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CVS drops Wellesley store from a list of COVID-19 testing sites

CVS and the town of Wellesley canceled plans to host a COVID-19 testing site at a store on Linden Street after concerns were raised that the location was too busy for the testing to be done safely, officials said.

The store was among 10 locations chosen to administer the drive-thru tests, but was dropped from the plan amid safety concerns, according to a town spokeswoman.

The town and CVS jointly made the decision Thursday to cancel testing at that the store at 188 Linden St. because it is located next to a grocery store in a part of town with a high population density, said Stephanie Hawkinson, communications manager for the town of Wellesley.


“It’s already very difficult to park there and social distancing is difficult,” she said. “I think everybody was concerned that it would become even more difficult to safely administer the test, protect everybody who was getting tests and those people in the community.”

According to the town’s website, Wellesley on Friday had 203 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The expansion of testing facilities is part of a nationwide effort by CVS to help combat COVID-19.. By the end of May, CVS aims to have up to 1,000 sites across the country that could test up to 1.5 million people per month, the Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain said in a statement.

The testing is only for those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and does not take place inside the store but instead by drive-through using self-swab tests, the statement said.

A CVS spokesman Joseph Goode said in a statement that the company is continuing to identify other store locations that could be used as testing sites.

“CVS Health is committed to helping increase COVID-19 testing in Massachusetts to help slow the spread of the virus. We’re also committed to being a good partner with local officials in the communities we serve and to listen to their concerns,” Goode said. “We apologize for any inconvenience, and look forward to continuing to serve the community with expanded testing at our other locations.”


Hawkinson said the town would be happy to work with CVS to find a different store in Wellesley.

“We are very excited that there’s more options for testing,” she said. “People in our community are continuing to look for places to be tested so if we can support that in any way, we’re happy to do it.”

Stephanie Purifoy can be reached at stephanie.purifoy@globe.com