Needham Temple Starts Weekly Covid-19 Testing Program

NEEDHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Residents all over Massachusetts are starting their own covid-19 testing program at schools and nursing homes because they're frustrated with the government's response to the pandemic, and this includes one temple in Needham.

Temple Beth Shalom does its own weekly asymptomatic and presymptomatic testing of teachers, staff, and students in its preschool and after school programs.

Temple member Phoebe O'Hava got the idea to start the testing program because she was frustrated at the lack of a government strategy for Covid-19 testing.

Temple Beth Shalom has agreed to test teachers at three other nearby temple schools.

O'Hava says she reached out to numerous vendors and researched different options and prices. She says she was able to put in a standard order for the tests.

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"If anyone is symptomatic, we ask them to go to their doctor and to arrange for a test," said O'Hava.

She adds their goal is to catch any asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases before they develop symptoms and could be infectious.

"There's other local preschools that have heard about our program and what we did was just expand the numbers and we essentially called the lab where we have partnered with and we said we started with maybe 100 tests," said O'Hava. 

She adds overtime they have increased those numbers to include staff from other schools.

Right now, they send the tests to a lab in Tennessee, and the Temple is considering buying their own lab equipment.

So far, they've confirmed about 12 asymptomatic cases.

WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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