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Fitchburg, Leominster COVID-19 test sites close due to cold temps, will resume this week

Drive through COVID-19 test sites at 49 Nursery Lane in Fitchburg (pictured) and Doyle Field in Leominster were closed at the beginning of this week due to extreme cold temperatures, with plans to resume Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and merge into one testing site at Fitchburg Municipal Airport beginning next week. (COURTESY FITCHBURG HEALTH DEPARTMENT)
Drive through COVID-19 test sites at 49 Nursery Lane in Fitchburg (pictured) and Doyle Field in Leominster were closed at the beginning of this week due to extreme cold temperatures, with plans to resume Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and merge into one testing site at Fitchburg Municipal Airport beginning next week. (COURTESY FITCHBURG HEALTH DEPARTMENT)

Drive-thru COVID-19 test sites at 49 Nursery Lane in Fitchburg and Doyle Field in Leominster were closed on Monday and Tuesday this week, respectively, as a safety precaution due to the extreme cold temperatures with plans to resume on Wednesday in Leominster from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday in Fitchburg from noon to 4 p.m.

City officials made the decision to close the testing sites, where about 10,000 people have been tested since opening at the beginning of November. Fitchburg Health Director Steve Curry said the cold temps are “dangerous for testers and all (Transformative Health Care) employees associated to be outside for several hours.”

Curry said they will be “combining efforts” and moving both sites to the Fitchburg Municipal Airport next week, with testing available Monday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. Entry is on Cobbler Drive off Airport Road. He said while the Massachusetts Department of Public Health funded “Stop the Spread” sites approved until March 3 are “ideally” for city residents, anyone is eligible and there is no cost.

“We feel testing is good public health and that knowing that you are positive for COVID, especially asymptomatic people, may result in doing the right thing and taking the initiative to not spread it to loved ones, etc.,” Curry said.

Both cities will also continue hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Pfizer first and second doses and booster shots are available for people12 and older and people 18 and older can get any vaccine and booster.

Fitchburg will be offering clinics this month starting next week on Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. 4 p.m. at the Legislative Building, 700 Main St, and clinics are scheduled at the Leominster Veterans Center, 100 West St., on Thursdays this month beginning Jan. 13 from noon to 6 p.m. by appointment only by visiting .