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Governor orders up more testing in eight hot-spot communities

COVID-19 Update: Targeted Free COVID-19 Testing Sites

WGBH reports Gov. Baker said today he's ordered ramped-up testing in eight communities that now have Covid-19 rates far higher than the statewide average.

Covid-19 testing in Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn, Marlborough and New Bedford will be coupled with contact tracing, with the goal of getting more people to self quarantine and so break transmission chains.

Baker said the eight cities have made up 30% of the state's positive tests over the past two weeks despite making up only 9% of the state's population. All have positive test rates around 8%, compared to 2% statewide.

Latest town-by-town numbers.



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I think it's good to practice preventive ways to avoid experiencing another setback. Actually using the word "setback" is gullible and putting it lightly!


I'm so happy, I can finally see if I've been exposed (so I have a baseline)

Yep I've stayed away from everyone for months (I love alone), but I do go out once in a while. I shop at Market Basket in town and everyone else in town shops there. We didn't shutdown soon enough so who knows, I could have picked up something and be asymptomatic

I have a feeling we're going to our infection rate rise again with asymptomatic people..


Don't we all, cybah, don't we all.


As a Chelsea residents you've had the ability to get a test for free since like April... I'm not sure why this is suddenly getting so much attention



Then why is this a thing then?

Now all of us know why it is getting attention.

Yes, technically available since April, during the peak of the pandemic here, so I don't blame people for not venturing out to be tested (especially if people do not drive).

To my knowledge, this is also now provides for antibody tests, which I did not think was information that was shared with those tested. Recall that a prior antibody test in Chelsea found that almost a third of 200 people passing by had positive antibodies for the virus.

Baker is doing what needs to be done and really isn't thinking, "How will this play with my base and will it help me get re-elected?"


Well it kinda is... his base is all the residents of Massachusetts.

We are his 'base'

But yes I get what you mean (trumpets)

But yeah, Baker is doing the right thing and he's winning many of us D's over (myself included).


How nice it is to have a governor who works for everyone and not just for a sub-group of those who think the same as him.


Having a governor who understands medical statistics and doesn't have a control freak thing going with cities or any need to "punish" certain populations.


as long as cases stay flat or, better yet, go down. Or best yet, more places can open and have longer hours, etc. and thus we become more normal, Baker will be reelected.

Everyone I speak is glad we're in Massachusetts. Everyone agrees we do not want to go backwards like other states have to do. So as long as we stay the course, he will be reelected.


Could happen......frankly he's better than Trump and possibly more lucid than Biden :(

And Warren and Romney aren't great options...


because that would show there's still some sanity in that party.

I still wouldn't vote for him, though. It's going to be a few decades before I consider a Republican again - even in this state.


He’s basically a Democrat, there’s a 100% chance he’s re-elected.

His dad is 92 and living in a supported care facility. He knows how viruses work and doesn't delude himself about the risks.


8000 Massachusetts residents have died. The Holyoke Veterans home fiasco killed many. He waited until things were out of control to finally issue his sort of shelter in place order, after saying before that such a thing was un-American. He only took action in the 4th week of March, when it was clear during the first week of March that things were going to be out of control.

Yes, since the time when he finally took action, he's done a pretty good job. But even then he showed his petty side. He closed down pot shops while keeping liquor stores open, only because of his personal animosity towards legal pot. He lied and said the reason he did it was because he didn't want out of staters coming to Massachusetts to buy their pot. His half-assed reopening has been confusing to many industries and schools. Masks are still a suggestion and not an enforceable mandate.

Just because the bar is so low with other governors doesn't mean we shouldn't demand more from Baker.

8000 Massachusetts residents died. How many lives could have been saved if Baker acted earlier instead of telling us shelter in place orders were un-American?


Baker did 2 things right and some other things wrong

He allowed and is allowing cities and towns to have stricter restrictions than the state. Many trump ass kissing governors have not allowed their local governments to have local regulations, which has resulted in many more cases and deaths.

