Massachusetts offering ‘drive-thru testing’ for coronavirus

Coronavirus

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (WPRI) — Massachusetts officials are working to ensure residents can get tested for the coronavirus if needed.

The only way to know for sure if someone has the coronavirus is to test them for it. So far, there are 218 positive cases in Massachusetts but there could be more untested cases out there.

Gov. Charlie Baker said his top priority is expanding testing.

At Cape Cod Community College, classes have been canceled so the Barnstable campus can be used as a site to test people for the virus.

Nurses wearing surgical gloves, gowns and masks are in yellow pop-up tents to make testing safer and more convenient for people.

Not just anyone can show up and get tested, according to Barnstable County Health Director Sean O’Brien; you have to have a doctor’s order.

“Stay in your car, please,” O’Brien said. “You’re going to see a nurse or a tech, take a sample, you should be out of here pretty quickly.”

Massachusetts state labs have doubled their capacity for testing, going from processing 200 to 400 tests a day.

A publicly-traded company in Marlboro, Hologic Diagnostics (HOLX), is helping to speed up the testing.

“Each one of those can run about 1,000 tests in a 24-hour period and as you saw, we can ramp up to 600,000 tests per month,” Hologic Diagnostics President Kevin Thornal said.

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