Marlborough Hospital shifts COVID-19 testing back to New England Sports Center


Marlborough Hospital shifts COVID-19 testing back to New England Sports Center
A tent that had been used for COVID-19 testing operations stands outside the New England Sports Center after those testing services moved back to Marlborough Hospital earlier this year. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

REGION – Marlborough Hospital’s COVID-19 testing has moved back to the New England Sports Center (NESC) according to an announcement from the hospital this week.

Testing is scheduled to resume in ice sports complex’s sprawling parking lot on Donald Lynch Boulevard this morning with daily weekday hours from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The site is closed on weekends.

Hospital previously provided testing at NESC

Marlborough Hospital has provided COVID-19 testing since the early days of the pandemic.

They first operated on hospital grounds before expanding at the New England Sports Center to meet rising demand for tests. State Stop the Spread services then returned to the hospital back in June as lower demand for tests allowed for consolidation.

Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant discussed testing volume earlier this year, saying the site had conducted up to 1,900 tests per day at its peak. That number was down to 500 tests per day when Vigeant made those comments on June 7.

“It’s substantially lower,” he said.

This latest change, though, comes as COVID-19 case rates spike once again across the region.

Marlborough, which had 48 active cases on Nov. 1, had 193 as of Dec. 13. There were six new deaths due to the coronavirus in that time, according to the city’s Board of Health.

Nearby Hudson borders Marlborough just feet from the New England Sports Center. It last issued an update on its case numbers on Dec. 1, reporting 156 new cases in November, up from 106 new cases in October.

Hudson now also has one of the region’s highest test positivity rates, with 6.75 percent of tests coming back positive in the first two weeks of this month according to the state. That’s more than two percent higher than the state average of 4.46 percent in the same span.

Officials urge community members to get vaccinated

Local officials are urging individuals to get vaccinated if they have not done so already.

“Right now, when you look at the data on the [130] people that died in Marlborough from COVID, the average age is 78,” Marlborough City Councilor Mark Oram said at a meeting earlier this month. “So, you’re doing the people that are in the older age category a tremendous amount of effort by being conscious and cognizant of how this virus acts.”

“Massachusetts has seen an increase in cases lately that is growing faster than the rest of the country, but the increase in deaths is at a much lower rate than the rest of the country,” Westborough Board of Health Member Alan Ehrlich wrote in an update to the community on Dec. 3. “This likely reflects that those who have been vaccinated can still get COVID-19, but when they do, they are much less likely to get severe disease. This, combined with the higher rate of cases in those who are unvaccinated underscores the need for getting vaccinated, and for those who have been vaccinated, to get booster doses when indicated.”

The New England Sports Center is located at 121 Donald Lynch Boulevard. Stop the Spread testing is free and available at least through March 31, 2022.

Learn more through the Marlborough Hospital website.


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