And I'll credit Baker for going slow and steady on the re-opening, although some of it has been lacking in details and confusing.

But he was late in issuing his version of shelter in place. Several states did it earlier than Massachusetts. And as anon pointed out, earlier he said it would be un-American to do so. As a result, according to several studies, more people died as a result of Baker's slow action.

And Baker handled the disaster at Holyoke and other nursing homes like he always does in a crisis. He is shocked to find it out and blames others. Like the state police scandals, it is never Baker's fault. Never. And even to this day, he is fighting real change such as requiring certification for the head of the Soldiers Home, instead of being a political appointee.

His voice breaking up/crying act has been in full force during some of the news conferences too. He has a long history of crying, sometimes about his own made up "fishy" stories. If a woman did that, well we all know what the reaction would be.

Also, sadly, a lot worse.


It was obvious once it got into a home it would spread quickly. Why no focus there? We needed more support there, but failed.

Where were you when he tried to get PPE and Trump's chumps stole it?


You have no idea what it takes to order stay at home. It isn't waving a magic wand. The legislature had to be on board to put in protections for workers. The system had to be ready for the impacts of that decision. IT TAKES CONSENSUS TO IMPLEMENT. Do it too soon and opposition mounts to "chicken little" behavior, and the process ends up taking much longer.

Your claims of inaction are a diaperload - there was a lot being put in place during that time of "indecision" at DPH, at MEMA, in setting up for unemployment surges. And there were few tests and very little data and no federal guidance or support.

Also, he didn't delay closing down a major city for a week, which killed 10,000 people and spread disease to other cities, while he battled his health department and waggled his dick about being in charge like St. Cuomo did.


Where were you when he tried to get PPE and Trump's chumps stole it?


I , for one, was trying my best to ration my own small supply of N95 masks that I usually bought from Home Depot before corona days. I gave one each to a few family and friends.

Kudos to Charlie for trying . Trump, as he always does, made everything turn to excrement. That still doesn't exempt Charlie from criticism for responding late.

The excuse that Baker delayed his shelter in place order because the legislature had to be on board is nonsense. Many legislators in the Senate and the House were pushing and advocating for faster action from the governor. He took his time. That's a fact.

I tried to post a response to SG earlier but you chose not to allow it for whatever reason. Yes I was trolling SG a bit, but when someone says my claims are a diaper load, I feel I should be able to respond. But it's your website and you seem to let registered sign names do things that you don't allow from anons. So as an anon, I accept that it is what it is.

17 states issued some form of shelter in place order before Massachusetts. Charlie Baker is not immune to criticism and is responsible for needless deaths because he did not act on a timely basis, in my opinion, and as a point of fact. The allegation that he was slow because he was involved in some difficult planning or due to lack of support from the Feds is all irrelevant . He was slow and people died needlessly. He also resisted the concept of shelter in place, said it was un-American, before he did the right thing and issued his order.
And I agree with your criticism of Cuomo. He did the same thing as Baker.However both of them did a pretty good job when they actually started to do their jobs.

Because Baker gets a ton of donations from alcohol industry associations and individuals.

I think it's a case where both things can be true. Baker could have done more. The outbreak in MA specifically in elder care homes was atrocious. The outbreaks among African Americans and immigrant communities has been shameful. Baker in particular emphasized business interests and stakeholders over workers in his commission.

But Mass is doing a lot of things right. Reopening is being based on actual spread and not an arbitrary timeline.

Testing capacity is good but should continue to be targeted exactly like this. Contact tracing seems to be among the best in the nation.

But really nobody has done well. California started well and is now struggling. All the states that missed the initial outbreak are now experiencing this crisis firsthand.

When fall comes around and flu season is upon us we will find out how well we used this time when there was a lull in spread. Testing capacity needs to continue to amp up and be available both widely and in populations at risk. We may really need it in the winter if what we're seeing in AZ/TX/FL comes to pass here.

And we NEED to learn the lessons of history. You can have a plan to open up but you damn well better have a plan to shut it back down. The delays in March killed tens of thousands that didn't need to die.