A reverend in Boston is letting her frustrations be known about the long waits in cold temperatures at COVID-19 testing sites in Massachusetts.
People in line to get a COVID-19 test at the Methuen Family Health Center on Tuesday said they waited over four hours in the cold.
Annette Linahan, a school bus monitor from Peabody who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, said she waited over six hours at the drive-thru testing site at the Square One Mall in Saugus on Tuesday.
"I just wasn't ready for that and I just couldn't believe it," Linahan said. "I couldn't go to the bathroom. I was by myself, I couldn't leave the car alone."
The Rev. Laura Everett, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, sought out a COVID-19 test on Monday after her spouse tested positive.
She documented her three-hour, 25-minute wait for a COVID-19 test at a Dorchester site on social media. Two hours of that wait was outside in the freezing cold.
"Everybody who's standing in line, our anger is righteous," Everett said. "It was 26 degrees outside, really felt like about 18. Really, really hard for so many people. We were standing with some elders and seniors, standing with a young mom and her 5-year-old."
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu called the long lines at the city's COVID-19 testing sites unacceptable. A state-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot site at Boston's Fenway Park is reopening Thursday.
Health officials said the clinic will have the capacity to administer 1,300 doses per day.
Everett told sister station WCVB that there is definitely a need for COVID-19 testing equity, along with more leadership and compassion.
"For those who are in elected office and whose credentials have been about public infrastructure, health care and efficiency in government, I expect you to say, 'I hear your pain, I struggle with you and here's how I'm going to respond,'" Everett said. "We need elected officials to respond in ways that are just and equitable."
Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, announced before the start of the new year that the city was planning to open three additional COVID-19 testing sites this month.