COVID-19 Testing Site Frequently Asked Questions

Why has Tufts Medical Center created a new testing center?

Increased testing meets a number of critical and urgent public health priorities. First, expanded testing is a major public health priority and absolutely essential to stop the spread of the COVID-19. Testing for first responders and public health professionals is essential, but the goal is also to expand testing the broader public as soon as possible. When that happens, having testing facilities in our communities where they can be safely and easily accessed is important. Chinatown residents, for example, will be able to be tested right here whether they are traditionally a Tufts MC patient or now. Additionally, this new space, created in cooperation with the City of Boston and the Boston Public Schools, will allow us to increase testing five times above the previous capacity. Finally, expanding capacity is another major priority for not only for Tufts Medical Center but for all hospitals in Boston and across the Commonwealth. The new testing center helps to maximize usable space within the Tufts Medical Center and enables us to expand our emergency room access to accommodate COVID-19 patients. 

Where is the new testing site for Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children?

Tufts Medical Center has partnered with the City of Boston (in consultation with the Boston Public Schools) to open a COVID-19 screening site at the Josiah Quincy School, 885 Washington Street, Boston. 

What are the hours of operation?

Testing will be available from 7 am – 7 pm Monday – Friday; and 7 am – 5 pm on Saturday/Sunday.

How will people know the testing center is there? 

We have placed signage at the entrance, and the entrance is staffed by a public safety officer and an interpreter to help direct people to their correct destination. Additionally, we are handing out fact sheets to people as they walk by that have been shared widely with our community partners. 

Why the Josiah Quincy School, why not an open area, or an area internal to the Medical Center? 

We worked carefully with the City of Boston and Boston Public Schools on this effort. We first evaluated all of our own facilities and then several spaces in the neighborhood, and this space best meets the needs to maintain safety for patients and healthcare workers and enables us the ability to provide greater testing to the local community. The school offers a safe one way in and one way out of the clinic, which is ideal to ensure we are practicing appropriate social distancing. This space also offers ample privacy for the patients who are seeking COVID-19 screening.

Why did you place a testing site in the middle of a city community? 

The global healthcare community is working toward making testing available to all, which is important to stop the spread of the virus. Tufts Medical Center has partnered with the City of Boston and Boston Public Schools to do our part to broaden testing as soon as possible. We believe this will benefit not only our city, but Chinatown residents will directly benefit as they will be able to be tested right here, in their neighborhood, whether they are traditionally a Tufts MC patient or not. 

We understand not everyone can drive to a remote testing location, and there are also limitations to taking public transportation at this time. We hope this testing center provides a safe and easy option for the community. 

Should we be concerned about buildings adjacent to the school? Could the air be contaminated? 

Based on guidance from public health and medical officials about how the coronavirus is spread, we took every measure possible to ensure air in the surrounding areas will be entirely safe. These measures included the following: 

  • Strict safety protocols 
  • Rigorous infection prevention 
  • Installing protective surface coverings
  • Installing an industrial level HEPA-filter negative pressure HVAC system in the school cafeteria
  • The same thorough daily cleaning measures taken at our Medical Center 

Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our patients, our health care workers, our neighbor organizations and our community as a whole. COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets from someone who is infected and sneezes or coughs. Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19 and is not believed to be a major route of transmission.

How is the testing site cleaned and waste handled?

Tufts Medical Center is cleaning the hallway and cafeteria with a bleach based cleaner every day and removing all waste from the school and disposing of it at Tufts Medical Center. This cleaning is the same cleaning procedures used at the medical center in our patient care areas. 

Is the Emergency Room still equipped and prepared for the "usual" walk-ins and emergencies? 

Yes, our emergency room continues to see any patients who walk in and is prepared to handle additional patients as we expect a surge of COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks. The testing center at Josiah Quincy School is only open Monday through Friday 7 am to 7 pm and on Saturday and Sunday 7 am to 5 pm. 

At this new site, what is the daily testing capacity? 

Increasing our testing capacity is crucial in the fight against COVID-19 and we are now able to increase our testing capacity to up to 500 people per day, which is five times the amount we were able to do inside the Medical Center. 

The new testing site will increase our capacity to treat emergency room patients.

Who can be tested at this new site? Is it open to the public? 

The testing site is open to first responders, healthcare workers, essential infrastructure staff and anyone who meets the testing criteria. Click here to see if you meet the criteria. 

Is an appointment needed to be tested? 

You must meet the criteria to be tested and we encourage you to pre-register for testing by calling 617-636-0019. Walk-in appointments area also available.

What are the criteria for testing? 

Click here to see if you are eligible for COVID-19 testing 

The current fact sheet says "the facility may need to be used for additional purposes" if the emergency evolves. What are these additional purposes?

We are evaluating alternative locations which will help Tufts Medical Center, the City of Boston and our local cities and towns with added testing and safe space for healthcare workers and community members.