BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced an expanded COVID-19 testing capacity and strategy. As required to secure COVID-19 testing resources allocated in legislation passed by the U.S. 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 a boost in 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%. 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, and those whose employment places them at a high risk.
The strategy also calls for randomized testing for surveillance purposes to build on the Community Tracing Collaborative’s contact-tracing efforts, and improved testing turnaround time 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.
The Baker-Polito administration and CVS also announced the expansion of self-swab and send-testing sites at 10 select CVS drive-thru locations throughout the Commonwealth, which will enable on-the-spot COVID-19 testing at no cost, with results available in two to three days.
These sites are located in Bridgewater, Charlton, Carver, Danvers, Northampton, Raynham, Wellesley, Westport, West Springfield, and Worcester. Individuals who meet testing criteria may register in advance at cvs.com to schedule an appointment.