BOSTON (WWLP) – Getting a COVID-19 test ahead of the holiday season was very difficult for many people. 22News found out what the state is doing to increase its testing capacity before New Year’s Eve.

As we all prepare to gather with our loved ones on Christmas, state leaders are thinking ahead to the next holiday which is New Year’s. They want to ramp up the state’s testing capacity and make it easier for people to find at home COVID tests.

This week the Department of Public Health has reported more than 100,000 COVID tests each day. That brings the total number of tests administered through out the pandemic to 35 million, a number that state leaders want to increase heading into the new year.

Earlier this week Governor Baker announced that 2.1 million at home tests will be made available at retailers like Walgreens and Walmart. Residents across the state can visit a free testing site or they can purchase an at home test to check and see if they have COVID-19.

“I can tell you by my own experience having ordered many rapid tests online recently from Walmart they landed on our front porch within two or three days and if you’re looking for a place to go that might be the best place to go for those that can afford to do it.” said Governor Baker.

Officials at DPH are urging all residents to continue to use caution this holiday season. Crack a window, maintain social distancing and wear a mask whenever you are in a crowded area. After Christmas case levels are expected to spike.

Governor Baker said hospitals in the Commonwealth are equipped to handle the surge. However, the best thing you can do to stay safe and to keep your loved ones safe is to get vaccinated.