MARBLEHEAD – Temple Emanu-El will be the site of free COVID-19 drive-thru testing for Marblehead residents only starting on Friday, according to a press release from Town Administrator Jason Silva and Public Health Director Andrew Petty.
To help stop the spread of the coronavirus before the holidays, the town is partnering with Atlantic Ambulance to offer the testing over the course of four days starting this Friday and ending on Dec. 21. Registration is required in advance.
Testing is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 11, 8 a.m. to noon; Tuesday, Dec. 15, 8 a.m. to noon; Friday, Dec. 18, 8 a.m. to noon.; and Monday, Dec. 21, 2p.m. to 6 p.m. The site has a testing capacity of 300 tests a day.
“Providing a space for expanded local COVID testing is absolutely on-mission for us at Temple Emanu-El,” said the temple’s spiritual leader, Rabbi David Meyer. “Helping out in our community, promoting the town’s safety and health, opening our Temple in a time of need – we are both pleased and honored to be part of the healing locally and beyond.
Previously, the temple at 393 Atlantic Ave. opened its social hall as a polling location for the Nov. 3 election, allowing the town to provide a space big enough so that residents could vote and safely social distance while doing so.
“In times such as these, being asked to help, and being able to say ‘yes’ is a privilege!” added Meyer.
Marblehead has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks, with the town’s confirmed or presumptive positive cases totaling 441 as of Dec. 4, up 51, or 13 percent, from Nov. 27, according to information on the town’s website.
“Social gatherings are contributing to these increases,” according to the COVID-19 case count provided online by the Marblehead Health Department. “Transmission is often occurring in homes as well as in the work place.”
Residents who wish to get tested must pre-register to keep wait times as manageable as possible. Those who are not pre-registered will be turned away from the testing site.
The town is encouraging all residents to remain vigilant to stop the spread, by maintaining social distance, avoiding gatherings, wearing face coverings, and washing and sanitizing your hands regularly.
To stay up to date on the registration process and to get regular updates as information becomes available, visit marblehead.org.