”State Rep. Tami Gouveia has filed legislation to mandate stricter testing protocols at the state's vaccination sites...she continue(s) to have serious concerns about the protocols and safety measures in place at mass vaccination sites to protect our residents from contracting COVID-19."Gouveia expresses safety concerns about mass vaccination sites
State Rep. Tami Gouveia has filed legislation to mandate stricter testing protocols for staff at the state’s vaccination sites.
Gouveia, a Democrat whose 14th Middlesex district includes Acton, Concord, Carlisle and Chelmsford, said in a statement that she “continue(s) to have serious concerns about the protocols and safety measures in place at mass vaccination sites to protect our residents from contracting COVID-19.”
The bill was co-sponsored by state Reps. Christopher Hendricks, Steven Owens, and Tram Nguyen, of the 18th Essex District, which includes a portion of Tewksbury.
This legislation will mandate that any employer, vendor or contractor at a vaccination site must produce a negative rapid antigen test. These antigen tests detect protein fragments of a virus, indicating contagiousness. The test is a quick nasal swab to gather a sample, and can produce a result in minutes. The tests have been shown to be over 98% effective at indicating whether a person is currently infected with COVID-19.
The bill would also require that individuals tasked with administering vaccines at mass vaccination sites be tested using a PCR test once a week. PCR tests are even more effective at detecting the virus than rapid tests because they search for the RNA, or genetic material, of the coronavirus rather than the fragments.
Gouveia has more authority to speak on this issue than most, given her long career in public health prior to assuming office in 2019. She also has a doctorate in public health from Boston University, which she completed last year.