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FRAMINGHAM – Saturday is Christmas.

Earlier this month, more than 100 cities and towns were given free rapid COVID test kits to distribute to help stop the spread of COVID during the Christmas season by the Baker-Polito administration.

Framingham was one of those 102 communities.

Lowell distributed its kits on December 17. Boston, Worcester, Everett, Lawrence, etc all distributed its kits this week before Christmas.

Handing out free rapid at-home COVID-19 antigen tests is one way Massachusetts is trying to combat the holiday surge. “I understand the whole family wants to stay together on Christmas, but the more important thing is to keep safe,” said Lawrence Mayor Brian DePena to NBC10 Boston.

Framingham did not distribute the rapid test kits this week.

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Yesterday, December 23 at 1 p.m. the City of Framingham finally posted a link for individuals to register to get a rapid COVID test kit.

The City of Framingham will distributed the rapid COVID test kits – 10,000 of them – on either December 30 or January 8, 2022.

SOURCE emailed Mayor Spicer, Framingham Health Director Alex DePalo, and the Spicer administration on why the distribution of the rapid kits was taking longer than other communities in the Commonwealth.

No response as of 6 p.m. on December 24.

SOURCE asked why the rapid test kits were not distributed in the schools, as more than 50% of the students are low income and the school district has seen a surge in COVID cases since Thanksgiving.

There was no response from the Spicer administration as of 6 p.m. on December 24.

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Since the start of the school year, there have been almost 600 cases of COVID reported in the district.

But 409 of the district’s 590 total cases have been reported since the Thanksgiving break, with 158 new cases at Framingham High since Thanksgiving.

This holiday-shortened week, there were 111 cases in the school district, with 50 at Framingham High.

In the last week, the City of Framingham’s COVID cases have increased by 53%. There are now 660 active cases in the City of Framingham.

Framingham has also seen a significant surge in cases since Thanksgiving.

SOURCE emailed the Mayor and the City’s Health Director DePalo on Wednesday on what specific steps the City of Framingham has been taking to curb the spread the virus in the City of Framingham since Thanksgiving.

Again, no response from the Mayor, the health director, or any one in the administration, except for a press release by the City of Framingham’s Chief Information Officer.

The City’s CIO Kelly McFalls issued a press release with tips for residents on how to stop the spread of COVID.

SOURCE also asked Mayor Spicer and the health director if they were considering plans to implement a mask mandate in the City of Framingham or a vaccine requirement like the Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston or out-going Mayor Joe Curtatone in Somerville.

The questions from the media outlet sent on Wednesday morning have not been answered.

Neighboring Sudbury has a mask mandate for indoor public spaces.

The City of Framingham only has a mask mandate for indoor municipal buildings only, like the Memorial Building and the libraries.

But many communities across the Commonwealth are re-implementing mask mandates as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has overtaken the Delta variant as the most dominant strain.

Some of those communities include Boston, Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Revere, Somerville, Cambridge, and Lowell.

The Governor issues a mask advisory for all public indoor spaces this week, but Senate President Karen Spilka wants Gov. Baker to make it a mandate.

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Earlier this week, Boston Mayor Wu announced a vaccine mandate for certain indoor spaces.

Individuals 12 and older must show proof of at least one shot to enter restaurants, fitness centers and entertainment venues, starting Jan. 15, and evidence of two shots by Feb. 15.

Children 5 to 11 have until March 1 to get one dose and until May 1 to get their second shot.

Out-going Mayor Curtatone in Somerville proposed a similar policy for his city and Brookline is also consider a policy. Cambridge, Arlington, Medford and Salem are also considering a vaccine admission policy.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.