SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state and federal government are ending the COVID-19 public health emergency in Massachusetts on May 11th. As a result, many of the state’s testing sites, including the one at the Eastfield Mall, are slated to close with the end of the emergency.
When COVID first hit and emergency public health orders were issued, testing sites opened, testing kits could be ordered from the government, and vaccination clinics were held, all to curb the spread. Now more than three years later, these efforts are winding down as the public health emergency is coming to an end.
Springfield Health & Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris says the city is in a good place. She told 22News there were 41 cases of COVID last week, compared to this time last year when there were hundreds.
Caulton-Harris noted the city will continue to vaccinate. “We vaccinate every Tuesday at the Ray Jordan Center and I’ll have clinics coming up in April in the South End, North End, Mason Square, and Indian Orchard. So we’re still taking this very seriously.”
The AMR Testing site at the Eastfield Mall is closing permanently on Friday, March 31 at 3 p.m. This site has issued almost half a million tests since it opened up at the start of the pandemic.
“I think we have to move forward with the new normal,” said Kim D’Angelo, Operations Manager for AMR. “I think we’ve had enough time to prepare that we’re ready.”
If you are in need of test kits, the Health & Human Services department for the city of Springfield distributes them on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to residents. First come, first served.