Free Covid-19 Testing in Central Square as City Introduces Mobile Option


Boston’s COVID-19 mobile testing site, in partnership with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, will now be offering COVID-19 testing in East Boston’s Central Square. This COVID-19 testing initiative will be available starting tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1 to Saturday, September 12 on Border Street at Liberty Plaza Shopping Center in East Boston. Testing will be available at no cost for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. No appointment is needed but registration is required. To pre-register, please call 617-568-4500.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been dedicated to monitoring and making decisions based on the latest COVID-19 data. With the increase in cases in East Boston, we are expanding testing access there to ensure that all residents can get tested,” said Mayor Walsh. “Thank you to the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center for your continued partnership in helping Bostonians stay safe and healthy.”

The dates and hours of operation at Central Square Park in East Boston are: 

Tuesday, September 1st: 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 2nd: 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 3rd – Friday, September 4th: 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 

Saturday, September 5th: 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 8th: 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 9th: 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 10th – Friday, September 11th: 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 

Saturday, September 12th: 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

This mobile site testing initiative was announced by Mayor Walsh back in May as a way to help fill any gaps in testing availability, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. The site has previously been located in Roxbury, Allston, South Boston and Mattapan. In Mattapan, there were 927 COVID-19 tests ordered. Of 798 results received, less than 2.2% tested positive for COVID-19.

“East Boston has seen an alarming rise in COVID-19 rates and its critical that we take
immediate actions to stop the spread of the virus,” said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center president and CEO Manny Lopes. “Testing is one of the most important infectious disease control tools in our arsenal and we are glad to be partnering with the City of Boston to provide pop-up testing sites throughout the city.”

As of August 24th, 2020, East Boston is experiencing a 10.8% average positive test rate for the current week compared to the citywide average positive test rate at 2.3%. Bringing the mobile testing team is one step the City of Boston is taking to address the increase in the positivity rate in the neighborhood. The City is in communication with the State about finding temporary isolation housing so people can quarantine away from their families if they test positive for COVID-19. 

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has been mobilizing teams to provide care kits, information, and education to residents and businesses using the languages spoken in the neighborhood, including Spanish. They are distributing information at MBTA stations and key intersections, as well as neighborhood parks where people gather to play sports. Cross-departmental teams in the City of Boston, elected officials who represent the neighborhood, medical and social service providers in the community, union leaders who represent working people in the neighborhood, and Church officials and clergy have helped to get the message out.

In addition to the City’s mobile testing sites, COVID-19 testing is available at over 20 locations across the city. Mobile testing sites also continue to be available at select locations, prioritizing neighborhoods and populations that need dedicated testing efforts to create equitable access to testing. Individuals can call the Mayor’s Health Line with any questions using 617-534-5050. For a complete list of all testing sites, visit here. 

The City of Boston has been partnering with community health centers to increase access to testing, particularly in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of COVID-19. As of Monday, August 24, 2020, there were 167,859 COVID-19 tests of Boston residents. Out of 167,859 total tests, 9.4% have tested positive, which is down from 10.1% reported through Monday, August 17. For all Boston residents, the positivity for tests decreased slightly from 2.7% for the prior week (August 11-17) to 2.3% for the current week (August 18-24). The latest numbers of cases from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) by neighborhoods are available here.

Mayor Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund Steering Committee have dedicated over $1,720,000 to expand COVID-19 testing and conduct culturally appropriate outreach and education to community health centers across City of Boston neighborhoods, including Bowdoin Street Community Health Center, Codman Square Community Health Center, The Dimock Center, DotHouse Health, Mattapan Community Health Center, Uphams Corner Community Health Center, Whittier Street Community Health Center, Charles River Community Health, Fenway Health, Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center, Harbor Health, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, South Boston Community Health Center, NEW Health Charlestown, South End Community Health Center, and Brookside Community Health Center. The Fund has also supported telehealth services and equipment at those community health centers as well to connect testing to safe treatment options at home.

Resources and information about COVID-19 are available online. Resources available on and through City departments include support for renters and homeowners; small businesses; free meals for Boston students; free toiletries for Boston students; support for older residents; information on homeless shelters; resources for those in recovery or those who have a substance use disorder; and mental health resources. More information on Boston’s reopening can be found at

For additional questions or programs, please visit our coronavirus website or call 3-1-1, Boston’s 24-hour constituent hotline. Text BOSCOVID to 888-777 to receive text alerts on a regular basis, available in 11 languages.