BOSTON (mass.gov) – Thursday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced expanded COVID-19 testing capacity and strategy, and provided an update on personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement.
Testing Plan: As required to secure COVID-19 testing resources allocated in legislation passed by Congress on April 24, the Administration will submit its plan to expand testing to the federal government this month.
The plan builds on previously expanded testing criteria, and calls for the following:
- Boost overall testing capacity to 45,000 daily tests by the end of July, and 75,000 daily tests by the end of December, with the goal of decreasing positivity rate to less than 5 percent.
- Lab processing capacity is also planned to expand, enabling preparedness for a potential testing surge in the fall.
- Testing expansion for residents and patients in high-risk congregate settings like state hospitals, group homes and correctional facilities will continue, and the Administration will ensure testing for individuals who are symptomatic, close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases or whose employment places them at a high risk.
- Randomized testing for surveillance purposes to build on the Community Tracing Collaborative’s contact tracing efforts.
- Improved turnaround time of testing to provide same-day or next-day results.
When implementing the new testing proposed in this plan, communities with low testing availability, hotspots with high positive rates and high density areas will be the priorities.
CVS Testing Sites: The Baker-Polito Administration and CVS today announced the expansion of self-swab and send testing sites at 10 select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations throughout the Commonwealth, which will enable on-the-spot COVID-19 testing at no cost, with results available in 2-3 days.
CVS has served as an early partner in Massachusetts’ efforts to expand testing, and these new testing sites build upon the previously announced location in Lowell. These new sites are part of CVS’s first rollout of its national testing expansion program, with a goal of 1,000 testing sites across the country.
The drive-thru CVS testing sites include:
- West Springfield
Individuals who meet testing criteria may register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday, May 15 to schedule an appointment.
PPE Procurement: The Baker-Polito Administration continues to work to acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) to support frontline workers battling COVID-19. Today, the Administration highlighted the delivery of over 7.5 million pieces of PPE and supplies to be delivered to front-line workers throughout the Commonwealth.
From April 20 through this past weekend, this equipment has been brought to Massachusetts through six different chartered flights. The PPE includes over 6 million surgical and procedural masks, about 800,000 swabs, nearly 400,000 coveralls and over 125,000 gowns. The Administration is grateful to the various partners who helped secure and deliver this PPE, including the Chinese Consul General in New York, Huang Ping, OCEANAIR and Delta Airlines.