A new indoor coronavirus testing site for adults and children opens this Thursday in Hingham to provide swab tests to residents of that town and surrounding communities, including Hull, as the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise statewide.
As of Dec. 3, the number of positive cases in Hull since Jan. 1 was 134, with 20 new cases within the past 14 days.
Hingham resident and mPathy founder Jackson Stone established a testing site in Brookline in early November and wanted to bring those services to his hometown through a license agreement with the town.
This partnership provides an additional testing resource at a time when long lines continue to form outside existing testing sites, including CareWell Urgent Care in Norwell.
“There has been an incredible investment of time [among Hingham town officials and Stone] to make this happen,” Hingham Selectmen Chairwoman Mary Power said. “It’s something Hingham can be proud about doing during this challenging time. Let’s collectively hope that the need for this facility goes away sooner rather than later, but it’s good to know” an additional testing site is available.
The testing capacity is about 150 people a day maximum, with an expected average of 20 to 25 per hour. As of noon Wednesday, the day before the testing site opened, there were already more than 100 scheduled appointments for opening day.
PCR swab tests will be available at the 308 Cushing St. testing site in South Hingham, said to be well ventilated and spacious enough to allow for social distancing, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Appointments can be made in advance through mPathy’s online scheduling system at www.mpathy.org/schedule.
Asymptomatic individuals and those without health insurance will be required to pay a fee of $140 with a credit or debit card to receive a test. Symptomatic individuals with health insurance will be billed through their health insurance provider.
Face masks are required, and those who are being tested should bring an ID, health insurance card, and a credit or debit card with them to the testing site.
Those arriving for testing should park in the lot and queue in a physically distanced manner at the back entrance to the building. There will be two lines – one for those with scheduled appointments and one for walk-ins. Patients will move through the facility in one direction, exiting through the garage door at the front of the building.
Test results will be sent to individuals by email, usually within two days. Questions about the Hingham COVID-19 testing site or an individual’s test results can be directed to mPathy LLC at email@example.com.
The testing site is opening just days after Gov. Charlie Baker announced that all Massachusetts communities will return to Phase 3, Step 1 of the state’s reopening plan beginning Sunday due to an increase in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
A move back to Phase 3, Step 1 will: decrease the number of restaurant patrons to a maximum of six per table and require them to wear masks at all times unless eating or drinking, even when seated at a table; reduce the maximum capacity of outdoor public gatherings from 100 to 50; and impose other restrictions.