Members of the Massachusetts National Guard have performed more than 2,000 coronavirus tests at 122 long-term care facilities across the state in efforts to prevent the spread of the disease among vulnerable individuals, officials said Thursday.
The program is a collaboration between the Guard, the state Department of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Cambridge to test individuals in facilities like nursing homes and rest homes.
State officials declined to say where the guardsman have been deployed. But internal emails and a photo sent by a WGBH News listener show guardsmen suiting up outside the state’s Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain on Thursday.
Lemuel Shattuck Hospital serves “economically and socially disadvantaged” patients, according to a state website. The hospital has 255 inpatients beds, including 28 beds for state and county prisoners.
Concerned about the risks to older and sick inmates, the Department of Public Health also this week announced a new program to allow facilities to collect specimens on their own and send them to a state lab for testing and issued new guidance to protect residents and workers at such facilities.