July 8 2020

Get Tested for COVID-19 at First Parish in Bedford

By: Rich Hosford

Anyone who wants to get tested for the coronavirus, even if you cannot afford it, can do so in neighboring Bedford. 

“For the foreseeable future, there will be COVID-19 testing at First Parish on the Bedford Town Common (75 The Great Road) every Tuesday,” a notice from Reverend John Gibbons says. “ALL are welcome regardless of town of residence, affiliation, symptoms, or ability to pay.”

You can register on-line and you’ll be given a time-slot and number. The testing is being done with strict guidelines to ensure safety. 

“You will be assigned a test group with a time period and a test number within that time period to arrive at the First Parish church in Bedford for testing,” the sign-up form states. “Testing is performed with strict adherence to CDC social distancing guidelines, and generally takes about 3 minutes from the time you arrive at the testing site. Results will be mailed to you in order to adhere to HIPAA guidelines, however, all participants who test positive will receive a phone call from lab staff immediately after results are available (24-36 hours after testing).  US Postal mail has been slow, and full testing reports for everyone have been arriving 5-7 days after testing is completed.”

According to Rev. Gibbons, nearly 500 people have been tested, of whom only 3 were positive, and asymptomatic, highlighting the need for people to get tested. The testing is a collaboration between a local lab, the Bedford Research Foundation, and First Parish in accordance with Governor Baker’s Task Force encouragement of universal testing.

There is a fee of $85 for the test but Gibbons said that thanks to donations if anyone cannot afford it they can get financial help. 

“First Parish also offers, thanks to generous donors, to subsidize anyone for whom cost is a barrier,” he said.  

Anyone with questions can email Rev. Gibbons at fpjohng@gmail.com.


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