Lawrence Mayor Urges Doctors To Do More COVID tests

LAWRENCE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera has announced a partnership with the Baker administration to expand COVID-19 testing for the city's residents.

On Friday, outside a new drive-up testing site behind the Everett Mill on Canal Street, Mayor Rivera said healthcare professionals should start referring more local patients for COVID-19 tests.

"We're urging all doctors who deal with Lawrence people to be liberal with testing referrals," said Mayor Rivera. "If a patient is calling you looking to be tested, you should test them. Provide them a referral. Send them to the [testing] site. Because the more data we collect, the better equipped we will be to fight this virus."

Rivera said the city's effort to expand testing involves Lawrence General Hospital ramping up to 1,000 tests per day, the use of a new "rapid testing machine," and a $1 million city investment to increase testing availability.

Gov. Baker said the Department of Public Health is also "expanding criteria on who can be tested." According to Baker, "now anyone who is symptomatic or is identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case is eligible to be tested."

According to the state Department of Public Health, Lawrence has the state's 5th highest number of infected residents per capita, and 109 Lawrence residents have died of COVID-19 so far.

Rivera also announced an Executive Order canceling all public events, celebrations and parades in the city of Lawrence through December 2020.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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