Amherst Rep: Bolster “inadequate” test network with National Guard

Boston Statehouse

Coronavirus Resources from the CDC

BOSTON (SHNS) – Calling the current network of state-supported COVID-19 test sites “inadequate to meet demand,” Rep. Mindy Domb is calling for Gov. Charlie Baker to deploy the National Guard to establish free testing locations in each county.

Through its “Stop the Spread” program, the state has set up free test sites in Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Framingham, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lynn, Marlborough, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Saugus, Springfield, Winthrop and Worcester, which are available to all Massachusetts residents, including those without COVID-19 symptoms, but can involve long wait times.

Domb, an Amherst Democrat, said she visited the Holyoke site last week after hearing of long lines from constituents. With two hours of operations left for the day, there were hundreds of cars waiting and the site was closed to additional vehicles, according to a press release from Domb’s office.

“After visiting the Holyoke Stop-the-Spread site last week, it became clear that we need expanded testing and we need enhanced staffing to operate these sites,” Domb said. “Heated outdoor tents in parking lots would allow a site to double its testing capacity. Providers are stretched thin across the state. We need the National Guard to provide us with the testing resources we need.”

Domb said she also “submitted a request to the Baker Administration to initiate a cluster study investigation of the 30 COVID-19 clusters” linked to K-12 schools.

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