The Greater New Bedford Community Health Center will expand its COVID-19 testing capability by establishing an outdoor testing location at its downtown health center.

It's one of a dozen community health centers across Massachusetts designated by the Baker administration as an expanded testing site.

The center has been able to offer around 20 tests a day indoors with strict social distancing in place. By moving to an outdoor space, they will be able to offer up to 50 tests a day beginning May 4, according to a media release from the office of Mayor Jon Mitchell.

“The Greater New Bedford Community Health Center has played a leading role in the response to COVID-19 in New Bedford and the region, and I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for distributing tests to the state’s community health centers," said Mitchell. "I’m grateful for the support of the (health center) staff for their commitment to expand their testing, and for the thoughtful, experienced leadership of Cheryl Bartlett, a tremendous asset to greater New Bedford.”

“We were pleased to be selected by the Baker administration to increase our testing capacity in New Bedford,” said Bartlett, CEO of the health center. “With almost 25,000 patients getting their primary care at the Greater New Bedford Health Center, having expanded testing capacity will better meet the needs of those we serve. We are working closely with the Mayor and his team to coordinate efforts to address the Coronavirus pandemic in the city.”

Many people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can be tested through their doctor or healthcare provider. To be tested at the Community Health Center, an appointment must be made by calling (508) 992-6553.

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