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No rest for the weary at one Covid-19 testing line

Line for testing at Anna Cole Community Center in Jamaica Plain stretched way, way back

Ari Ofsevit reports the line to get tested for Covid-19 at the Anna Cole Community Center this afternoon stretched all the way past the Jackson Square T stop and onto Centre Street.

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Comments

Why not go to a library instead?

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Perhaps the 'hub can assign readings for you.

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I suspect you're doing your usual troll dance here, but for the rest who might have bothered to read your comment:
--The library was handing out rapid test kits but quickly ran out
--The line in the photo is for a walk-in clinic to get a PCR test

Both types of testing have their strengths and use cases.

Employers may require one type or another. For example, at my company, close contacts of an infected colleague need to get PCR test after a certain exposure window. For a recent small gathering of friends (all vaxxed and boosted) we all took rapid tests just before attending.

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There was a really long line stretching blocks at Cambridges testing site at St Johns this afternoon. Why didn't the legislature and Baker use some of the billions in covid aid to increase testing capacity? I mean it's great that the Irish social club in West Roxbury got funds but maybe widespread free testing should have been added.

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There are only so many labs that can run so many samples. Test tubes piling up in cue don't help that problem.

What would have helped was if the Feds got their act together with the rapid tests. They have not been developed, manufactured, or distributed like they have in other countries or like they could have been when the wave was damped down.

If everyone had those tests handy, people could do a rapid test and act accordingly, getting the PCR only as a confirmation of the rapid tests.

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There are only so many labs that can run so many samples.

That may be the case, but we have literally the best one here in Cambridge (Broad).

The issue is not how many test tubes they can process (I got my test results—negative, confirming a negative rapid test despite cold symptoms, so apparently I had … a cold, or my massive vaccine response killed off the covid quickly!) but how many can be collected.

Unfortunately BPHC is doing a poor job of queue management, with a single server engaging in the entire process rather than a multiple-step process which is streamlined. At Anna Cole, I walked up to the server, gave my information, was observed blowing my nose and sanitizing my hands (twice, for some reason), and then taking the sample and giving it to them. I could have done much of that without direct supervision. Apparently this is run by LCG Boston, I'll give them a shout.

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The real problem is testing requirements, especially for travel. Once we get to January 5th and people are home from their vacations, demand for testing will drop back down.

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With the case counts we're seeing, and the number of contacts that will come from many of those cases, surely there will remain a high demand for testing for at least the next several weeks.

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The bottleneck is not the lab. Even when the sites get thousands and thousands of people in a day, the lab still returns results the same night.

The bottleneck is the testing site. Specifically, it's the checkin table where you provide your name and contact info, and are handed a test tube with your info on a sticker.

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Where is the testing? 2 years into the pandemic and it is this hard to get a test? Complete failure both federally and at the state level. This is simply astounding.

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The capacity is theoretically there, but I suspect there was ramp-down of readiness during the summer, and no ramp-up again as we approached winter.

(which is a different kind of failure)

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Passed on an opportunity to purchase hundred of millions of tests in October against the advise of professionals.

And here we are!

It’s only going to get worse!

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No ramp-down. Demand is hugely way up and there is limited lab capacity.

The lack of rapid tests, however, is a MASSIVE problem that is leading to this. Sure, PCR can pick up virus with more certainty, but the rapid tests are good enough to pick off meaningful (i.e. spreadable) levels of virus in an immediate way.

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Genuine question. I know early on (I want to say early summer?) there was a lot of info about rapid tests not being particularly good - lots of false negatives, false positives, something like a 60% accuracy, etc - are the newer rapid at-home tests better? It's hard to keep up with whatever the most recent info is so a lot of my friends are taking a rapid test but then trying to get PCR just to verify anyway, or skipping the rapid because they don't trust them. Are a couple of repeated rapid tests 'good enough' for fully vaxxed otherwise healthy folks to base their decision making / socializing / plans around?

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I got a test yesterday at 5 pm at a center run by CIC Health (results arrived before 6 am this morning, btw). I could be misremembering, but I seem to recall around early summer there was a concern that the test site might close because it wasn't getting much use at the time. Didn't some sites close around that time?

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I'm glad to see people actually staying spaced apart, which reduces the chance of transmission in the line. As some wit put it:

https://twitter.com/ElyKreimendahl/status/1475932119889293317

if you’re in line to get tested, no need to stay in line. you’re positive now, like from the line. go home

(If the line's indoors, you're maybe kinda screwed.)

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After testing positive on two antigen home tests in succession on Friday, some friends and family asked me if I was going to get a PCR test, I said no because I don't want to put others at risk to confirm what I already know. My symptoms are minimal (thanks vaccines!), and I'm just biding my time staying indoors binging the Kids in the Hall on Prime and drinking lots of tea. I do not have it so bad. I did a rapid test this morning (nine days after initial symptoms) and it came out positive, but I also know that people can test positive for months after recovering (though it's not clear if that applies to antigen tests, PCR tests, or both).

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I weighed the risks of going to multiple places and standing in lines to get the rapid tests against just staying the eff at home for a week before visiting my elderly MIL for Xmas Eve.

I have the ability - privilege - of just hanging out at home. So I did that.

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What if you contracted the disease before you isolated for a week, and were an asymptomatic carrier? That's why we need testing. Or you could have skipped the in-person Christmas Eve visit.

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The one downside of doing this is that the state's statistics don't know that you tested positive. There should be a web form or procedure to email your doctor or something to tell them you had a positive home test.

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I googled it and it appears that public health authorities in several other states and localities have portals to report positive home test results, but not in Massachusetts maybe? I did find this on the state's (not very user friendly) website, but it doesn't offer guidance fo home testing. I gave up after a few minutes and then just emailed my primary care physician, in hopes that she'll phone it in.

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Lines were long before Christmas as well. One of my friends needed to get tested at Logan and got in line around 9 AM, she reached the front of the line around 4 PM, and received negative results around 5 PM. She was texting me updates. Sounds like the police became involved at one point because people in line were getting restless.

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