attending a gathering if they’re feeling ill.


BCYF Charlestown 

255 Medford St., Charlestown MA 02129 


BCYF Grove Hall 

51 Geneva Ave, Boston, MA 02121 

BCYF Leahy-Holloran 


1 Worrell St., Boston MA 02122 

Codman Square Health Center 


637 Washington St., Boston MA 02124 

Harvard St. Neighborhood Health Center 

632 Blue Hill Ave, Boston MA 02121 

Daniel Driscoll Neponset Health Center 

398 Neponset Ave, Boston MA 02122 

Upham's Corner Health Center 

415 Columbia Road, Boston MA 02125 

BCYF Martin Pino 


86 Boardman St., East Boston MA 02128 

BCYF Paris St. 

112 Paris St., East Boston MA 02128 


East Boston Neighborhood Health Center 

20 Maverick Square, East Boston MA 02128 

BCYF Hyde Park  

1179 River St., Boston MA 02136 

BCYF Curtis Hall 

20 South St., Boston MA 02130 

BCYF Gallivan 

61 Woodruff Way, Mattapan MA 02126 

BCYF Tobin 

1483 Tremont St., Boston MA 02120 

BCYF Vine Street 

339 Dudley St., Roxbury MA 02119 

Community Caring Clinic 

55 Warren St., Roxbury MA 02119


The Dimock Center 

45 Dimock St., Boston MA 02119


Whittier Street Health Center 

1290 Tremont St Roxbury, MA 02120

BCYF Curley 

1663 Columbia Road, Boston MA 02127 

BCYF Roche Center 

1716 Centre St., West Roxbury MA 02132 


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